Friday, March 21, 2008

Toot!! Toot!! Baby Come Blow Your Horn

All ashore what's goin' ashore! Here's Lily blowing the milk horn. Actually it's the cone from my pump. I had to stop in the middle of this pumping because she didn't want to be in the bouncy chair anymore, hence the minscule amt. of milk in the bottle on my desk. This is such a great picture of the carnage, I mean the dignity, of pumping. You can also see my fembot bra hanging over the pump in the background. Oh, and I'm wearing a neck brace for my physical therapy. Which has nothing to do with pumping, just with the pretzeled state of my body that causes migraines. I have a weak neck, evidently. So I gotta wear this brace to give me neck a rest sometimes. Lily likes to scratch it. If we had a cat I bet the cat would want to scratch it, too. Why does it sometimes seem like the baby is a cat? She sharpens her claws scratching them on different furniture, just like a cat.

That's IT!

That's all, I'm done making milk. Actually, I'm not, I still have to pump twice a day right now, but with the bad headaches I had this week, I decided it was time to hang it up and start taking the migraine preventive and just pump and dump, as much as that waste pains me. Speaking of pain, my breasts hurt. Still. I thought they would stop that by now. Not yet.

So at this moment, I'm doing my last productive pumping, that is, the last milk I'll save. We've been using some formula all along, and have been changing the proportion of breast milk to formula this last month, so Lily is fine with it. And we even still have some milk in the freezer.

And of course, the Topomax will have to build up in my system for several weeks (it's one of those you ramp up on dose gradually) before I know if it's going to do any good, so my daily headaches won't magically go away tomorrow. But at least I'll know I'm doing something to get to that goal. I just couldn't stand it anymore. And I did do 9+ months of breast milk, which I think is damn commendable, especially with all my challenges. So long, milk.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Travelocity BITES: Not Baby-Friendly

I was booking a flight last night and thought I could do it through Travelocity, which I usually use for travel plans, yet through the whole process I could not find where to put in a reservation for Lily to be sitting on my lap. Finally, before purchasing the ticket, I called their customer service. After listening to a bunch of recorded crap I just pressed zero and the recorded voice said, "All right, before I transfer you, let me ask you a couple more questions." No!!! When I finally got to talk to a person, who was obviously not in this country, she had to explain to me that it was not possible to make a reservation online for a baby traveling on your lap. You had to do it over the phone. Oh, and if you choose to make your reservation over the phone, they charge you an extra $25. But then, I didn't have a choice. I pointed this out to her and she just confirmed that it was true, I had to do it that way. So I said ba-bye.

I made my reservations directly through the airline instead, which was another fiasco, but I'm too crabby to talk about that right now. At least I have a ticket, finally. I have to go nap by my adorable baby now so I can be less crabby. That's baby magic.

Ha ha ha!!

She loves to laugh. She's such a happy fun fun baby.


Hey, Vinnie, c'mere, I wanna talk to you about da bizness.

Cute new clothes!

Aw, look at the widdle pumpkin! In her turtleneck, lacy jeans, and little blue shoes! She is very fun to dress, I have to admit. Everything looks good on her. Last night we were in SuperTarget shopping, and this woman in line ahead of us turned around and said "That is the cutest baby I have ever seen!" That was nice. But I mean, duh. Just kidding.

Look! A Distraction!

So I wore the cabbage leaves for one weird day. I did have some plugged ducts and they dissolved, but I don't know if it was because of the cabbage. I just felt too icky and stinky to wear them again the next day, or even that night. Who wants to sleep wrapped in cabbage? And John thought it was just a distractive measure, so you wouldn't think so much about how long it was taking for the milk to stop.

And really, the milk is almost stopped now. I'm pumping about once every twelve hours, and I'm not getting any more pluggages like I was at first, which was very painful. And I don't feel like I'm going to explode. I just want to kill people. I am the most irritable woman on the planet right now and I know it and there's not a damn thing I can do about it. I know it's the hormones going all wonky with the change in milk production, but so? I can't turn it off, I'm just so goddammn crabby. Everything gets on my last nerve, like I'm just one big nerve. It's real pleasant to be around me. Ask John.

It snowed again last night, just to stick it to us Minnesotans that we aren't out of winter yet. And it's very wet and now it's above freezing, so there are great big glops of snow plopping all over the roof right now, like big poops being thrown at the house. It makes me crabby. But hey, what doesn't right now?

Lily is taking a nap right now, which doesn't make me crabby, it does make me happy. And Cocoa is in daycare, so she won't be pestering me and waking up the baby by hopping up and down on the bed trying to get my attention like I'm just a big dumb human who doesn't get it that I should be letting the dog outside every 3 minutes to check for squirrels. Bah!

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Wearing of the Green

Cabbage, that is. I've got in on. In. In my bra. Ew, it just feels so WEIRD. I felt like some kind of food perv putting cabbage leaves on my breasts. Jeeeeeeez. I mean, it's not so much an indignity, and I've experienced many indignities since this Mommy journey began. It's just so bizarre. But if it works, hey. I'll be a cabbage evangelist.

I've having a weird day. I got up late this morning cuz baby let me sleep in (yeah, that was after husband fed baby at 6am, so he gets gold stars, too), and when I got up and took her downstairs and put her on her playmat and turned on the little musical dog, he started playing different music! My first thought was, I'm not really awake yet, this is a dream. Actually my first thought was that I wasn't hearing it right. So I turned it up louder. Different music. Not drastically different, like it didn't start playing Stairway to Heaven, just subtly different. Which was actually creepier than if it had been Stairway to Heaven. Because then I would have known it was some kind of joke. So I let it play though a couple cycles and it was still different!! So when I get a minute I call John and ask him about it, and I turn it on in the background goes back to the way it was!!! I'm in the Twilight Zone, it's confirmed. But I swear it was different. I was in Band, people, I know what I'm talking about. It was the same tunes, just slightly different phrasing and instrumentation. Really. I'm not crazy.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

We Iz Havin' Fun!

