Just talked to my stepmom, and Liam is doing well. Having a great time, loving the pool (there's an indoor pool at the campground where they're staying). Last night was a little tough, with his typical 2 am, 4 am and 6 am wakeups. They brought him into bed with them at 6, and he went back to sleep, which is always nice.

I enjoyed an uninterrupted night's sleep, but woke up too early this morning and wasn't able to get back to sleep. Blech. I took a little catnap on the couch, and I'll probably go to bed pretty early tonight.

With Liam away, I've had to pull out my old friend, the breastpump. My experience from ConClave weekend seems to be holding true, and it seems like I need to pump twice a day to stay comfortable. I feel bad about just throwing breastmilk down the drain, so I found a local-ish mom who is unable to breastfeed and was seeking donated breastmilk for her 4 month old. I'll probably have about 16 ounces or so to donate - not much, but every little bit counts, and this way I don't have to waste the liquid gold!
As you may recall, last week I wrote about getting a plugged duct after I started sending cow's milk with Liam to daycare and stupidly decided to skip my pumping session on Tuesday. Things went from bad to worse and better again as the weekend wore on.

I discovered the plugged duct on Wednesday. So at bedtime Wednesday night I had Liam nurse only from the clogged side, hoping that would relieve it. He nursed for a long time that night, and it hurt. But plugged ducts hurt, and I figured that's all it was. The next day nursing hurt even more, even though it seemed the clog had cleared, so I was very confused.

Remember how a while ago I talked about how Liam's new teeth were pressing up against my breast during nursing, and that was making nursing quite uncomfortable? Well, turns out that the discomfort I was feeling when he was nursing Wednesday night wasn't just the plugged duct, it was also the teeth. By Thursday morning I had a little open wound right next to the nipple, and whenever Liam would latch on it would hurt so much. But I was afraid of getting another plugged duct, so I had to keep nursing him regardless.

Over the weekend I tried to manage it as best I could. I used Lanisnoh nipple appointment between nursings to help with healing. I nursed him more frequently on my good side, and less frequently on the hurt side, while pumping the hurt side a couple times a day to make sure I was emptying it of milk. I had him nurse in all sorts of different positions. The most comfortable is him upside down - usually when we nurse lying down we're facing tummy to tummy. But if I flip him upside down (so that his feet are pointing at my head), then it doesn't hurt at all. But obviously that's not a position I can use out at a restaurant or something, you know?

By Saturday I'd stopped chanting "ow, ow, ow, ow" throughout the entire nursing session, so I do seem to be on the mend.

While Liam and I had our own set of nursing problems in the beginning, I realize how lucky I was now in that I never had any issues with thrush, or cracked or sore nipples. In fact, because of our particular problems (couldn't latch without a nipple shield) I was actually protected from the usual new mom nipple pain.


Jun. 15th, 2005 08:15 pm
I'm down to only one pumping session a day at work, usually getting just 3-4 ounces of milk. Even one session disrupts my day, and there's all the ferrying of pump parts back and forth etc, so I've been working on transitioning Liam to cow's milk for daycare. At this point there's really no reason for me to pump anymore - he's taking the breastmilk/cow's milk mixture well, so I could just start sending cow's milk and he'd be fine. So yesterday I got busy at work and skipped my pumping sesison.

Bad idea. I was engorged at the end of the day, but not horribly so. Today, however, I have a clogged milk duct, which hurts a little bit all the time, and makes nursing that side exquisitely painful, especially at letdown. Of course, the main cure for a clogged milk duct is to nurse as much as possible on that side. Ouch.

So I'll definitely be letting Liam nurse as often as he wants tonight, that's for sure.
So I decided to go ahead and figure out a way to pump (see my previous post if you're wondering what I'm talking about). I got two clean disposable plastic cups from the kitchen and taped the horns on to them. That way I was able to pump hands-free, as usual (my yield sucks if I have to try to hold the horns - I need to be distracted and relaxed). I washed out a little reusable storage container from the kitchen and can use that to take it home in.

Much more comfortable now.


