Friday, February 25, 2011

The Adventures Of Parenthood

Today was one of those days I had the pleasure misfortune of experiencing one of those many wonderful adventures of parenthood. My daughter, the gorgeous, tiny little princess that she is, painted a masterpiece in her crib... With her poop. When I walked into her room to get her up from her afternoon nap, there she was standing, smiling at me with her big huge grin. She was covered from head to toe in poo, her room smelled something fierce and she was reaching her little tiny hands that were completely caked with poop out to me, signaling she wanted me to pick her up. I said "Annabella what did you do!?" and then I couldn't do anything else but laugh. She laughed along with me of course.

After briefly assessing what I was up against, I ran into my bathroom and started running the water for a bath, then ran back into her room to get her to the bath as quickly as possible. I picked her up around her middle, holding her out away from me, trying not to let her touch me. I cringed as she was patting my arm with her poop covered hand and hurried her into the tub. I had to soak and scrub her for a good half an hour to get it all off of her. The scene in the tub was something out of a twisted horror movie. Trying to battle the poop down the drain so I could rinse out the tub and properly wash her was a task in itself. I swear it was crawling and swimming against the flow of water! In the end, I won and she was clean!

Am I surprised this happened? Of course not. I've been down this road before. She is #5 after all. I couldn't possibly be mad about it either, she's only 15 months old. The whole fiasco was easily avoidable, though! She has taken her diaper off on several occasions already, but luckily without disaster, until today that is. My husband and I both know that she HAS to be in PJ's or a onsie when she's in bed for a nap or for the night, to successfully avoid any diaper incidents. He put her down for her nap in a diaper only. He was just asking for trouble doing that. I bet she was even thinking that! He did change her sheet and clean up her bed when he got home from taking our 2 year old to the Dr. though (Poor guy has an ear infection), so it was alright.

Lets face it, poop, pee, spit-up, baby food etc. It just comes with the territory. It happens to the best of us. I'd like to flatter myself and say that we are pretty good at avoiding this type of disaster, but even so, it happens now and then!

This poop disaster today fondly reminded me of the massive poop-splosion this same child had all over me right before we were about to walk into Barnes and Noble when she was a few months old. I was breastfeeding her in our van, before unloading all of the kids to head into the bookstore. She just... exploded... in her diaper. But it didn't stay in her diaper. She made a mess all of my jeans. I always have a change of clothes for the babies, but not for myself. It was bad enough we had to drive all the way home just for me to change and drive back to the bookstore. At the time it was a little irritating, but looking back, it really is funny.

I could probably write an entire book just about the baby mess disasters we've had with our kids so far. Ahhh, the adventures of parenthood!

Random Act Of Kindness

I just wanted to write a quick little positive note from my day.

I realize that there are still genuinely thoughtful people. Today I received 3 small gifts from my baby registry (Bumpkins Organic Bibs, an 8 pack of cloth wipes and a Raz Baby Teether). The woman who sent them to me I have never met. In fact, I've had very little conversation with her at all. She is a member on a military support site I moderate and was looking for some help with ideas of things to get for a pregnant friend of hers. All I did was offer a few ideas, give my thoughts on a couple of her ideas and linked her my registry when she had asked if anyone could show her theirs. That was all I did. I did nothing spectacular, but as a thank you, she bought those items off my registry for me. I find that gesture to be so incredibly thoughtful and kind. She had no obligation to do that, but she did. I was almost taken back by it, only because it was just such a sweet thoughtful thing and she doesn't even know me! That is a genuinely thoughtful person. I just really felt the need to acknowledge this random act of kindness.

My registry is more of a shopping list for myself than anything. I've always made one so I can go and order things as I can afford them and it is convenient for my mom to go and order things from for her new grand baby. I'm not having a shower or anything so don't think of it as much more than that, just a convenient tool for me and my mom really!

I've had a few people who have done kind things like this for me over the past few years. When I was having my daughter a few friends I only know online, sent me things. Not to sound sappy, but little things like that always touch me because I'm reminded of how thoughtful some people can really be. I hope all of them know how much I have appreciated their kind gestures as well.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Breastfeeding Booby Trap That I Avoided

I know breastfeeding isn't for everyone, but I hope this will be helpful for someone dealing with what I have.

My daughter was born a pretty good size baby, weighing in at 8 lbs 2 ozs and she was around 19 1/4 inches long. I exclusively breastfed her just as I had planned too. By the time she was a couple of months old she was below the 10% in weight and they had me do weight checks. She ultimately dropped below the 3% but was still growing well. It was suggested that I should supplement with formula because maybe she wasn't getting enough or my milk wasn't good enough for her etc. I had been through a similar situation with my 4th son. I truly felt she was getting enough milk and that the milk my body was making for her was exactly what she needed nutritionally. Despite me increasing how much I nursed her she remained below the 3% in weight, she was however still growing well otherwise.

I am her mother, I am an experienced mother and at this point, I feel comfortable going with my intuition. I introduced solids between 7 and 8 months. She still nursed often and ate solids 2 - 3 times a day. She remained below the 3% for weight (they called it the 1%... whatever). She breastfed and had solids (refused cups, bottles or anything other than mommy) until almost 14 months old. At that time my milk supply was suffering because I am pregnant for our 6th. She finally took to a cup and has been drinking whole milk, a little bit of water and eating 3 meals a day. She's quite the eater, I must add!

At her 15 month appointment earlier this week, she weighed a whole whopping 18lbs and is still below the 3% despite the whole milk and large appetite. She's healthy, growing well and quite beautiful as well ;). So, my point in this is, I didn't let anyone let me doubt myself, doubt my experience or doubt my mothers intuition. I knew she was getting adequate nutrition from my breastmilk and did not supplement when it was suggested. She is just a small girl like I was. I am only 5ft tall and before having 5 children I was thin. This is just who she is!

I am very thankful the Nurse Practitioner our children see has confidence in me as a mother and did not give me a hard time at all when I did not supplement. We don't always see eye to eye, but overall I am very fond of her.

Suggesting that the mother must not be making enough milk, that their milk must not be adequate or that the baby is even allergic to the others milk (this is SO rare that it's ridiculous that it's suggested as often as it is.) are huge traps so many mothers, especially new mothers get caught in! The best thing you can do is arm yourself with information. Do your research, educate yourself and don't doubt your ability. There are truly woman who can't make enough milk, but this is rare and not NEARLY as common as woman are led to believe. The times that I felt my supply may have been lacking, More Milk Plus was something I felt really worked. Pumping, nursing more often, mothers milk tea, more milk plus... there are so many options to increase your supply! Just don't give up :)

I've said many times before, mothers intuition is amazing. I *knew* Cameron had food allergies despite drs. blowing that suggestion off for years. He was diagnosed with a ton of allergies when this Nurse Practitioner listened to me and sent him for tests, even though she didn't think that was the case either... but she listened to me! With Alex, I *knew* he had a growth issue when he went from being a large toddler to nearly falling off the charts. After 18 or so months of seeing an endo he was diagnosed with Pediatric Growth Hormone Deficiency and is now on HGH therapy. When you feel in your gut there is or isn't an issue, don't let drs. blow you off or scare you.