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Monday, July 11, 2011

Fun Baby Info: Shaky Head



Fun Baby Info #3
Baby E likes to shake his head from side to side to go after the nipple on the bottle when he's hungry.  It is so stinking adorable.  He will also do the same to H's nose when he's hungry.  Hehe.  As he is getting older, he has been doing this less often.  It makes us very sad because it's a Baby E specialty.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Cloth Diapering Adventure Begins!!

We have officially switched over to cloth diapers!  It's a pretty exciting new change for us, and we have adjusted quite well.  It has almost been 2 weeks since Baby E has been wrapped up in cloth diapers, and I'm regretting the fact that we didn't switch sooner. It was so scary at first, and I was afraid that I wouldn't like the cloth over the ease of disposable diapers.  Well I absolutely love the cloth diapers!

Baby E being cute and surrounded by his cloth diapers

The Good:
  • healthier looking bum
  • not adding too many more disposable diapers in the landfills
  • gives him a nice booty
  • $$ savings
The Not that Bad:
  • Baby E is very bothered by a wet diaper (which is actually a good & will help him with potty training in the future)
  • being very up close and personal with his poo
  • washing diapers everyday (also not that bad b/c it is easier than doing a load of normal laundry for me)
The Bad:
  • we have a ton of gifted disposable diapers that are sitting around our house with no purpose 
Yay for cloth diapers!  I think Baby E loves them as much as I do.  Hehe.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

My Baby & My In-Laws

My wedding was far from what I had envisioned for the big day, and my in-laws had a lot to do with that.  They were opinionated and had the final say on all the major decisions.  Because of this I was afraid of what the future would be like once H and I started a family.  It was the hot topic of discussion, mainly stemming from my fear of the in-laws taking over.  Would they be super involved in my child's life?  Would they teach my child Vietnamese?  Would they have a say in how H and I would raise our family?  I was on the verge of being paranoid of the future.  I knew the ugly side of my in-laws from wedding planning, and I wanted nothing to do with that when it came to our family.

My mother in-law was very particular as to when H and I would start having kids. She insisted that we start soon after the wedding because having a baby in 2011 would be good luck for us.  I thought she was nuts, and I was going to do everything possible to spite her (I do that often) and hold off on starting a family.  As you know, that did not go according to plan.

my in-laws visiting Baby E at the hospital

So Baby E is here, and we have our own little family.  How involved are H's parents? Well I shouldn't have been so worried after all because it is the complete opposite of what I had imagined.  They really do take a hands off approach and have only visited Baby E at home once when we came home from the hospital.  Doesn't that seem odd? They have seen him since then, but we are the ones who have to bring Baby E to them. Why?  The excuse is that they work all the time and don't have time to visit. Pshhh. Excuses.

I should be happy that they are leaving us alone and not have to worry about them being overly involved.  Of course that is not the case.  I'm actually pretty upset that they won't make the effort to visit their grandson.  I'm also upset that H and I have to bring Baby E to them.  Do they not understand how much work and time it takes to get out of the house with a baby?  They are missing out on so much, and it's really a shame.  Baby E is growing day by day, and they can't see any of that.  Each time we visit them, Baby E is asleep.  There is no interaction.  Then my mother in-law decides that it's perfectly fine to wake up the baby just so that she can hold him.  Ughh.

the super adorable Baby E that my in-laws are missing out on

While I don't want our parents to be overly involved, I do want them to be present.  I want my son to have a good, healthy relationship with both sets of his grandparents.  I never had a chance to spend much time with my own grandparents, and I want him to have the opportunity that I missed out on.  Is that too much to ask for?  By the way, Baby E is the first grandson for both my parents and my in-laws.

My parents love to visit Baby E.  The frequency of their visits can be a bit annoying at times, but I like knowing that they are proud grandparents.  They love to see Baby E grow and admire his super awesome features.  I think they are quite excited to see him grow into a big kid and be able to take him places.  I also think they are hoping that he learns Cantonese.  I'm not so sure H is on board with that, but secretly, I would like Baby E to learn too.  Shhh...

my parents holding Baby E for the first time

So basically my in-laws are MIA, and their lack of involvement is bugging me.  It bothers me so much that I bring it up almost every single day.  I can't wrap my head around why they don't want to come over to visit their grandson.  My friends have come to visit Baby E at home more often than my in-laws.  It makes no freaking sense.  Arghh!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fun Baby Info: Curled Up Poo

Yes, I take pictures of my baby's poo...

Fun Baby Info #2: 
Curled up poo.  Doesn't that make for an interesting title?  Baby E is a super pooper, but he has had some bumps in the pooing road.  At first, pooing came completely natural to him.  He had more dirty diapers than wet diapers when he was first born. Then he reached a point where pooing became more difficult, and he wasn't sure how to deal with it.  He tried to chug milk in hopes of having poo come out at the other end. Sometimes it worked, but most of the times he would be extremely frustrated.  I felt bad for the little dude.  Then one day I noticed he would curl up in almost a fetal position.  Weird.  He would throw his body forward and stay curled up for a while. There would be some grunting involved, followed by a nice, loud fart.  That's my boy!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Breastfeeding Broken Down

Problem: Baby E won't latch on and feed from the source.  I pump every 2-3 hours during the day/evenings and 3-4 hours at bedtime.  It is physically and mentally draining, but Baby E gets the nutrition he needs.

