Breastfeeding Ruby – Update

It’s been almost two weeks since I talked about breastfeeding!

Heck, it’s been almost a week since I’ve posted at all.  Whoops.

Since I last posted, I had a heartbreak.  I stopped nursing all together.  I started focusing on my pumping output, and making sure Ruby was getting enough from a bottle.  We stopped practicing all of our bottle habits – paced, upright and delayed feeding – and had just started to try to let feeding be stress free.  I haven’t been upset or frustrated, and neither has Ruby.

My pumping volumes have increased and decreased, but I’m now getting to where I have 6-7 extra ounces a day to start putting in the freezer.  I’m starting to get a freezer stash again!  I’m nearly up to 50 ounces already, and that’s more than I’ve had since early in Ruby’s life where I ended up tossing 70 ounces of ‘yeast’ milk. 

All of this being said, I nursed Ruby today.  All day today.  (Well, okay… not all day.  But every feeding.)  She would try to grab at my chest, and I softly grabbed her hands and told her sweetly, “No pinching.  Nice touches.  No pinching, Ruby.”  I pulled her hand gently away every time she pinched, and told her again, “No pinching.  Touch nice, baby.”  She would look me in the eyes, little brows furrowed, and I could tell she was frustrated… but she would stop.  She began grabbing on to my shirt, or played with my lips and teeth.  She pulled at my hair… she stopped pinching.

I did this for every feeding.  Every time, I had to talk to her, I had to tell her no pinching.  Every time, it frustrated her.  Sometimes she got so upset we ended the session early.  Sometimes she relaxed and nursed.  Either way, it made me feel like we’ve maybe made some progress. 

Dang, it felt good to nurse all day.  It really felt good.

I think I’m gonna nurse all day tomorrow too.  Then, a week or so from now, I’ll take stock and see how we’re doing.

Fingers crossed we’ll be doing even better than now.

 

Shew.

I have thought of a different thing I want to blog about every single day for the last few weeks.  I haven’t had a computer to write one!

Now that I can sit here and write a blog, I don’t really know what to say.

I guess a few updates?

We moved.  Or, we are moving.  We found a renter for our home and moved in with Brock’s parents while we look for a new home.  However, the renter isn’t moving in until July 28th, so it is taking us forever to get OUT of our old place.  Sometimes I wish we’d had a shorter deadline just so we could get it all done at once.  I feel like details are slipping through the cracks, and I’m losing track of what needs to get done.

Besides that, I just love being here.  I love waking up on the lake, and hearing the birds.  I love how much time Ronan spends outside, and how much he loves it.  I love sitting by the dock with Ruby, and all of the light through the windows, and the amazing amount of help having family around really is.  I never knew how nice it could be.

Ronan hasn’t had a nap in 4 days.  It’s frustrating like crazy, but he’s also in a new place, not in his bed, dealing with fun new stuff all day every day.  Hopefully he will return to napping soon, because he’s not ready to go all day without a nap.  We have been melt-down central around here.

His speech therapy is on hold, which is incredibly frustrating.  We had seen so much progress, so fast.  New words every single day.  New sounds, new attempts, new excitement.  It felt like Ronan was getting used to the idea of speech therapy, and what we were trying to do.  Now, two weeks from his last session, I’m worried that it’s going to have to start all over again.  I really, truly hope that wont be the case.

Beyond all of this, Ronan is such an incredibly smart and sweet boy.  We’ve started seeing lots of 2 and 3 word phrases.  He knows what he wants, and how to ask for it.  He loves his trucks and cars, he loves to be tickled and chased, he loves squirting everything on the deck with grandmommy’s squirt bottle.  He asks questions.  He figures things out.  He eats EVERYTHING IN SIGHT.  He loves his baby sister, and hands out hugs and kisses even to people he’s just met.  He refuses to sit on the potty with no exceptions.  He laughs when he farts, and yells “TOOT!” when he hears someone else.  We’ve continued his Gluten free/Dairy free diet and very little television (sometimes going many days without any TV time at all) and it has done him a world of good.  He’s an amazing boy.

Ruby has been Ruby.  Incredibly sweet and cute, smiling all the time – except when she’s crying.  Brock and I tried to go out to anniversary dinner last night, and apparently Ruby screamed the entire time we were gone.  She was exhausted when we got home, and fell asleep almost immediately after I took her.  I hate it for her, and I hate it for whomever we leave her with.  I know she’ll grow out of it, but it doesn’t make it any easier while we’re going through it.

Even though I have been mostly pumping, I still haven’t been able to totally give up nursing.  Sometimes I’ll attempt a few sessions in a day, sometimes we’ll go multiple days without nursing at all.  There never seems to be any change – her behavior always stays the same.  I really feel like there just HAS to be someone out there who has gone through this, who has some sort of idea how to help, so I keep searching.  I keep looking for a way to get her to nurse comfortably.

I took her to a speech therapist to have her suck evaluated, only to find out that she has a very strong suck and no suck co-ordination.  The therapist said that normal babies will stop sucking to swallow and breathe every 5-8 sucks, while Ruby continued sucking like a maniac all the way up to 27 before she took the bottle out of Ruby’s mouth to give her a break.  We have begun paced bottle feeding and seen a pretty impressive improvement on the bottle.  We give her up to 7 sucks to take a break on her own before we remove the bottle from her mouth.  All in all, feeding is a lot more relaxed… but it doesn’t seem to be helping us get back to breast.  I felt the whole time like I was telling the therapist over and over that my goal was to return to breastfeeding, not to have a great bottle-feeder… but I felt like she wasn’t listening to me.

