Memoirs Of A Modern Housewife

My life is nothing like the Bravo Housewives!

Archive for the category “breastfeeding problems”

Sleep Issues And An Overlooked Cause – Post-Operation Update


Today is day five for Beaner’s recovery from his surgery. It has been a long week as you can imagine and I thought I would show in picture how the day went.

The night before his surgery he couldn’t eat after 10pm and couldn’t nurse after 3am. If you have been following this story you know that he was still waking up several times a night to nurse. Not being able to nurse him meant a long night for all of us. Beaner woke up at 3:30am as usual and became a little hysterical because he was exhausted (like he usually is) and didn’t understand why I wouldn’t nurse him. Mr. Incredible very patiently packed him up and drove him around town for about 45 minutes. Driving a kid around to get them to sleep was a first for us. Although he did not cry during the drive (Mr. Incredible could hear him babbling and talking in the back) it did take that long for him to fall asleep. When they returned home he woke up as soon as he was placed in the bed. This cycle went on for hours. So Mr. Incredible stayed up with him allowing me to catch some sleep before the big day.

Blood-shot eyed and exhausted we made the hour-long trip (because of traffic) to the Children’s Hospital. Beaner was in good spirits in spite of the lack of sleep and was very calm during all the pre-op procedures.

Beaner and Papa (and Clifford) reading before the surgery

Beaner not sure

Beaner getting Prepped for surgery

The surgery center had everything covered as far as trying to make us feel less anxious. We had the opportunity to speak with everyone who would be involved in the surgery. They were all very patient as I continued to ask the same questions in different ways (just looking for consistency ; ). The surgery center and staff were incredibly kid-friendly. There was a lady who came and tried to show Eli what would happen to help him sleep and then let him play with a mask, etc. There was also a sweet volunteer who brings her dog in for the kids daily. The little details really made a difference in our experience.

Who is controlling this thing?

Beaner trying to make a break for it

Beaner and Maggie the dog

Facebook Post:

“Our sweet little boy is in surgery now, thank you all for your prayers. We’ve had quite a little journey to here and believe that God has been leading and guiding us throughout.”

We waited in the family room as we tried to distract ourselves with nervous jokes and people watching. The surgeon came out, told us everything went fine, except that Beaner had some bronchial and vocal chord spasms. He didn’t go into detail about the spasms and we were just happy it was over and couldn’t wait to see our boy. He was still resting and a nurse would come to take one of us to see him.

An hour went by and just as we both noticed how long it’d been a nurse came out. She acknowledged that it was taking a little while for him to wake up (it usually averages around 30 minutes), but not to worry because his vitals were fine and that he was resting peacefully.

Another half an hour went by (making it 1.5 hrs post surgery) and just when I was about to go and find out what was going on another nurse came out and asked for “Beaner’s mother”. Before he finished that short statement I was practically on his back trying to get to the recovery room.

In the recovery room Beaner was still sleeping with a nurse at his bed-side observing his vitals. He was propped up to help him with his breathing but was looking great. She said she was having the hardest time waking him up and was hoping I could help. I began to stroke and kiss his cheeks in a way that he knows. No budge. I scratched his head and called his name a few times, still no movement. The nurse suggested wiping him with a cool cloth and grabbed one as I continued my efforts.

As I wiped his face and called his name he began to squirm and as soon as he locked eyes with me he almost jumped up (he didn’t know he had monitors hooked up to him). She asked if I wanted to nurse him and I said yes and got comfortable. She brought him to me, still hooked up and he nursed like usual. I am not sure he was aware of what had taken place but I know he found great comfort in having me there when he woke up. That was one of the things I kept asking about. “Could I be there before he wakes up.” The answer was always no, in case they had a hard time pulling him out of the anesthesia or in our case, the spasms.

I totally see God’s hand in that situation. It was something that was really on my heart to do, to be there when he woke up. Even though it was against protocol, the situation allowed for me to be there. I’d requested the same thing with Poots over a month ago when she had her surgery and wasn’t able to do so. Having to comfort and reassure her after the surgery took hours. She was distraut and heartbroken and I didn’t think I could handle that again.