attempting to breastfeed soon after Baby E made his appearance

Physically Draining: Yes, physically milk is draining out of me and into a bottle.  Other physical aspects include sore, cracked nipples, frequent clogged ducts, engorgement, and larger than Yin average boobs.  The worse culprit would be the clogged ducts, which feel like hard rocks in my boobs.  It builds up, blocks, and causes extreme pain. The solution?  Constantly pumping to unclog the duct and allow milk to pass through. It can take anywhere from one pump session and up to a whole day's worth of pumping to get rid of my clogged ducts.  Also another physical aspect would be the cleaning and drying of pump parts, which is a pain in the butt in the middle of the night.

constantly cleaning bottles and pump parts

Mentally Draining: The day never has enough hours, and I spend most of those hours feeding, changing, and pumping.  It would be much easier if I could combine the feeding and pumping.  Oh yeah.. that's called actual breastfeeding, but that doesn't work in this family.  If I pump every 3 hours (lower end estimate, typically I pump every 2), I am spending 2 hours and 40 minutes a day physically at the pump and cleaning parts.  I feel I have a responsibility to my son to provide him with breast milk if I am capable.  In this case I am capable of producing, and I should continue to do so until I am physically incapable of doing so.  The down side? It is all taking a toll on my mental health.

Hygeia Enjoye -- Great pump, review to come soon

Breast is Best: Gahhh!!  Why do medical professionals and mommy anti-formula clubs have to exist?  The hospital puts so much gosh darn pressure on the mother to breastfeed.  The mommy anti-formula clubs are so bias, and they hate all formula feeding mothers.  The thing is breastfeeding isn't completely natural.  It is a learning process for both mommy and baby.  My baby decided that he didn't want to go to the breast.  Also the sucking reflex didn't come naturally to him, and he had to practice to get to where he is now.  I personally do not think that breast is the absolute best.  It does have a slight edge over formula since it's the body's natural way of providing nutrients to the baby.  Formula is good stuff too, and people need to stop thinking it's the devil's food.  High fructose corn syrup, trans fats, preservatives, and complex sounding ingredients can be considered the devil's food.  Formula is made to provide babies with the nutrients they need to grow into strong kids.  Heck, both H and I were formula fed babies.  We turned out just fine...

example of H being a happy formula fed kiddo

Family History: My mother was never able to breastfeed.  She has inverted nipples.  It's not impossible to breastfeed with inverted nipples (nipple shields, pumping for 15 seconds, etc.), but it just wasn't in the cards for my mother.  Recently I learned that my mother was not an only child like I once believed.  She was actually child number 4 (or was it 3... I have bad memory).  My grandmother was not able to successfully breastfeed, but she didn't know it and her babies starved to death.  With my mother, she decided to provide her with animal milk (I'm assuming goat's milk).  My mother survived.  

I'm Stingy/Stubborn: H and I have already invested a lot of money towards breastfeeding.  I have purchased the following items: Boppy, Hygeia Enjoye Breast Pump, extra accessory kit for pump, nursing covers, lanolin, disposable nursing pads, reusable silicone nursing pad, breast milk storage bags, 2 nursing bras, and herbal supplement to increase milk production.  That's over $400!  Yikes!  That's equivalent to 3 months worth of formula.  The stingy side wants to keep pumping to pay for the items I have purchased towards breastfeeding.  The even stingier side of me wants to pump forever to keep saving money.

Guilt: I feel an extreme amount of guilt for even thinking about stopping one day.  I feel like I'm letting down every single mother out there who is incapable of breastfeeding.  I can't exactly breastfeed, but I can pump.  Not only can I pump, but I can pump enough to meet Baby E's current demand.  So many women would love to be in my position so that they can provide their baby with even the smallest amount of breast milk.  I would be selfish to even consider stopping.

How can I ever justify depriving my baby of the milk  that I am capable of producing for him?  Look at that face!

Formula of the Future: Breast milk digests a lot faster than formula, and I am feeding him every 2 hours.  On formula he can go longer between feedings.  Maybe he can even sleep through the night.  I think about the future when he will eventually drink formula, and it sounds like such a great life for me.  Then reality sets in, and I feel guilty for thinking about that future.  I know it has to eventually happen.  Can I really be a slave to my breast pump for a whole year?  I don't think I'm mentally capable of doing that.

Baby E has been given more breast milk than both H and I combined.  Is that enough? It is week #11, and my first goal was to reach 3 whole months.  I can most definitely pump for another week without a problem, but can I do it for 4 months?  5 months?  6 months?  I can't tell...

So that's the break down of how breast pumping has been going for me as of late.  It is super complicated, and I am mentally and physically drained from this whole process. I'm trying to stay strong.  I have made changes to make pumping easier on me, and it helps a whole lot.  Now only if I can keep focused on pumping for another week, I'll be happy.  

Friday, July 1, 2011

I miss...

I miss blogging.  I miss venting to my invisible audience.  I miss having time to myself.  Can I just pause time and get everything done without worrying about pumping, feeding, or diapering?  I think I need to eventually take care of myself.  I've been neglecting myself lately (not showering, not brushing my teeth, not making lunch for myself, not drinking enough water, not getting enough sleep... yeah).

In poo related news, my baby took a poo down my leg today.  It dripped alllll the way down.  The poo even landed on the carpet.  Score!  One point for Baby E.  Zero points for me.  Baby E also switched to cloth diapers this week.  Does anyone know what that means?  I get to touch his dirty diapers and spray them down, occasionally making physical contact with the actual poo.  Oh the joys of parenthood!