Category Archives: Baby Stuff

The Weaning

The decision to wean your child is a very personal one. It effects many different aspects of your life. But it does not break the bond between Mother and child, mine still cries for me despite the fact that her milk now comes from a bottle. I can kiss her little head while she is drinking her milk now, something that is not easy to do when nursing. It is much messier, however, and needing a cloth under her chin while drinking these bottles makes her as much crazy as me! But it needed to be done. For all our sakes.

As I approached and exceeded 8 months of getting 2 – 3 hours of sleep a night due to a nursing baby every 2 hours, I finally gave in to the feeling that it was time to wean our little one. This is such a bittersweet thing to do. I immensely enjoyed nursing both our girls and was extremely happy I was able to do so. I never had any issues while nursing our latest edition and I even contemplated going longer with her than I had with the first. It just wasn’t meant to be.

The first few days I only gave her bottles during the day, to see if she would make a big fuss or not. She was still up all night long for the comfort of Mama. The first night she had a bottle after her bath I got a little nervous, she was so wide awake I thought she would never fall asleep! But a few minutes of her fussing a bit in her crib, she was out. She woke up at 12:30 or 1:30am and I nursed her (which at this point was at least 8 oz with how engorged I was!) which of course put her right back to sleep. Except that 2 hours later, there she was again wailing and complaining. The next night I decided to give her a bottle instead. She slept right through her “normal” feeding! It was a nice, solid, five hour stretch. This was something that has not happened I don’t think ever!

I know, I never should have been nursing her to sleep in the first place. It didn’t start out that way I assure you. If you have ever tried to wake a newborn while nursing, you know all the tricks they give you don’t always work! I attempted to remedy this with the ‘Baby Whisperer’ E.A.S.Y. method which worked for a bit, but even through this she was still up – screaming – every two hours at night after her initial long stretch once putting her down. I gave her cereal before bed, changed diapers, walked her, didn’t walk her, kept her in the crib rubbing her back, let her cry a bit before going in to soothe her again. Nothing was working. I asked her doctor about it, at each of her appointments worried that maybe I wasn’t producing enough milk or maybe not good enough milk to sustain her for longer periods. She only told me that it was my child’s temperament and that I had to persevere through the crying and just not feed her. Her weight certainly attested to the fact that my milk was enough for her to live on and she was always the happiest baby no matter what during the day – no colic or digestion problems here.

So, for the past five days at least, I have been EXTREMELY uncomfortable (cabbage leaves in the bra, pumping once a day to relieve the pressure) but things have been going very well. I am amazed at how easily this child adapts to different situations and how she has very rarely fussed over being given a bottle instead of me. Perhaps she’ll need therapy later for the “trauma” of being denied the breast, but for now her successes since the weaning are a testament to the fact it was time.

She can now put herself back to sleep without us needing to get out of bed and pick her up. She is sleeping better through the night and has even been put back to sleep without a bottle several times. She is enjoying more intimate time with other members of her family, Daddy, Grandma and others will soon follow I am sure.

This is a sad thing for me mainly because this is most likely our last child to be nursed. I do miss the closeness and the special feeling that only I could do this for my child. However, you have to wean your child at some point and for us this was the moment. She was only two weeks earlier than her sister (and she was weaned after she bit me with her new teeth!) and I am proud that we were able to make it past the 6 months they say is most beneficial. The benefits have certainly outweighed any physical or emotional drawbacks I have been feeling so far!

Gerber vs. Home Made

After feeding Cambree (now 7 months) Gerber’s baby food for a few weeks, I started rethinking having started her on solids. She wasn’t liking anything I was giving her, whether it was fruit, vegetable or meat. I thought maybe she wasn’t ready, until I took out the baby cookbooks my Mom had gotten me for Ariella.

Once I started to make my own food, her appetite and interest in the food I was giving her completely turned around. Now I have made her everything from fruits, vegetables, and meats and she LOVES every bite! I have even pureed some of our own dinners for her to try.

Tonight she had ground beef, sweet potatoes and tomatoes. A few nights ago it was Cod with an orange sauce. Lunches have included chicken with apples and avocado slices to help her learn to chew.