May. 17th, 2005 12:27 pm
So remember how yesterday I was talking about cutting back on pumping? Well, today I forgot the bottles for my pump at home. I'm not uncomfortable yet, but I'm feeling reasonably full when I poke my boobs, and it's still quite early in the day. I'm trying to decide if I should just try to make it through the day (probably about 9 hours until I'd see Liam and he could nurse) or if I should rig up some sort of system for cups to pump into and a water bottle or something to transfer the milk to...

I'm leaning towards figuring out a way to pump. I don't want to risk mastitis or an extreme milk supply drop.

Today daycare is experimenting with not even offering Liam a bottle in the afternoon (he refused it yesterday). I sent along an extra for him, just in case.

Got Milk?

May. 16th, 2005 01:52 pm
I think the time is coming to start transitioning Liam to cow's milk or water for his daytime liquid consumption at daycare. He's clearly nursing a lot less than he used to, and my body is showing it. I can go much longer now without getting that full sensation that reminds me to pump. I nursed him this morning around 8, I guess, and just pumped now, almost 6 hours later. I only got 3 ounces, and comfort-wise, I expect I could easily have made it through to the end of the day.

One day last week I went about 7 hours, when I experienced the pumping equivalent of not being able to get it up. I was out, and because of timing of various things, ended up trying to pump in a public bathroom, while standing in front of the only working paper towel dispenser, and directly under a fan blowing cold air. I hooked up the horns, leaned up against the counter, and tried to relax. Nothing happened. People came and went, and nothing continued to happen. I just couldn't get a letdown! An older woman came up to me and started talking about breastfeeding her kids back when hardly anyone breastfed, and what that was like, and her daughter who pumps for her baby. Hooray, I thought - surely the distraction of talking about babies will help my body do what it needs to. Nope. Eventually I just gave up, and it took a while for me to get a chance to try again, thus the whole 7 hour thing.

Unfortunately, I may have missed my ideal window for making the transition. There was a period a few weeks ago when he was down to just one bottle per day, but I kept sending extra milk just in case, and recently he's started taking two bottles again. Oh well - he's such an easy going little guy, I'm sure he'll manage just fine.

I'm happy to continue to nurse him when we're together, it's just the pumping that I'd be pleased to do without.
Bored at work. Going to hopefully finish cleaning my office this afternoon, but I'm not quite ready to start that yet. Gawd I need a new job.

So Friday was a Great Oak potluck, and I planned to make a frittata from the latest Cook's Illustrated. But Eric wasn't feeling quite himself yet, and didn't want to be tempted to eat too much at the potluck, so he didn't want to go. Instead, we went to my favorite restaurant in Ann Arbor, Jefferson Market. I initially ordered the salmon, but changed my mind and got the pork chop, which I was much happier about. As usual, Eric got a burger. He always complains that there's nothing on the JM menu that he likes. But we got to talking about the menu and it turned out there were all sorts of things on it that he would have liked, he was just thrown off by various unfamiliar culinary terms. So in the future, I'll be sure to go over the options with him, pointing out things that he'd like. This was our first time using the little portable booster seat we bought for Liam, and it worked really well.

Saturday morning Eric went off to a fish auction to sell some fish and thereby empty a couple of the tanks in the basement, in order to reduce the tank maintenance some. Liam and I went to a Lutheran church rummage sale, but arrived too late and all the good stuff was gone. We were there by 10, but they'd opened at 9, and I saw several good items with "sold" stickers on them. Saturday afternoon we went to "Dancing Babies," an African drum group presentation for babies at a branch of the public library. This wasn't as good as we'd hoped. Liam was pretty tired when we got there and unusually shy and low key and a little disturbed by all the people (it was very crowded). But by the end he was chewing on his jingle bells and shaker and occasionally wiggling to the beat. Our friends Holly and Brian and Maya were there as well and we hung out after, treating Liam to his first al fresco dinner at Jeruselum Garden. He liked the falafel a lot.

Sunday was a quiet day at home, mostly, as our plans to go to a record and CD show were thwarted by nap time conflicts. Got a step further in the ongoing organization of spaces project by cleaning out and organizing the pantry and lazy susan, which mostly involved throwing away a scandalous quantity of aging food. Then common dinner, where [livejournal.com profile] shadowriderhope made yummy mushroom/tomato/basil sandwiches and served exotic cheeses for dessert. It seemed like a wine meal, so I brought over a random bottle of Shiraz from my basement (I tend to net wines at parties, as more people bring wine than drink it) and shared it with a few neighbors. Which led to talking about wine a little bit with those neighbors and the inspiration that I should start a community wine tasting club. I sent out an email about it today and have 5 or 6 people who are interested, so that should be fun!