This is a really good picture of my teeth. But seriously, I love playing with Lily. It took me a while to get used to it, how to play with a baby. I felt like I needed the list of instructions, like she was a board game. Then we just started noodling around and it got easier. Now I let her sort of lead me in what she wants to do. Sometimes she wants to just lie on the mat and ponder one of her toys, and sometimes she wants me to pull her up and stand, and sometimes she wants me lie down next to her so she can grab my nose. And I'll do anything for a giggle.

This morning before John left for work and I was still in bed, I could hear her being very fussy while he was trying to get ready (it's hard to be ready when you have baby barf on your trousers) and when he handed her over, he put her in the bed next to me. At first I just played with her hands and expected I'd have to get up in a couple minutes, then she pulled one of her socks off and I was so engrossed in massaging her little toes that I didn't notice at first how quiet she'd gotten. Then I realized she'd fallen asleep. Hooray! Today was also Cocoa's day for doggie day care, so we didn't have her pestering us to go out, or pacing in and out of the room. So we slept for about 2 hours. It was a wonderful nap. She had one sock off and one sock on. Sometimes she'd wake up a little bit and look at me, and I'd smile and put my hand around her cheek, and this would calm her back to sleep. Wow. How wonderful.

Carrots is my Favewit!

Eaten with gusto.

Get Me Off The Milk Train

Holy lattes, Batman, who knew it would be so hard to get information on how to STOP lactating?! I looked in What To Expect in the First Year, which had nothing. Let me qualify that, it had nothing about mommy, just about baby. How to wean baby. But how to stop the milk? That just magically happens, I guess, because the author totally skipped that step. Thanks. Bitch. I hate those books anyway.

Then I looked in The Nursing Mother's Companion, which one of the lactation Nazis--I mean nurses--gave me. Good Lord, I'm glad I haven't been reading this book. First of all, the info on weaning is in the toddler section. As in, I live in a hippie commune and am going to nurse until my child enters elementary school. That was the first red flag. Then there's this bit of encouragement, and I quote:
All mothers have mixed feelings about nursing at times. Keep in mind that weaning will not help your child sleep through the night, improve your relationship with your partner, make you less tired or less bored, or make the baby less dependent on you.

Um, can you say intimidation? Where did the author get this inspired bit of twaddle? Oh. My. God. If ever I was going to burn a book, I think this might be the one.

Did I mention that I'm crabby? That's one of the symptoms you get when you are trying to stop lactating. I'm not kidding. So I researched on the internet and found some useful information, but it wasn't easy to find. What's up with that? So basically what you do is what I thought: pump less often. And pump less milk. As in, don't pump until you're empty, because that stimulates more milk production. But there's this delicate balance. If you don't pump enough, you get engorged (such a nice word) and your breasts feel like you've been hit by a truck, and you can get plugged ducts and even mastitis. Super. But if you pump too much, you aren't making any progress toward stopping the milk production. You have to basically fool your body into stopping. This seems very strange to me, just on an evolutionary level. Why haven't our bodies adapted to stop the milk easier? I mean sure, maybe in cavewoman days, I would have needed to breastfeed my cave-baby for years and years and so my body wouldn't naturally want to stop. But hello? No more cavepeople? For like, a long time now.

Other little nuggets of advice I found:
  • Don't bind your breasts to stop milk production, this can cause plugged ducts and mastitis. Holy cow! Like I would ever do that! Jesus, it's called torture, people.
  • Use cabbage leaves, as in, put them in your bra during the day. They help draw out moisture and dry you up. And underneath you look like Venus sprouting from the sea. Or something arty like that. But cabbage? How freaky is that? But I have heard it works, from a mom who had plugged ducts. I also hear you'll never eat cabbage again. Like I'm eating it a lot now? Will it ruin cole slaw, too?
  • Do overarm exercises, which will help reabsorb the milk from your breasts back into the rest of your body. So I'll just have milk floating around? Weird.
  • Take 2000 mg of B6 for five days. That's like 10 million percent of the RDA. Sounds kinda dangerous, think I'll skip that one.
  • Drink Sage Tea. Hmm, maybe I'll try that. It probably tastes like crap.
  • Wear a supportive bra. That's easy enough. But the idea is just kind of funny to me, that if you're not holding your breasts in place, if they're all dangly and loose and running to and fro, they'll fill up with milk easier. So I have to box them, restrict their movements, to stop the milk.
  • Don't restrict your fluid intake. Well, that's good, because it's hard enough for me to get a glass of water as it is. I don't like matchy-matchy boring sets of glasses (or any dishware, really), so I have all these interesting glasses with colorful images (like Camp Snoopy or Walt Disney World) on them, and Lily is now grabbing for them when I try to get a drink.

It should take 2-3 weeks, but of course everyone is different. I could deal with a couple more weeks of this. But after that, if it's not stopping, I don't know what the hell I'll do. I've heard about these pills you can take to stop milk production, that are also used to treat Parkinson's, but there's a lot of conflicting information out there about them, including that they have bad side effects. But one woman said her doctor gave them to her but was very stingy about it, didn't want all these mothers running to him for these pills just because they didn't want to breastfeed. Like that's his call? Oy. I don't really want any more pills, I'm taking enough pills. But we'll see. I guess I have to go buy some cabbage now. Pray for me.