Monthly Archives: February 2012

Feeding from dem breasts

Breastfeeding has been getting a bit easier. I haven’t been writing much about our struggles because its been pretty damn frustrating and I feel like I spend most of the time talking/ thinking about it any how. Jolene has difficulty latching on at the hospital and wasn’t terrible hungry the first few days because she was spitting up amniotic fluid the first day and then jaundice the next two. We worked with a fantastic lactation consultant (LC) for our stay, who recommended using both a nipple shield

this:

not this:

and Supplemental Nursing System (SNS).

It was incredibly crazy/awkward/messy/stressful for the first two weeks at least. She wasn’t gaining weight (well babies lose weight about a week after they’re born but even after that) and every single feeding session was an enormous struggle that ended in tears (mine) and being soaked in milk. But things got better. Eventually she would latch on with just the shield, and didn’t need constant incentive from the SNS to stay at the breast. But the shield of course has it’s own worries, mostly it’s tendency to disappear due to it being SEE THROUGH (million dollar idea…neon pink glow in the dark nipple shields!). Oh man the number of times I have told a screaming Jolene “hold on babe mamas gotta find her fake nipple” while tearing through the bed clothes…

But then on her one month birthday Jolene latched on unaided! No fancy helpers just the two of us! I felt so close to her. It was amazing the distance that this tiny flap of silicon was putting between us. It isn’t gone for good though. She still prefers using the shield, and we use it about 70% of the time. We are working on weaning off it but slowly. A couple of babies at my New Moms group used them until 3 months or so. I think we’ve got time. There’s a really great article on the nipple shield on kellymom. The internet is just so juicy!

Anais Mitchell was so freaking incredible on Monday. I think she’s actually Tinkerbell. No babies at the Iron Horse, which was actually a blessing in disguise because it was pretty claustrophobic. I forget its not really kid friendly there. Jolene had a lovely evening with her aunties instead. Yesterday we had Northampton adventures and a walk around Paradise Pond with lovely Annie. Today we’ve been home watching the snow. Jolene has actually been napping, which it seems she will only do in the Moby wrap but I am not complaining. I’ve finally had time to finish my readmission essay to Smith,  which goes out tomorrow. Keeping my fingers crossed!

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Oh thank you thank you to Sasha for the link to Anais Mitchell’s new album. I am having a real beautiful time with it while Jolene is out on a walk with her yaya. My mum has been on February vacation for this week and I have had a moment now and then to myself. The last week or so has been kind of tough. Jolene has decided that there are much more exciting things to do during the day besides nap and therefore I have been unable to get out of my pjs much before noon. But here I sit, not juggling a baby, dressed, showered, moisturized WITH MY HAIR BLOWN DRY. Oh those simple pleasures. 

She is coming to the Iron Horse in Northampton next Monday and I cannot waaaaait! Babys first concert! 

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February 24, 2012 · 5:30 pm

What Makes a Baby?

Yay for blogging and breastfeeding at the same time!!

I stumbled upon this sweet kickstarter project on this great blog Birth Activist. Its called What Makes A Baby and the basic idea is that there is one way to make a baby, but many ways to make a family! The “when a mommy and a daddy love each other very very much narrative” has always bothered me because although this is where I come from, it is not where my daughter comes from, or my soon to be baby niece or many of my friends come from. I know Jolene won’t be talking, let alone asking where babies come from for a while, but I am glad I have a place to start. They have already super passed their kickstarter goal. which is AWESOME, but any more money goes to increasing access to the book. The author looks great and the illustrations are going to be super rad too.

Okay burger time!

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Happy V Day

Happy Valentines Day!

xoxo J&C

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Being present

I wish I could convey the beauty of this room at this moment- the paper cranes flying across the soothing blue walls, the christmas light stars, the steady clock, Jolene’s little noises drifting from her basket. Its simple and quiet and so sweet.

Today was a pretty hard day- Jolene hardly napped and was having tummy trouble and was markedly less excited than I about our big switch to cloth diapers (!!!). She has been an astonishingly good baby and today she was not  quite that but nevertheless I tried real hard to just be present with her. Her tummy troubles, her constant peeing, her crying (also her coos, snuggles and nuzzles…to be fair)- all of it.

Being a dharma brat, being present is a constant theme in my life, but it is particularly pertinent since I became (re)addicted to the show Parenthood. Over the weekend I watched it as I  nursed, pumped milk…even as I rocked Baby J to sleep. Its was constant until the absurdity of it hit me- I was trying to escape the monotonous parts of being a parent by watching a show about parenting. It left me feeling empty and kind of guilty and because I was trying to do so many things at once, of course I wasn’t enjoying any of it.

