Friday, November 28, 2008

Eli - four months

Wow, what a month. It hasn't been easy. Actually, it was very stressful - I spent a lot of time in prayer, too much time very worried. In the end, I learned a lot.

I learned that just because you try really hard doesn't mean you'll succeed. I learned that no matter how strongly you believe in something that there are still times you need to compromise. I learned that things are not always all or nothing. I learned how strong I can be and what it means to put my child ahead of myself. I learned just how much fun a baby boy can be.

Eli got through the whole mess much better than I did. He never stopped grinning and giggling. In fact, he learned to belly laugh. He also grew. A lot. As of this morning he is 12lbs 6 oz - more than 3 lbs in one month! His growth has slowed a bit, which is good, it seems he's just about caught up to where he should be and we have the all clear from my doctor and don't need to go back until his 6 month check.

Eli is doing great. He's almost sitting. He's also reaching for things and gets such a proud look when he grabs on to something. He still loves to nurse to sleep, and has cut back to only one feeding a night. He's friendly, content, and loves to laugh. I'm so relieved, so glad he's gaining and that all is well. I can't wait to watch him over Christmas and see what this next month brings.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

THe good Life

Insert big sigh of relief here.

Hana has been going to bed much easier the last few days. We wrap her and she's out in a few minutes. Much better than the two hours of alternating screaming and being awake. Part of the problem was our expectations - getting her to sleep 7-7 just wasn't reasonable, especially if she was napping through the day. So we pushed bedtime back by an hour and a half and things are much smoother. She was going to sleep at that time anyway, so really the only difference is in how frustrated we get before hand.

Eli is growing so much now! He's like a different baby all of a sudden. I'm so so thankful that he's healthy.

So right now it's a little after 10 pm, both kids are asleep and I'm sitting on the couch spending time with my husband, watching him play a game. We're both relaxed, the house is reasonably clean, life is good.

After all the stress of the last couple of months this feels so good. I can think again. I can learn, I can interact.

I can also get so much more done! It's almost Christmas! hrm...maybe I'll get the decorations out....

Monday, November 17, 2008


- Last Monday Eli weighed 9lbs 4 oz, today he weighed 11 lbs 10 oz. He's still under percentiles from where he was a birth (above 50th then, just below 25th now) but is doing much better. He has rolls now and a weeka go I could see his ribs. Praise God he's gaining and the issues we had didn't affect his development.

- Hana is going through a developmental spurt. She's talking in full sentences, beginning to tell stories and has learned to open doors and jump. As always these are exciting times, but they also cause an interruption in sleep for everyone.

- Ben's meds have made a huge difference. I have my husband back. We're able to relax together, to talk, to function as a family. There is much less stress in our lives right now. It's so good.

- I can't believe it's just over a month until Christmas and I haven't started playing Christmas music yet. Let's not even talk about Christmas shopping.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Drop Out

Once again I am a NaNoWriMo drop out. With Eli being so underweight until recently my time has not been my own - pumping, feeding, weight checks, prayer, worry, time with Hana, supplimenting, washing. It's been a struggle, but we're good now. I'll do an update after our appointment tomorrow, once I'm sure we're in the clear.

I've mentioned before how I'm an idealist. I see the world the way I think it should be. I've often joked with people that if everyone would just do things the way I think they should do things, the world would be a better place. Needless to say, I've gotten used to disappointment, and I know the world just won't work like that.

It's harder, however, when my own life doesn't live up to the ideals I've set. I want to be the parent whose child never throws a tantrum, is never left to cry alone. Who breastfeeds until the child is ready to stop. Who is always there to nurture, teach, gently discipline. I want to be the friend who is considerate, available, open. I want a clean house, a satisfied husband, a vibrant spiritual life.

My life lately has involved a two year old who hasn't gotten enough of my undivided attention, a 3 month old who had only gained a pound since birth because my breastmilk isn't enough to sustain him, let alone make him thrive. A husband who gladly works hard to provide for his family and then comes home to help out with the kids because I'm stressed out. I've pulled away from friends because I'm not comfortable with letting them see me failing - leftover insecurity that I just can't seem to get rid of. My spiritual life is no where near what I would like it to be, but has been exactly what I've needed to sustain me. In short, I'm not measuring up.

So I've had to let go of some things. And really I'm ok with that. I own my decisions, and I realize what I want is not always possible and sometimes isn't the right choice for my family. But it's still hard - hard to set aside the ideal, hard to admit to others that I'm not doing what I thought I'd do, that what is important to me just can't happen. I guess I'm more concerned about appearing a failure or a hypocrite than I am with living my life the way it needs to be lived. I'm ok with not being perfect, but it's still hard when the rest of the world finds out.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lessons Learned

I've learned that just because you try really hard does not mean you'll succeed. I've also learned that sometimes succeeding isn't the most important thing.

