Monday, November 09, 2009

Monday Morning Haze or Works for Me not just Wednesday but Every Day

I haven't completely fallen off the internet earth. I've actually been reading and reading politics online for a week and a half in morbid fascination. But I haven't had anything particular to say due to feeling basically very under the weather (me and Gladys, so far everyone else seems robustly healthy).

Also, the baby is eating A Lot. She gained 1/2 a pound in the first nine days which may not seem like much to any of you, but has never happened to any of my babies in all my recollection. In fact, since the moment of starting to write this post, I have had to stop three times to feed her.

But I thought, in view of keeping track for my own self of how the time is passing, to make a short list of things that are working right now, in a household of 5 children.

What's Working
1. Having Nonni (that's my mom) here through Thanksgiving is SO WONDERFUL. Not only has she kept the ball rolling on school while I've had this baby, she's teaching the two oldest to play the piano, keeping the laundry going in order, beauty and peace, and been playing the organ at church. If she weren't here, we would have devolved into chaos and hysteria. (The above list was in no way exhaustive.)
2. Clinging desperately to the CC Memory Work for school and letting all the extras fall by the wayside. In so doing we have kept up with At Least One Thing that becomes impossible to recover if you fall behind, and has provided some structure and normalcy. We are basically back on track already with a school routine and adding everything else back in.
3. Potty Training Romulus. He's FINALLY getting it. In my own mind I thought it would be so much less complicated to do this Before the baby was born, but it didn't happen. And now, frankly, we're all more relaxed and tired and its happening more easily.
4. Nursing is working, basically. I say this, as always, with pained reservations. I've read every possible website about pain in nursing being a sign that you're doing it wrong. In other words, if you're doing it right, it won't hurt. The only thing that comes to my mind when I read this is profanity so I won't even go there. Nursing this baby (and all my other babies) hurts, very very very much, AND I do have a correct latch. I have worked on it diligently and unrelentingly and I know I'm doing it right. Actually, two weeks in, its starting to be bearable. But you cannot convince me that nursing a baby is in any way 'natural' except in the way that a sin nature is 'natural'. That I would, by the exercising of my will over my body, repeatedly (as in many many times a day and all through the night) put what amounts to a steel trap onto a very vulnerable part of my body is not 'natural' its miraculous. However, from Marigold's perspective, it is working very well. She is the first baby to latch on and eat everything in sight without unlatching repeatedly and gasping in large amounts of air. And because she's so good at it, she barely cries, sleeps well and is gaining lots of weight. For that I am very grateful.
5. The house is functioning very well. Matt, in the days before the baby was born, cleaned the entire garage out and parked the cars IN IT (A Huge Job) and unpacked so much of the basement that the children are able to play down there as loudly and as volitally as they like. To have this done before the first frost is amazing and I didn't think it would be possible. So, less than one year in to living in this house, with a new baby in hand and a seemingly endless number of funerals and weddings, we are moved in, for real.
6. Our routine seems to be working pretty well. See above to the presence of my mother as the reason for this. I've been able to concentrate on nursing and school and take it slow like a sloth. A baby at 33 is SO different from a baby at 25. I'm so grateful to have the time to recover.
7. The amazing and lovely Nursing Apron from Matt's mom and sister. I wish I had this 4 babies ago. If you are looking for something nice for someone nursing, This is the thing.

That's the short list. I am inspired, due to a lovely commenter, to post something soon about what we've been eating. I've been eating everything in sight trying to keep up with this baby. In the meantime, Thank You for all the comments and well wishes and prayers.


Teacher Mommy said...

I agree unreservedly about the bunk regarding nursing "properly" not hurting. I may not have been able to nurse my boys as long as I had hoped, but they both nursed well from the get-go, with a very short learning curve involved on either side.

I, as usual, stand in awe that you are able to do what you do, Nonny or no. Best of all possible wishes for such a reality to continue in the face of the inevitable exhaustion.

Anonymous said...

Nursing apron?

Portia's Mom said...

Great to hear from you again. Get plenty of rest! Although, I don't see how that is really possible

Anonymous said...

Ouch I remember the pain like it was yesterday. I'd watch the clock because I knew it would only last one excruciating long minute. Then when baby #2 got a bit older he'd fall asleep on the boob and bite me as he dozed off--usually in a public place where I would screech out in pain and startle everyone within earshot!

Marie said...

I always loved that nice contradiction -- it's so natural any animal can do it / if you don't do it JUUUUUUST RIIIIIGHT it will hurt.

I'm sure you've been there and done that, but I had the same deal and was given hours of instruction by people who knew less than I did about it but got paid to "help" -- finally figured it was thrush. It doesn't show, but it sure hurt. I found it hurt a lot less if I cut out all white flour and refined sugars and corn syrup, and I'm afraid I used rubbing raw garlic on the, ahem, parts that wind up hurting. Of course, you have to time this well (before a thorough shower) because babies don't care much for garlic. . . .
Two cents, isn't that irritating, I mean helpful?
Hope you get numb, at least, soon. . . .

Lauren said...

I can sympathise with that toe-curling pain from first latch-on. And you're probably getting after-birth pains too.

Lots to look forward to! Thanks for that, Anne!

And hang in there -- it's just a phase... ha ha ha ha ha.

Anonymous said...

they now have a WONDERFUL cream/lotion on the market...lanolin (not sure if that is spelled right...if didn't find it until my 4th, but it was a God-send for the last 2 babies! It is a falacy that BF doesn't hurt...I am not sure the actual childbirth hurt a whole lot worse! See if you can find the will be anywhere they sell BF items, like nursing pads and milk storage bags and such.
Many blessings, and welcome to this wonderful club (5 kids club (o: )
Laura from FL

Jen said...

I too have nursed and/or been pregnant for the last 50 months. Plus, I'd probably have one or two more "go's" at it if I hadn't had my fourth child at 41.

Even after many babies(I'm a nurse practitioner, too) a great resource for troubleshooting breastfeeding is Gail/Karen Pryor's "Nursing your Baby". It's practical, not like the dingbat offerings that speak of breastfeeding as if it's some sort of metaphysical experience. It IS wonderful, but sometimes it is not a natural act.

No matter how many babies or how good the latch, everyone is in a position to get sore nipples. They're probably "death" for you right now, Anne, because your new baby is such a champion eater. They will "toughen up" in time. This may be preaching to the choir but, as someone else wrote, lanolin on the nipples helps a lot of women; if you're as "granola" as me, you can also express a little milk and rub it into the nipple tissue with your fingertips. THAT helps A LOT, and then the baby is not sucking on lanolin. Also, begin nursing on the less sore breast first, if there is one, until it either gets better or they even out. If the baby is a champion, you probably will not have to worry about milk production in either breast. Those were things that helped me. If there's anything else I could do for you, send a note to

God bless,

Jen, clergy spouse
Flower Mound, TX