Facebook Post:

“Surgery went well, he had some unexpected reactions to the anethesia, but they got it under control. Doctors said he had unusually large adenoids like Maya. Ear tubes were inserted, and not a moment too soon because he was on his sixth ear infection in six months. Lip tie was clipped also (the least invasive of them all). Overall, he’s doing well and snuggling with mama and daddy.”

Post-Op, beaner snuggling with mama

Beaner and I spent the night at the hospital because he was so young they wanted to monitor him for 24 hours. We snuggled a lot. By the evening his pain was being controlled well and he even ate a soft meal. By morning I think we both were going stir-crazy and couldn’t wait to get home.

Facebook Post:

“<—this lady is excited about the new possibility of sleeping more than 3-4 hours a night…(it’s been like this for about 15 months) – the thought of it makes me a little giddy ; )”

The next few weeks will let us know if the surgery was beneficial. It is still hard to tell now because he is still in a bit of pain that is waking him up at night and he may be teething on top of that. I am glad to have gone on this journey, to listen to my instincts and trust God to guide us. Deciding to have surgery on your kids is never easy, you’re always questioning if it’s the right thing to do. I do believe now it was.

Has any of your children had to have any major surgeries? What helped you before, during and after?

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MOMH Update April 12-23, 2012


Seed, Time and Harvest

I have a desire to garden but I have been trying to deny the urge. I really enjoyed my square foot gardening a few years back, I called it “Garden Therapy”. It was a lot of work but I enjoyed the labor of getting on my knees, playing in the dirt, watering and even weeding. Every morning when the sun would rise I would jump out of bed (sometimes still in my pajamas) and look at what had grown. I was like a little kid checking on it every few hours. It helped me appreciate being outside no matter what the temperature or weather conditions were because I knew the sun, rain and even wind was purposeful.  Read more…

Sleep Issues And An Overlooked Cause – Post-Operation Update

Deciding to have surgery on your kids is never easy, you’re always questioning if it’s the right thing to do. Today is day five for Beaner’s recovery from his surgery. It has been a long week as you can imagine and I thought I would show in picture how the day went.

Read more…

(in)spired Review

I know from where I have come from. It is a place that is a thorn in my side keeping pride at bay. It is a past that is only seen on the likes of Lifetime Movie Network, a past that makes me cringe at the very thought of my children inquiring about, a past that can leave me awake at night, a past that threatens my future daily. But God…  Read more…

A Woman’s Design

If you are or have had a great experience with a local midwife (home and hospital), Chiropractors, Massage Therapists, Acupuncturists, Childbirth Educators, Lactation Specialists and other professionals that work directly with pregnant women, in the East-Central Metro area please send me a note at natalia@awomansdesign.com. Would love to connect with you (or them) in the next few weeks to have trusted resources for my clients.

MOMH Weekly Update February 26- March 3, 2012


I am trying something new. Instead of several different postings throughout the week I am going to (attempt) to create a weekly digest of posts. From there, readers will be able to select a topic that interests them specifically and skip over the rest. I will also start to include updates on A Woman’s Design as I am beginning to take on more clients and make plans for the future in regards to my business. With everything going on (you’ll see below), this is the most efficient (and probably consistent) way to blog for me right now. Let me know what you think. Blessings, NOH

(Update) Sleep Issues And An Overlooked Cause Part 3

The last time I posted about Beaner and his sleep issues we had an appointment scheduled to see a pediatric ENT. Since then we have had two consultations. The first guy’s bedside manner was awful and he just said, “Yes, he has a lip-tie and enlarged adenoids, not sure about the tongue-tie but I guess I can check for it while he is under.” Didn’t think twice about surgery for our one year old and also clearly did not respect the opinion of the lactation consultants and the pediatrician. We immediately knew that if we decided to have the surgery that he would not be anywhere near our baby. Read More…

Not One, But Two Kids Needing Surgery!!!