Oh - one last nifty thing about the weekend - one of my breastfeeding neighbors is having problems with low supply and is having to supplement with formula. She's trying all the various things and it's just not working. So I offered to donate some breastmilk for the baby to drink. I couldn't have done this before because I was struggling so much to get enough for Liam, but now that he's cutting back so much on bottles, I'm pumping more than he needs. I'm sorry that she's having problems and we went over the whole laundry list of fixes again (she's really trying them all - next up is ordering Domperidone from the 'net), but in the meantime I'm really happy that I can help.
As of today Liam is officially only getting two bottles at daycare. It doesn't seem to be bothering him any. Just one more sign that my little boy is growing up.

It's kind of ironic, actually, because his drop in consumption is coming just as I have happened upon a pumping schedule that is resulting in my pumping more than ever before. And, as a bonus, gives me more hours of uninterrupted work time! I pump as soon as I get into work at 9. Mornings are so busy around here that we don't nurse after getting out of bed in the morning, so depending on how Liam slept the night before, he may not have nursed since 5 or 6 or 7, so I've had a chance to build up a good 2 or 3 ounces. I pump at 1 and then again at 5 just before leaving work, and have been getting between 10 and 12 ounces per day! Plus I'm still trying to pump after he goes to bed at night, so long as I'm not too tired. It will be nice to build up a stash again, after a couple months of living on the edge.
He's started rejecting his bottles at daycare. Only drinking maybe an ounce in the morning and after lunch, and a few ounces in the afternoon. He only drank 7 of the 11 ounces I sent him with today. With 4 extra ounces that needed to be used up today, I figured I could take the evening off and have Eric put Liam to bed. But he only drank 3 of the 4 ounces, then didn't want anymore! And he's not cooperating with his Daddy putting him to sleep, despite being overtired from only getting one short nap today. He's not been cooperating very well at bedtime for me either, these last couple of nights. He's not falling asleep while nursing, as he usually does, and he's really resisting being held in any of his usual sleep inducing positions. He's a busy little guy these days, and I think he's figured out that these things make him go to sleep and he doesn't want any part of that sleep stuff! Don't we know he's got places to go and people to drool on? So something that used to take a pretty predictable 20-30 minutes is stretching out towards an hour. Ugh.

Oh well - at least the bottle situation is letting me get a little bit ahead on my milk stash. Although this came on so suddenly, I'm not sure how much to send with him tomorrow - I don't want him to suddenly decide he wants milk again and not have enough. He's only drank about 7 ounces each of the last two days, so I'm thinking I'll send 9 maybe. Tomorrow's a short day because of my facilitation training, and he's got a sippy cup and extra food in the freezer. I hate to send extra and then have to throw it away!

Right now Eric is attempting to lull him to sleep using his last remaining trick - sitting in front of the basement aquariums. Oh - he's just wandered past with a sleeping boy in his arms, so I guess that worked. Phew. So long as he can get him into bed without waking him up, that is. Ahh - success! Hooray dad!

Good Eats

Mar. 8th, 2005 08:26 pm
Oh, and in other news, the trip to the grocery store with the near miss car accident resulted in my spending $80 on groceries. Not so much money, you say, until you realize that it was all for Liam! I know it's got to be cheaper than buying jars - this much food is going to get us through the next couple of months, but damn it was a lot at once. Fresh: squash, sweet potatoes, pears, potatoes, onion, carrots, leeks (those last four for a couple of recipes I got from [livejournal.com profile] sueij), frozen: peaches, mango, green beans, peas, Other: ground beef, red lentils (again for the recipes), yogurt, cheese, whole wheat pasta, spaghetti sauce (I'll probably make this for lunch some day and then mush up the rest for him), applesauce. And this is on top of the kiwi and bananas I bought him yesterday. All organic. The boy is eating better now than he will for the rest of his life, I'm sure, but might as well get him off to a good start.