Eli is now being fed formula. My poor son has only gained an ounce (30 grams) in the last month - and he had been underweight at that time too. We thought it was different things, we tried different things, but what it comes down to is he needs to eat. A combination of weak suck, low supply, and inadequate glandular tissue makes nursing exclusivly unrealistic for us. Even with meds, pumping every two hours, feeding every two hours and using a supplimental system we were unable to get enough into him.

It's hard, and heartbreaking, but not nearly as much as it was with Hana. I had much better support this time around. I had two wonderful LCs that I saw two or more times a week. I had family and friends I could talk to. And as much as I want to nurse him, it's more important that he grows and is healthy.

Eli weighs (as of yesterday) 9lbs 4oz. He's 3.5 months old. He's malnourished, and that has it's own concerns, tho we're pretty confident it hasn't (and won't) had an effect on his development. When the problem was discovered a month ago his small weight was an issue, but not a real problem. After trying everything we can and still not getting it up, it is a concern. I will be taking him for another weight check on Friday to make sure he is gaining and that there isn't a problem with his digestion or his ability to gain weight.

I"m still pumping 4 times a day and nursing for comfort (after a feeding to put him to sleep etc.). Pumping isn't very effective for me - even on the herbal suppliments and the domperidone I was only getting about 16 oz a day. He'll get one bottle of breast milk a day and the rest I will freeze. Now that I'm not taking the domperidone (which causes mood swings and depression for me) I know my supply will start to drop. By freezing my milk now I'm hoping he'll get at least some breast milk his whole first year. Not much, but some. I'll continue pumping until my milk is gone, hopefully at least until he's 6 months old.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


This time two years ago I was full of anticipation. I was waiting for Hana's birth - what it would be like when I got to the hospital, praying the surgery would go well, what she would look like, how I would handle those first few days.

We had a rocky start. Nothing went the way I had planned or hoped for. Thankfully everything was fine physically, but emotionally I was a wreck. My bond with Hana is one that didn't come easy - we both had to work for it, and it was so worth the effort. I wouldn't change anything that happened because what we went through made such a fundamental impact on who I am. Until I became a mother I had no idea how much one person could change my life, change who I am. Going through that rough time and having the relationship we have now assures me that we will make it through anything.

Hana is a light in my life. She's quirky, kind, sensitive, fun, loving. She's spirited, persistant, determined, creative and imaginative. She has a huge heart, an amazing mind and some of the oddest habits I have ever seen. Every day she makes me laugh, makes me thank God for how blessed I am to have her in my life.

Over the last year she's grown so much, she's a completely different child. She is a child now, not so much a baby any more. Last year she was getting up 3-5 times a night, now she puts herself to sleep and we usually don't hear a peep out of her until morning. She was just starting to self-feed finger foods and transitioning to a sippy cup, and now she's using open cups and feeds herself with utensils. She was just getting the hang of crawling and now she runs.

When I play with her and she grins at me and asks for a kiss, or when she's laying on the floor colouring, or even when she's in the middle of a fit and then realizes I'm there to help and she asks for a hug, I'm blown away. I never knew being a mother would be this good, that watching her grow up would be this conflicting. It makes my heart swell and break all at the same time knowing that each day she needs me less and less, but chooses to need me more and more.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Eli Update

I had another appointment with the LC yesterday. The bad news is that Eli hadn't gained. The good news is, we think we've figured out the problem.

Our guess is that he has developed a lazy suck. I have a very strong let-down, so he would gulp that down and be satisfied. At least, that's what used to work until he had his last growth spurt. Now he's not getting enough fatty milk because he's not working for it. As a result, my supply dropped and he stopped gaining weight. I also have odd anatomy that makes it hard for him to draw the milk out - even when it looks like he's latched properly he's not deep enough. That's also why I have such a hard time pumping.

So with the use of a larger shield, larger pump horn and a supplemental nursing system, we're trying to get his weight up. The good news is that so far I've been pumping more than he's needed for a supplement. I go back in on Monday to see if what we're doing is working. If not, I'll need to supplement more (and right now I have some in the freezer for that purpose) and perhaps get a referral to a pediatrician to see if there is another reason for his not gaining.

Be praying my supply increases quickly - medication isn't really a possibility for me in that area because it has odd side effects for me (extreme mood swings). I'm doing everything I can with herbal remedies, hopefully they'll work. Also be praying Eli starts gaining and we don't need to use formula.