While Gerber is a great stand by, nothing beats making your own meals for enticing your baby’s taste buds and giving her a great start to healthy, happy mealtimes. 🙂

Cambree’s Birth

Two weeks ago yesterday (I really started writing this on Monday!) I was lying in a hospital bed trying to sleep after nursing a newborn I wasn’t supposed to have in my arms yet. It was an emotional and unforgettable day that went something like this:

7:30am – In shower getting ready for last OB appointment before my scheduled C-Section that upcoming Thursday, contractions began to get more frequent and strong. This was something I was quite used to at this point, after all my false labor and daily Braxton-Hicks bouts. So upon getting dressed, I began to keep track of them – again. Figured it wouldn’t hurt seeing that I was on my way to the doctor anyway.

By the time we were getting out coats on, Derek looked at me and said, “Do you think we should take the hospital bag, just in case?” I shrugged and answered, “Couldn’t hurt.” The contractions were not really letting up, but not bothering me too much either. I kept on writing times and intensities down anyway and ran upstairs to get my glasses and contact case again, ‘just in case’.

8:20am – arrived at my parents house with Ariella in tow and all packed up. I was still timing and writing. Every time I thought I was in the clear, another one would come on a bit stronger than the last one. I didn’t bother getting out of the car. It hurt too much and we were running very late to the doctors.

8:35am – arrived at Hamburg OBGYN, got the closest spot we could (thank God), got my little cup to pee in and headed to the bathroom. I was a bit nervous at this point, because the contractions kept coming and in the back of my head a little voice kept telling me this was it, that they would send me in. I kept arguing with that voice, however telling it that I wasn’t really ready to have a baby that day and I was only getting my hopes up anyway.

8:50am – Got called in to see Dr. Z. Got weighed (172lbs, which hadn’t changed in two weeks), got situated in the room, heard Cambree’s heart beating strongly and then waited for the doc to come in. Not sure what Derek and I talked about then, but I think we argued about something baby related. A few minutes later, Dr. Z. walked in and asked how things were going. I told him about the contractions going on all morning at this point and he said, “Why don’t we send you in and see what happens? If you go in and the contractions keep going like this we’ll do the section today, if they die off, we’ll see you Thursday anyway.” I must have looked a bit spooked, but he kept reassuring me I was only going in to be monitored and that if they did take her that day she would be fine; I was turing 39 weeks the next day. I checked out and made my 6 week appointment with Dr. Z, because I wanted to make sure it was done and Thursday was when I was going to have the baby.

9:50am – I called my parents from the car on the way to the Hospital to let them know we would not be coming right back to the house to pick up Ariella. My Mom was very calm and cool on the phone with me and told me to let them know how things were going.

10:15am – Derek dropped me off at the bridge to the lobby where I waited, still keeping track, until he found a parking spot. Five minutes later he came to meet me and we did our walk to the elevators and up to Labor & Delivery. “We’re checking in!” he told them for the third time this pregnancy and they buzzed us through. When we walked in through the second set of doors and asked for my name, they smiled and exclaimed “Oh! It’s our C-Section!”

My face must have betrayed my panic when I told them, “I’m just here to be monitored.” Because the Nurse taking us to the room said, “Oh, Dr. Z. called and told us you were having contractions and they were delivering you today!” The other Nurses at the station asked me, “Don’t you want to have your baby today?” I was honest with them and said, “I’m a bit nervous about the surgery,” and then we were whisked away into a L&D room.

From there everything moved very quickly, but calmly. They listened to me when I told them again what Dr. Z.had told us at the office, I was only there to be monitored and if it looked like something was happening THEN they would be doing the surgery. But then Dr. C. (who was on call that day) came into the room and basically told me that with all the contractions I was having and the risk of rupture and the fact that I was basically 39 weeks and my section was scheduled only three days away they wanted to just go ahead and get me in before their 1:30pm scheduled section. That everything would be fine, they would take good care of me, the baby was ready and it was a good day to be born.