Of course, right now, with being sick, he's not really eating much at all, poor thing. And poor me, since it means he's nursing a lot more than usual. As I think I mentioned previously, having to use bottles for some of yesterday has my pumped milk stash depleted, which is a small problem since I'm going to be away tomorrow. It's the second session of my facilitation class, and I don't want to miss it, so Eric will be staying home with Liam, since he still has a fever and can't go to daycare. I've arranged for a ride from one of my neighbors so Eric can keep the car with the carseat and bring Liam to me for a lunch time nursing. And then I'll just have to be really diligent about pumping over the weekend to get enough stashed for Monday.

Sick Baby

Mar. 7th, 2005 05:23 pm
Poor Liam! He's got his first full blown ailment. No specific diagnosis to speak of, but he's on his first-ever round of antiobiotics thanks to his fever and voluminous yellow nasal discharge. As I write this, he's having a brief moment of cheerfulness and independent motion after spending essentially the entire day in my arms. Poor little boy. I got him down for a nap and had a neighbor come stay with him while I ran out to get his prescription filled. Of course he woke up 5 minutes after I left, but was fine for her, thankfully. The biggest problem is that his congestion is at times making it really hard to nurse or even to drink a bottle.

Oh wait, Liam wants to type:
[livejournal.com profile] wiredferret, [livejournal.com profile] nightglory, you'll make sure LB and the Lil' Pillar get the message, right? :-)

Later: Well, all the drugs must be kicking in - he's had quite the period of awakeness now, crawling all over the place and pushing his little cart around the house. Interspersed with many little visits with mom, of course. And two of the vilest smelling diapers he's ever had - must be the meds, he hasn't eaten anything unusual. But he's nursing well for the time being, so that's good. Especially since I only have about 6 ounces in the refrigerator - he blew through most of what I had saved up for daycare, and that's all I've managed to pump today (it's hard pumping when you have a crying baby who just wants to be held...)

While I'm glad he's feeling better, it was certainly easier on poor sleep deprived me when all he wanted to do was lie on the couch and cuddle. The adrenaline of the earlier part of the day has worn off, and now I'm just pooped.
Today I attended a day long facilitation training class, the first in a series of three. It was a really good class - well presented, with good information and techniques. I'm looking forward to the next two sessions.

I got to apply my newly learned skills pretty much immediately, as I was scheduled to co-facilitate our community meeting tonight. We had a very contentious item on the agenda, but I thought I did a good job of managing that portion of things (although to be fair, we only had time for a few minutes of discussion after the presentation and clarifying questions were dealt with). With my new eye for technique developed through today's training, I was able to learn a lot just by watching my (much more experienced) co-facilitator, as I could spot him using the techniqes we'd discussed. Now I just have to get better at identifying when I should use them in my own facilitation.

Driving back from lunch, I noticed that my car was acting strangely, but didn't have time to pay much attention to it then. At the end of the day I hopped in without really thinking about it, and as I started driving I noticed that my car was pulling to one side and vibrating strangely. So I pulled into the parking lot of a gas station, and sure enough - flat tire! I've never changed a flat tire in my life (remember, I've been driving for less than 3 years), so I had no idea where to begin. I called Eric, who wanted me to try it for myself and then call him back. But I just felt too overwhelmed. As it happened, I was right across the street from Japanese Auto Repair, and on Eric's advice I went over and asked them if they could help. I will admit that I played up the stupid female card "Hi, I have a flat tire, but I've only been driving for two years and I have no idea what to do. Can you please help me so I can get to daycare and pick my baby up?" And the nice man changed the tire for me and didn't charge me a cent. Tomorrow I have to get a real tire put on to replace the donut.

And, cut for those who don't like reading about "female stuff" )

Oh, and speaking of lactation, one last little bit - the U of M building I was in today had a lactation area set up in the rest room with a comfy chair, powerstrip, magazines and screens for privacy. It was very nice. When I went in for my mid-afternoon pumping session there was a woman sitting in the comfy chair, not pumping. As I wandered in with my discreet black leather pump case she looked at me and said "Oh, are you lactating?" and jumped up to make room for me. Not a question I get asked often, LOL!