Oh wells.  I miss getting to sit and blog.  I have about a hundred amazing pictures on my camera that I want to share.  I think about things I need to say all the time and never get a chance to say them.  I feel like ‘mommyblogging’ is an oxymoron… if you’re a mommy, you’ll never have time to blog!

Blog Already!

Ok, here goes.  I have opened my laptop, and I haven’t gone to any page except this one.

Why, you ask?  Because my laptop is only good for about 20 minutes at a time now, and I get stuck reading blogs, on twitter, or playing on Facebook and then a blog doesn’t get written.  I think I’ll just do a list style wrap up of what’s been going on.

Brock quit his job two weeks ago.  Yesterday was his last day.  He is now staying at home with Ronan and I full time.  It may not be the smartest decision we’ve ever made financially, but when it comes to our family it was absolutely the best choice.  The level of pure ‘happiness’ in our house has never been higher, and it’s wonderful.

I am 29 weeks pregnant.  A stretch of complications has made everyone worried that our little girl may not stay put until her due date, but we’ve taken steps to try to ensure things will be okay.  I didn’t want to blog about this because I didn’t want my mom to say “I told you so,” and try to convince me that I shouldn’t have any  more kids.  However, I haven’t had any real contractions in several days, and taking things easy seems to really be working well for me.

In other pregnancy news, baby girl turned breech the other day.  I KNOW this for a fact, because I love feeling little baby kicks across my bladder… however, I do NOT love feeling little baby kicks directly to my bladder and *ahem* rectum *cough*.  I have had very few moments this pregnancy where I haven’t felt excited and lucky to be pregnant, but getting a good swift kick to the pooper really makes you think twice about carrying a kid inside of you.

And LASTLY in pregnancy news!  I haven’t blogged much about this either… when we were pregnant with Ronan, we didn’t tell anyone what we were going to name him.  Mostly because we didn’t know yet, but we didn’t want to deal with all of the outside commentary on the name we had picked.  This time around, we decided on a name that we both loved early in the process and for some reason became willing to share it with others.  Even though we LOVED the name, we didn’t say it was “her” name because we both feel that it’s important to meet our baby before we pick her name forever.  Despite this, people have constantly been asking me how “baby Ruby” is doing… and while it’s entirely sweet, I want to make sure everyone knows – we may not name her that.  Please do not be offended or upset if we end up bringing home a baby named something entirely different.

To be completely honest, the fact that people are already calling her Ruby makes me want to change the name… just because.  Please don’t take it personally, or even feel like you need to apologize if you are guilty of doing this!  It’s my own particular neuroses, and I’m sure I’ll get over it.  Just be willing to wait and see what her name is when we get there!

Ronan?  Ronan is a constant challenge and joy.  He’s full of energy and fun now that he’s finally feeling better – or as my mom would say, he’s full of piss and vinegar.  He wants to go, go, go and being inside due to the cold weather is not his favorite thing.  Because of the contraction action, as I’ve been calling it, I have been less willing and less able to get up and go every time Ronan asks, and that frustrates him.  His latest habit is growling like some sort of animal and trying to bite me.  In all fairness, the first time he did it, it scared the crap out of me and I screamed… and then laughed.  So to him it’s the most awesome game ever.

I guess I’ll wrap this up now.  11 weeks to go, but we’d settle for 8.  Ronan turns two on February 23rd.  There are 23 more days until Christmas, and this year is flying by ENTIRELY too fast.

Updating things.

One of the things they tell you when you start changing things is to only change one at a time.  That way, you’ll know what it is that you did that caused the improvement.

I never listen.

We started Ronan on his reflux medicine, but around the same time I started trying a new ‘going to bed’ method.  It’s the one where I lay down next to him, and I MAKE him stay laying down, but I don’t help him fall asleep at all.  There is a little bit of fussing, a little bit of crying, but no rocking, singing, nursing or anything.  He just has to go to sleep on his own.

The first night, it took an hour.  The second night, it took 20 minutes.  Last night, it took 2 minutes.  And his sleep stretches have gotten as long as 5 hours.  You know, for us, that is as good as 12.

I don’t know what’s made the biggest difference.  We’ve noticed a big reduction in the amount he’s been refluxing, and how upset he gets when it happens.  Maybe it’s a combination of both.  All I’m hoping is that saying this out loud wont jinx us.

Please, don’t let it jinx us.

**I just put Ronan down for the night, and it took him about 30 seconds to fall asleep.  Holy moly, YES!  Also, I started using “California Baby” soap products tonight because of eczema and a nagging skin rash he’s had for a while.  Lets see if we can FIX everything.**

Edit: 10:09 pm.

Ronan is still awake.  He woke up after about an hour.  He has been up since then, despite all of my efforts.  Nothing ever gets better.  Nothing improves.  I should probably just let him cry it out, because that would probably be better than the impulse I have to hold a pillow over him.  What the hell did we ever do to deserve this?