Memoirs Of A Modern Housewife

My life is nothing like the Bravo Housewives!

Archive for the tag “nursing”

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?

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?

The Importance of Support and Breastfeeding


***This is an article I wrote for my doula website a few months before my little guy was born. I just reread it as I was going through some archives and thought it would be helpful here. It certainly reminded me as to why I am still nursing.****

Taking a snooze after nursing

Taking a snooze after nursing

 

The other night I lay awake thinking about this little one that will be arriving in the next few months and doing so caused my to do list to continue to grow. I’m thinking about the birth, my birth team, vaccinations, breastfeeding, among other concerns and plans that expectant moms often think about.

One thing actually brought a wave of comfort and peace that helped lull me back to sleep. I was reflecting on when my now three-year was six-months old. Earlier I had taken her to her six month check up and was giving my husband the report that evening over dinner. “Petite little thing, not uncommon for breastfed babies, thriving, overall a  healthy happy baby”. As this little one sat on my lap my husband’s face changed to one of adoration and pure sweetness as if he’d gotten a beautiful revelation.

He looked at me and said, “That’s amazing. You’ve kept her alive just with breastfeeding her. I can see how much of a sacrifice it is for you but you do it without complaining and our baby is healthy and thriving because you were determined to do it.” He went on to remind me of the trials in the beginning, but how I had become a pro and baby and I became a team.

At that time I don’t think I really grasped what he was doing or what he said really meant to me. I went on to breastfeed until she was a little over two years old and in hindsight having a supportive spouse made all of the difference.

As I sit and think about what my life will be like the next few months or years (depending on how long new baby nurses), instead of thinking about what I will be missing out on; freedom of spontaneity, clothing choices, convenience and other things I can’t think of now, but will while I’m nursing, I will instead think about how short of a time it really is, the gift I am giving this little one and those kind words of encouragement my husband gave to me.

Do you have anyone who is encouraging your decision to breastfeed? Feeling supported is one major component of successful breastfeeding and how you will feel about the experience.

Seek out other moms who have had good experiences. If they can do it (minus the percentage who physically cannot breastfeed) so can you. It helps to observe and be able to ask questions.

Have an open communication with your spouse or partner about why it’s important to you and baby and how they can help. A lot of times they want to help but are unsure of how to.

There are also local La Leche League International groups that are available by phone and also meet on a weekly or monthly basis. I found this connection to be invaluable especially when I would hit a breastfeeding obstacle.

Most hospitals have on staff lactation consultants and specialists. It is important to meet with one who is actively involved with continuing education and who is not so easily ready to give up on you.

I would like to note that if you have decided not to breastfeed or are/were unable to for what ever reason that this article is not meant to be condemning but supportive to those who have chosen to do so. Truth be told, breastfeeding is one of the most beautiful, natural things in the world but it can also be one of the most challenging situations a woman may encounter. For some women knowing that they are not alone and have support is enough to help them go a few more weeks, months or year if she and baby decides.

Books to consider:

The Breastfeeding Book: Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Your Child from Birth Through Weaning by Martha Sears and William Sears

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (La Leche League International Book) by Diane Wiessinger

The Nursing Mother’s Companion: Revised Edition by Kathleen Huggins

How We Decided to Co-Sleep (Yup, We’re One Of Those)


Shhh.

Image by Kelly Sue via Flickr

My husband and I were expecting our first child together and the decision as to where the baby would sleep was a short discussion. We lived in a two bedroom town-home. Our (my) oldest was eight at the time and we thought it wouldn’t be fair (or practical) to have her share a room with a baby. So naturally her nursery was set up in our large master bedroom.

Poots was our colicky, high needs baby from the start. Our routine was for me to nurse her lying down (I was exhausted and needed the rest, plus it really is the best nursing position EVER!!) and Hubs would place her in the crib. She would stay there for a while (long enough to watch an episode or two of Law and Order) and every few hours until morning I would nurse her to sleep and he would place her back in the crib every time.

Around two months we were completely exhausted with this routine. With bags under our eyes, one of us (I don’t remember who) wondered if she was ready to put herself back to sleep. We discussed it in-depth after reading some books and decided to give it a try. That night I nursed her to sleep like usual but when she woke the first time Hubs rocked her back to sleep. She immediately woke up and we hid in the room while she cried. Why didn’t we leave the room while attempting this? Well, it was a large room and we were apprehensive about letting her cry herself to sleep so we wanted to stay and be able to jump in if she really needed help. I wish we would have paid more attention to that apprehension.

Fifteen minutes later of trying to follow a method we’d read, we were both feeling like the worst parents ever. My husband looked at me and said, “I can’t do this to her anymore. I’m going to go get her.” With tears in my eyes I nodded yes. He grabbed our baby girl and held her so tight, kissed and rocked her until she calmed down, which took a while. She looked like she had been abandoned which felt like a knife to our hearts. Afterwards , I had jumped in the bed to nurse her and we all snuggled until we slept peacefully throughout the night. The next day we took every precaution to make sure we were co-sleeping safely; Arms Reach Co-Sleeper and when she outgrew the co-sleeper she moved into the bed with us). She stayed there with us until she was about one years old.

How did we transition her into her bed with out the tears?

She’d become a very wild sleeper (still is) and no one was starting to get rest, including Poots. We made sure she was ready; not sick or going through any milestones, etc. as we gradually transitioned her into her own bed.

I would put her down for naps during the day in her crib starting at about six months (before she was crawling around she napped in our bed with me close by). She wasn’t interested in sleeping in the crib so I would put her in there to play during the day so that she could see that it wasn’t a bad place to be.

Once she was consistently taking naps in her crib (around one) I would nurse her (yes I was still nursing a one year old baby) and Hubs would rock her and play a lullaby cd. She began to associate night-time with a sweet, peaceful time with her daddy and she began to look forward to it. At night she would sleep in her crib for a few hours and would wake up to nurse once or twice. I would bring her into the bed with us and we would co-sleep the rest of the night.

Eventually she outgrew the night feedings and stopped waking at night. Although she started waking up earlier to start the day, which was a fair trade for a solid nights sleep. I remember when we slept through the night the first time. It was weird because my body was so used to getting up that I kept running in to check on her. Hubs did too.

Every once in a while with a milestone, illness or teething we would have some night waking, which is normal. She would start waking up again but they were short-lived and she always resumed her routine.

Poots is almost five now and contrary to what some people think, kids will not stay in your bed forever if you decide or are considering co-sleeping. I know this doesn’t work for every family but it was the best scenario for our family. We all got the best rest this way, especially me who was dealing with postpartum depression (studies show that mothers who nurse and co-sleep actually end up getting better rest because they do not have to fully wake to feed the baby). There are other benefits to co-sleeping as well.

Now we have a seven month old and we avoided that rough night like we had with Poots and he has been with us since day one. His needs are different as well as his sleeping patterns. We know that this season is short and we enjoy waking up with our little guy grinning at us. Every once in a while we may awake to Poots at the foot of our bed. It’s not often, but it’s pretty sweet to know that if she wakes and is feeling lonely or scared that mom and dad’s room is a safe place to come to.

What about you and your family? Do you or have you co-slept or have a family bed? Why or why not?

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