Tuesday, January 25, 2011

then you better start swimmin' or you'll sink like a stone

3 weeks of maternity leave remain and it seems that I may have found the secret a little too late. Mommy has Zoloft & baby has Zantac.

It is difficult to recognize a problem in yourself, even if you are in the mental health field. I kept thinking I didn't have post partum depression because I don't have thoughts of suicide or hurting the baby...however I have wicked insomnia where I obsess and do a lot of one-handed-googling-webmd-ing, reading and re-reading of the Mother of all Baby Book , digging through the literature the pediatrician gave me and reading every post on the Le Leche League forums. I am also just numb, a zombie-mommy. I admitted all of this at my 6 week appointment. And then my ob-gyn wrote me a prescription and reminded my once logical mind that PPD can manifest itself as crying and tearfulness or crippling anxiety. Enter Zoloft.

It is also difficult to recognize reflux in your baby when they do not spit up. Sloane has only spit up about 5 times in as many weeks, but she screams through feedings, arches her back & fusses thru feeding and refuses to sleep unless being held upright, or in her car seat. Thank God my sister is nearly a RN. Tearful call to the pediatrician. Enter Zantac.

At least maybe we can begin to enjoy these last three weeks. Now back to my self-imposed computer moratorium.

title courtesy of Bob Dylan: The Times They are a-changing

Monday, January 17, 2011

For every kiss your beauty trumped my doubt

Today is my due date. I wonder what I would have been like had I actually reached it.

Until only a few days ago I was still harboring a lot (95%) of negative feelings about Sloane's birth and the experience we had. I have been working to move past this and only focus on the fact that she is here and healthy now. Some people have even wondered what my hang up is, why I can't move past December 14th. The answer is I'm not really sure. But as a therapist I know that you cannot simply gloss over something traumatic (even if the trauma resulted in a good outcome...i.e. my sister was very lucky to survive complications of her tonsilectomy, which was 1 week after Sloane was born, she is fine now, but she coded 3 times and she cannot get the nightmares to alleviate). Trauma doesn't just evaporate.

However, as I work through my heart's feelings more light is visible all the time. Today a happy little thought occurred to me.

Today is my due date, Sloane, you may have come full term and been totally healthy and I would not have as great of a fear of what neurological challenges you may have ahead of you, I would not have the most intense fear of asthma and breathing...but I would not have known you yet. Instead I got an extra 5 weeks of really knowing you and loving you. I cannot say I would not trade the time, I am not at that point, but I can say that I am grateful for this.

And if your strife strikes at your sleep
Remember spring swaps snow for leaves
You'll be happy and wholesome again
When the city clears and sun ascends

mumford & sons, winter winds

Saturday, January 15, 2011

if you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it...

I suppose this could have two titles either: "adventures in breastfeeding" or "there is progress on the nursery, what?!"...

First lactating then art...

Of course I was going to breastfeed my child. A woman who is interested in a natural delivery is of course going to breastfeed her child, and I am. I am doing it. (Sometimes I need a reminder that I am actually successful as most days I am completely miserable).

I have had a rough go of it. I did a lot of research (in true Shan fashion) and asked for a lot of help. I got a very wonderful Medela pump (this is the Cadillac of pumps apparently) from my friend Brandy. I had help from the lactation specialists while Sloane was in NICU (probably part of the 20 thousand dollars billed to me today--that's just for the NICU, not the labor/delivery/obstetrics/pharmacy-thank-god I don't have to pay an anesthesiologist-too-crazy-expensive to have a baby).

I read only the best books about it i.e.: The American Pediatrics Guide to Breastfeeding and used Kellymom as my online granola source for crunchiness. My book briefly glossed over things like "discomfort, pain, and problems that may (but probably won't, please don't use formula) arise".

The thing is problems did arise. Ten fold. To the tune of having to be on pain killers and OTC pain relief and millions of online searches and a couple of doctors visits. The thing about feeding issues, which seems counterintuitive is that the solution is always: nurse MORE. Seriously?!

It's an ever present concern. The baby has to eat. The baby has to eat a ridiculous 12 times a day. 12 times a day to be in pain. Believe me the 2 hours between feedings are the shortest time spans ever. It's not that there is anything wrong w/ formula: I was formula-fed.

Here's the thing. I cannot quit. I won't quit. Breast milk is the equivalent of liquid gold. (If you don't believe me google all the shiz it can cure-- seriously, weird). If you still don't believe me "accidentally" spill any mom's supply of breast milk. She will want to spill your blood, I guarantee you. Preemies need the liquid gold a lot. So I am going to tough it out. It will be the other thing (besides the drug-free delivery) that I can hold over my daughter's head when she is a sassy 16 year old. "I breastfed you in pain 12 times a day everyday for (x amount of time) roll your eyes at me again and I will roll your head on the floor."

In the meantime, or until she turns 16, I am extremely thankful when my friends visit and make the feedings go faster by distracting me with talk of gossip and oscar-worthy movies. Kate, you made my day today!

Now onto prettier things. I finally ordered some art via Etsy for the nursery and I totally love it.

also, in other news, after 4 years of courtship and the birth of our child, Keenan decided Christmas morning was the perfect time to pop the proverbial question. I said yes and gladly wear this little number and am proud to report I don't have to relate to "All the Single Ladies" anymore.

title courtesy of the aforementioned tune by Beyonce