So I am working on being present. The time is already flying by and I want to be totally here for it so when I am old and close my eyes and think about Jolene’s infancy, I don’t just see Peter Krause yelling at his fictional teenage daughter. TV is fine for “me time,” but while Jolenes around, it is so much more enjoyable and easier to simply be with her.  Also I stayed up last night and finished season two and thats all there is on Netflix so that helps.

 

This song closed the season and has been ringing around my head (I think it was Alexi Murdoch’s version). I’ve been singing it to Jolene at bedtime but somehow when I do it sounds like a stiff mid 19th century choral piece (which it is…). Bob Dylan makes everything sound cool.

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best hat!!

keep seeing these around!!

 

booby hats!!

 

 

also with nipple ring!

 

want want want. also i am typing this one handed because just guess what im doing!

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First bath!

Oh man yesterday I had the most hilarious morning ever. Jolene’s cord fell off when she was three days old, but I’ve been waiting for the 40 dollar piece of foam that is the Puj tub to arrive in the mail to give her her first bath. After the morning nursing marathon, she was sleepy and happy so I decided to go for it. I set up the tub, undressed her, wrapped her up in her adorable ducky towel, hit play on the Tallest Man on Earth Pandora station, was all ready to go when Jolene pooped in the towel. Okay no problem we go back to the room, clean up, change towels, make it to the bathroom and into the tub. Jolene poops in the tub. Alright dump that in the toilet bring her back to the bedroom, clean up, go back to the bathroom Jolene poops in the second ducky towel. This is getting a little ridiculous but I just want to bathe this bean so I get one more towel but before she gets in the tub she poops in the THIRD ducky towel. At this point, I am laughing and crying at the same time but goddamnit she has poop between her toes at this point and now actually NEEDS the bath. One more clean up, one more poop in the tub (drain the tub, scrub it out etc etc) and we are good to go. And after a minute of screaming? She loves it.

 

… unforgettable.

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Bursting at the seams

Oh wow.

The last two weeks have been the most joy filled, affectionate, cozy, and shining of my life. I suppose it might get easier to put words to this colossal love that I feel pretty much round the clock but as of now, I am simply bursting at the seams with it all.  This feeling is also rather literal because I think my breasts might explode.

Where to begin?? I am working on a version of Jolene’s birth story that I hope to post… it seems the place to start these kind of things. Its hard to believe that only two weeks ago today, we were lying in the hospital bed wet beaming into the night. Sometimes I look down at her wise face and it feels like we’ve known each other for decades and then sometimes I am overwhelmed by the feeling that I have no idea who this little human being is. Both feelings are equally inspiring.

Here are a few things I have learned about this girl over our sweet in house honeymoon (I have  gone outside about 5 times).

This girl is wide awake

When she isn’t sleeping. But damn. Her presence was a little disarming. When she was born, the nurses put her up on my chest and she stared right at me. I expected real young babies to be in “I only notice black and white shapes and my own farts” lala land but Jolene is right there.

 

She’s really good at just being

Maybe this is a lot of being a baby, but she is really good at just hanging out. I think I just got really lucky because she doesn’t constantly need something. If shes just been fed and her diaper is dry, her is pretty content to hang out on your lap and make adorable faces at you for an hour or so. Really cool.

 

She’s hilarious 

Its not just that she pooped all over her Bompi (grandpa) and really super adorable outfit at her Welcome to the World party (last weekend, shared with her Uncle Myles who just came back from India!)- she just has this fantastic sense of humor. Its the goofy faces, the timing (sleeps all afternoon, but the minute mama starts dinner she decides its time to wake up and eat her dinner), just her attitude.

 

She digs Bon Iver 

At some point I will get into The Great Nursing Wars (in which Jolene has fought gallantly) but I will say now that for the first week and a half of her life, the only music Jolene would nurse to is Bon Iver. Good girl.

 

She’s the new Stubbornest Girl in the Universe 

When I was three my family and I were walking back to the car across the beach and I insisted on walking back on all fours with my head plowing the sand, my dad walking behind me directing “a little to the left, a little to the right…” At when we got back to the car he told me “boy Cecilia, you are the stubbornest girl in the world.” I look up at him and reply “the universe, dad.”   I would like to formally pass on the crown. Dang Jolene girl, you do things your own way at your own pace. Thats my daughter man. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

DID I MENTION SHE’S A TOTAL KNOCKOUT???

It might not mean much coming from her mama, but this little one is beautiful.

I don’t know how new moms blog. Its like tech week all the time over here. The days are long, but then they’re over and its like wow…did I do anything besides feed Jolene? I have never felt so grateful to have such an amazing, supportive family. It sure does take a village. Crazy, exhausting, poopy, but overall, as Lana Del Rey would say… now my life is sweet like cinnamon. (I don’t care what anyone says about her/ how much she blew it on SNL. She fucking rocks). I think I’m going to try to clean up a bit before my little bird wakes up because it looks like a bomb went off in here.

…dang I am a lucky woman.

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