Can’t sleep…thinking about how blessed I am. Poots had to have her adenoids and tonsils removed. After we were consulting with different pediatricians and specialists for Beaner we started to realize that she had the same symptoms (minus the nursing issues). She would sleep 10 hours at night and wake up exhausted. She would be moody and irrational throughout the day. She has had bags under her eyes for years and has began snoring like a drunk person passed out on the floor. Over the years we’ve adjusted her diet in case it was a food allergies or ADD/ADHD causing her behavior issues but nothing work for long. When we had her seen by the ENT we were told that her adenoids were bigger than he expected, her left tonsil was also unusually large and her uvula was split like a pair of jeans. The uvula issue was the beginning of a cleft palate that never fully developed. He believed that this combination may be stopping her from getting quality sleep therefore the cause of some of her behavior issues. After discussing it with Mr. Incredible we thought it was the best thing to do and had her surgery scheduled within two weeks. Read more…

A Woman’s Design- Plans For The Future

I stepped away from actively taking on new doula clients during my pregnancy with Beaner and during the first year to allow my body to recover and adjust to all the changes that were taking place. Read more…

I Don’t “Love” Nursing, But I Do It Anyway.


Breastfeeding is a hot topic that is trending right now; Facebook is banning nursing pictures, there are nurse-ins at Target and brutal mommy wars on blogs and pages. How can something so natural cause such ignorant rants and raves, such intolerance?

Beaner is my third baby that I am breastfeeding and it hasn’t been going as well as the others. I have had fleeting moments of weaning during; the marathon nursing sessions in the beginning, being used as a pacifier, a teething ring, and having to eliminate some of my favorite foods (chocolate, dairy and eggs) or pay the price of a screaming, irritable little boy who ironically wants to be consoled by the very thing that caused his pain (the boob!).

This is all normal behavior in a nursing relationship so it’s really not a complaint just an acknowledgment. My biggest obstacle has been the tongue-tie that could make the toughest lady holler “uncle”.

Yet, I have vowed to stick with it as long as he and I both want to (and he isn’t stopping anytime soon). If it’s so hard this time around why do I stick with it?

There are many health benefits for baby which alone should be reason enough and to be quite honest they are the main reasons I am committed to breastfeeding.  I also have reasons that aren’t beneficial to just my baby.

 All rights reserved by @Doug88888There are many health benefits to moms who breastfeed, one being

  • Reduced risk of breast, ovarian, cervical, and endometrial cancers

My mother passed away a few years ago from an aggressive breast cancer.  I have been advised to have yearly mammograms since I was 30. I stay away from artificial hormones and have changed my diet and habits, and I check myself often.

Breastfeeding alone doesn’t exempt me from breast cancer in the future but using it doesn’t hurt (in my case is does hurt but hopefully that will be resolved soon ; )

Some may think that it’s selfish to have that be a motivating factor but in reality I would like to live as long as God sees possible and if nursing my baby can help me then I see it as a win-win choice.

Is there something you are determined to stick with even though it is hard?

Sleep Issues And An Overlooked Cause


Breastfeeding Callus

Image by diathesis via Flickr

I have a hunch as to what may be going on with Eli a.k.a Beaner. He has never been a “good sleeper”, and for the last few months he has been waking up every hour on the hour, screaming and only wanting to come to mama.  It may be something we should have pursued months ago and for that I am frustrated at myself for not advocating for him harder.

I am convinced he has a mild posterior tongue tie. In hindsight; in spite of several visits with a lactation consultant, a few pediatricians, checking with my peers, referring to the online community and many books, I was told that my breastfeeding “technique” (as far as how he was being held and his latch) was fine. However, in the beginning the pain from nursing was worse than my c-section recovery and eventually I was taking pain relief for my sore nipples not my abdominal pain.

His painful latch caused trauma to my nipples (and emotions as I dreaded when he cried to nurse) and led my ob to believe that I had thrust. In spite of no physical signs on Eli or myself we still treated me with a very strong dose of antibiotics. It did not help the pain even after being on it (and a doctor prescribed pain relief regime) for two weeks. I tried alternative methods, creams etc. and eventually just got used to the pain.

The problem with getting used to “pain” while breastfeeding is that pain inhibits the release of the oxytocin hormone which is mother nature’s gift to a nursing mom (sleep and relaxation inducing). So I was nursing a baby through pain, without rest and totally tense and trying not to be resentful.

The long extended and painful nursing sessions were a first for me as I did not experience them with my other two babies. I was use to feeding my babies and watching them peacefully drift off into a deep sleep, “milk-drunk” we called it.