Feb. 17th, 2005 09:32 am
I think I have the flu. Cold symptoms plus fever, chills, aches and exhaustion. If so, all I can say is - damn, this flu thing really is as bad as they say it is. I have no recollection of ever feeling as bad as I did last night, lying in bed under many blankets shaking with fever, naseous, unable to breathe through my nose, and completely unable to sleep. I eventually felt well enough to get out of bed and get some tylenol and a benadryl to help me sleep. (Eric was out. My own fault, I told him to go and didn't call him back when I realized I was *really* not okay.)

I asked him to stay home and watch Liam today so I could make a nest in bed and curl up there. Instead he called daycare and they had an opening for Liam to come in today. This is both good and bad. Good because it means Eric can go to work and make money. Bad because it means I have to pump again today. My supply is suffering because of being ill and because of taking cold medications, and Liam nursing is the best way to build and maintain that supply. I'd much rather have Eric bring Liam up to me every few hours to nurse instead of having to pump, but...

So that's where I'm at. Feeling cautiously optimistic right now that the worst is behind me, but that's probably just 1000 mg of Tylenol talking. I actually felt reasonably well yesterday until about 4 pm, when it all went to shit. Same thing the day before, actually.

The web says that flu symptoms are at their worst for 3-4 days, and can take about ten days to fully recover from. I've been sick since Monday, and really sick since Tuesday, so hopefully that means I'm just about done with the worst of it.

Now let's just hope Liam doesn't get it.
Seems like I start a bunch of LJ posts, don't manage to finish them, and by the time I get back to them they're out-of-date. So if I have to leave as I'm composing this one, I'm just going to post it, no matter where it's at.

Took Wednesday as a sick day, which was good. I felt pretty good all day (well enough to feel even guiltier for taking the day off). But then some ConFusion folks came over for a packet stuffing party, which started late and took longer than expected, so I didn't get to bed until after 11 pm and I was wiped by then. This cold definitely gets worse as the day goes on.

Although it also gets worse in the early morning, now that I think about it. I'm up godawful early because I was lying in bed awake, trying not to cough and choke and bring up all the gunk that has collected overnight. So I left Liam cuddled up with Eric and came downstairs. Aside about morning pumping )

So now I'm writing an LJ post when I should be tackling my to-do list, which is long. Mostly a lot of packing and assembling stuff - babies mean much, much stuff. But the packing and assembly can be hard to do with an awake baby, so I really should get on that. I've got all the registration stuff in order and put together, although as I was typing this I remembered that I still needed to print a couple of things (done) and to revise my staff instructions based on my new decision about the most efficient way to structure the flow and print them (next up after this post). Everyone assured me that I wouldn't need to print registration forms this year, that we had enough left from last year, but when I actually looked in the box I discovered that that was not the case, and that we are at least 100 forms short for our expected reg numbers. I submitted my order to Kinkos online last night, but I still have to get there for the pickup before heading out midmorning.

Amusing Liam story: I probably wouldn't be so rushed if I'd skipped Mothering Arts yesterday and did some of this stuff then, but I need my time with the moms. We went out for lunch after, as is our custom. The restaurant was just far enough away for Liam to fall thoroughly asleep in the car, but not far enough that it counted as a real nap. Upon arrival, I very carefully scooped him out of his car seat so that he'd stay asleep as I carried him in. I got him all the way to our table, where I rested most of his body on top of the table as Brian and I undid his snowsuit so he wouldn't overheat. He was still totally out, so I thought - what the heck - and carefully let his head down so he was lying on top of the table. He slept there at least 15 minutes after we arrived, all the way through ordering drinks and lunch. It was very cute - this little baby, fast asleep on top of the table!

I'm a little worried about trying to run registration and look after Liam. Assuming I can get all my volunteer needs met, I won't actually have to work a station, just supervise and troubleshoot. I'll be bringing a plethora of baby carriers with me, and maybe even a playpen for behind the desk. But if you're reading this and attending ConFusion and would like a chance to hang with Liam, he and I will be eagerly accepting offers from his legion of internet aunts and uncles.

Well, the boy is now up for the day, so I must signoff if I'm going to get anything done. See many of you at Fusion, if you aren't already there.



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