The Nurse came in with the IV, they took the monitors off me and prepped me for surgery. They gave Derek his little outfit, and gave him instructions about what was going to happen and we got in touch with UNYTS about going in early so I could still donate my placenta. They were able to get someone there quickly.

Derek and I only had a few moments alone before anything was going to be in motion. He made phone calls to Grandparents and made sure I was ok. I asked him if he was ok too and he was not even nervous. That I could tell. Before I knew it, it was time to walk to the OR, which happened to be right next door. I thought I would have more time before being confronted with that room, but it was so close and so cold, sterile and right there in front of me. Wow, this was actually going to happen!

My Anesthesiologist was an older foreign gentleman who did not say much and had me extremely nervous. I was surprised I wasn’t passing out at this point knowing what was coming, but I got up onto the table and did what he told me to do. Getting the Spinal was not fun, I felt way too much of it for my liking, but it took effect immediately and I was completely numb before I knew it. Trying to get quickly numbing legs onto that little skinny table is not an easy task, let me tell you. As the Spinal took effect I did almost pass out, but whatever adjustment was made got me back quickly. And after that it was almost fun!

Dr. C. came in and talked with me while he prepped my belly, made sure I couldn’t feel anything and then they started. Derek came in a few minutes later and I almost broke his poor hand squeezing it so tightly. But I was amazed at how good I felt! No passing out, no pain, I even asked for a sandwich because I hadn’t eaten anything all morning (just in case). I kept telling Dr. C. “Just tell me she’s beautiful!”

12:13pm – After a little bit of pulling and tugging, everyone congratulated us at once with “It’s definitely a girl! And she’s beautiful!” I almost remember cheering, but I’m sure that was just in my head! Then I heard her crying, screaming for air, and they held her up to me so I could see her. My eyes welled up and I said hello to our Cambree for the first time. What an experience! She screamed so much and so loudly that everyone was commenting about her lung capacity. It was amazing! Derek ran back with his camera to take pictures and video while I laughed with everyone else about her high octave range. I’ve never heard a newborn scream so much!

The rest of the surgery went relatively quickly, Dr. C. yelled at me for being too skinny and him not having any fat to sew up with and I was still asking for food. They wheeled me back into the L&D room I had been in before and Cambree was there minutes later. She nursed right away, latching on without any difficulty. I got my sandwich, and still felt great! I couldn’t feel anything from my boobs down! About two hours later they gave me pain meds and took me to my room.

All in all, I was amazed at how everything went exactly as I had really wanted it to. I guess I did in fact go into labor, albeit the early stages of it and they found the uterine lining to be extremely thin near the old scar, which would have made for a very dangerous VBAC attempt had I gone that route. I didn’t really have a lot of time to think and worry about the surgery as everything happened so quickly. And, Cambree picked her own birthday!

The Bad Mama

It seems like only yesterday I was holding the tiniest person I had ever seen in my arms, trying to get the hang of breastfeeding and getting used to being woken up every hour. Those days are over for sure.

Now I feel the only words that come out of my mouth are – “No! Don’t do that! Put that DOWN! STOP doing that! Listen to me child!” and the like. I feel like the bad Mama. But lately all Ariella seems to do is get into trouble. Exploring, necessary, trouble. She is starting to tell ME what to do.

Yesterday as I made dinner I hear her telling me, “Wipe it up, Mama! Wipe it UP, Mama!” Then I realized that I was suddenly smelling chocolate. She had grabbed my can of baking cocoa and opened it. All over my kitchen floor. We have a berber CARPET in our kitchen. Then she was stepping in it and leaving little, cute, brown footprints all over everything.

Lesson learned from this? 1. Don’t leave the pantry door open. 2. Baking cocoa does NOT come out of berber carpet. There are STILL cute, little, brown footprints all over my kitchen.  3. Baking cocoa will clog up your vacuum filter. *Sigh* I love my daughter so much, and I need to do more gentle teaching with her. I feel like I am super frustrated at every turn. And this is only with ONE!!!!!

Heaven help me. The terrible two’s are upon me and I feel like I have no “tricks” up my sleeve! Is there a seminar, or class I can go to on how to survive this? And honestly, at the same time, I am loving every minute of it! Is that normal? 🙂