Eli never peacefully drifted off as I had and still have to pry him off of the breast. If he doses off during nursing it is short-lived, fifteen-twenty minutes tops. He still does not sleep longer than that during the day and at night (since he has been on solids) he will sleep for an hour and wake to nurse…every..hour…until…morning.

On a good night he may sleep for 3-4 hours but after that he is attached until morning to make up for sleeping so “long”. Normally having a nursing baby attached while I slept wasn’t an issue. I did it for my other babies and I often would sleep right through their feedings with the only signs that they nursed being a lack of engorgement and a happy baby in the morning.

With Eli, I always know when he is nursing and I have never been able to sleep through it. My toes are curled up, body is tense and I can’t wait to unlatch him, add the fact that I haven’t benefited from the beloved sleep inducing oxytocin and you have a very exhausted, zombie like mother. For the most part he does not wake up a happy baby, he is always instantly upset the second he wakes and only nursing calms him down.

As far as his weight gain it was always on the bottom percentile suggesting that the nursing possibly wasn’t sufficient for this little guy in spite of the every hour on the hour, 30-45 minute nursing sessions (this seriously lasted to about 7 months with the length, shortening to about 15 minutes and stretching to 2 hours in between, sometimes).

So I began eating different foods, taking herbs and supplements, and drinking different teas to try to increase my milk production (which I never had a problem with before).  By the way, do you know what is the best way to increase supply? Sleep….sleep helps increase milk supply, which I have not been getting a lot of.

Obviously my efforts did work as he began plumping up and rose from the 10% to 95%. This was before solids were introduced. My pediatrician was so surprised that she asked me what I was doing differently for him to be growing so fast.

I’d brought him in and called our clinic’s nurse-line on several occasions only to be told that “he must be hungry” or “sounds like a bad habit, you need to sleep train”.

Breastfed babies tend to wake up a few times a night but his unusual sleeping behavior has been going on for months and mama is getting burned out. I don’t expect him to sleep 10 hours, or even 8 hours (although it’d be nice).  I am not a CIO fan and wouldn’t be comfortable doing that with my kids. We do have him on a bedtime ritual that gets thrown off by teething, a cold or a long day.

When he was an infant I asked about the possibility of a tongue tie and his doctor did a finger swipe and said she didn’t think so. Hmm. That’s funny because I thought that may explain a lot and could give us some answers. I didn’t push the issue and tried other suggestions. After doing some research on the issue I’ve learned that there is more than one tongue tie and that mild ones are often overlooked.

My mother’s instinct tells me that; he has a mild posterior tongue tie and a lip tie that did not get diagnosed and treated. Because of that he has never been able to fully “drain” or get a full meal out of my breast. Because he had to work so hard to nurse he would go to sleep from the efforts. He will then wake up after a very short nap only to resume his nursing session…because he never got full. In hind-sight, I don’t believe it was a supply issue, although I was happy to do whatever to help him. I believe the nursing tea helped because it caused me to become fuller and he didn’t have to try so hard to get milk, it just flowed out.

I also believe (in spite of the tongue and lip tie) that the only reason he is thriving (from nursing), the reason we are still nursing this far and why I didn’t have to supplement with formula is because I am home with him full-time and was able to dedicate the time and effort, e.g letting him nurse every hour during the day and all night long. It still didn’t make the situation easy, but I didn’t feel the pressure from my husband or the demand of an outside job to end the nursing relationship abruptly. I know that in our culture this is rare and not always an option for every mom, so I do count my blessings.

Could the night behavior be a habit now and not a necessity? Maybe, maybe not. I tell you this, I recently cut back on the nursing tea because I needed a break and he has increased his nursing and the waking up at night.

Could this be the reason why he won’t let my husband comfort him only at night (he doesn’t have the food)? Could be the reason why he couldn’t hold on to a pacifier as they always fell out (we tried 5 different brands and textures).

We are headed out to an appointment with his pediatrician and this time everything needs to be carefully considered. If we rule out any other physical causes for the night wakings and screaming I really think this is it

What do you think? Have you experienced tongue tie with your child and how did it affect your nursing? Also, did you decide to have it clipped? Did that help?

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