July 20, 2015 – 18 Weeks (7 Weeks Corrected)

 I feel a bit like a broken record, but I seriously don’t feel like I can get on top of my life right now.  (Nora is happy in her swing right now, but I feel guilty not interacting with her, not talking to her while I type this…)  The women who works for our builder is still constantly hounding me to make decisions, all last-minute, I need to start organizing and throwing junk out before the movers come, Nora is obviously a full-time job, and Eric left this morning for two days of orientation for his new job.  And that’s just the start of my to do list!  Case in point, Lowes called this morning, ten minutes before they were to arrive at our new house with appliances to install.  Um, the email confirmation I received said they would call 24 hours before to arrange.  Ugh.  I’m not even in the same city yet!  And our current house is a complete disaster, as I’ve given up on cleaning…  And poor Kona is not getting nearly enough attention.  She needs her nails clipped so badly I searched online yesterday for someone to come to the house, but came up with no options.  Apparently that isn’t a thing here.

In my quest to find more time in my days I’m still trying to focus more on nursing rather than pumping and bottle feeding.  Nora weighed 8 lbs 9 oz last week at her high risk appointment, therefore they recommended cutting back on some bottles with the fortifier and seeing if she continues to gain appropriately.  She is still only at 11% for weight on the preemie chart, but she’s sticking with her curve, so perhaps she is just going to be a petite girl.  Nursing continues to be a struggle though.  I have been trying more though, we can usually get in one feeding by breast, and then I try the next, but halfway through the second she is usually quite frustrated.  Maybe she just isn’t used to it and needs to practice more.  Or maybe it really is an upper lip tie issue.  Regardless, I made an appointment this coming Wednesday evening with a lactation consultant to see what help they can offer.  The nurse practitioner at her high risk appointment last week really discouraged me though, stating that if Nora hasn’t gotten it yet, she might never, and that lots of preemies never catch on.  This whole pumping and feeding thing is getting old though!  For the feedings I nurse her I’ve been skipping pumping, but that doesn’t seem to be working either, as then I’m way too full later, as I make way more milk than she drinks.  Will I always have to pump after feeding her?  If that’s the case what’s the point of focusing on nursing?

Besides the discouragement in regards to nursing, Nora’s high risk appointment was a success.  We’ll have these every few months for several years, and so far so good.  They basically ‘played’ with her, showed her toys to see if she would follow them with her eyes, made sounds to see if she would look in the correct direction, attempted to make her smile at them, checked her balance and head control, and about 100 other things.  She’s right on track for her corrected age which makes me feel great.  So far so good.  I know there is still a lot of risks for her development due to her meningitis, but for the time being I’m going to try to relax.

I have noticed that Nora is making more sounds, cooing I guess is what they call it.  And just a few days ago it seems she found her hands, as they are constantly in her mouth now.  Do babies put their hands in their mouths all the time, or is this a sign she is hungry?

Speaking of appointments, last week we also had Nora’s hip ultrasound, required since she was born breech.  Before we left that appointment the pediatric radiologist chatted with me regarding the results.  Apparently Nora’s hips are immature for her age, even for her corrected age, and are showing early signs of dysplasia.  His recommendation was to double diaper in an effort to hold her hips open and repeat the ultrasound in two months.  I wasn’t too concerned until her pediatrician called to follow-up and tell me that she wants us to see a pediatric orthopedic surgeon.  Ugh, like haven’t we already seen enough specialists???  Our appointment is this Wednesday and they want to rule out her needing a harness, which looks annoying, but not painful, from this video.  I realize we are so very very lucky with Nora so far.  She has been through so much and is doing amazing.  And I shouldn’t even think to complain, compared to what some preemies endure, but regardless, I so hope she doesn’t need this harness…

So my plan for the next two days until Eric gets home…  Chill at home with Nora, work on breastfeeding, and make a really good attempt at organizing for the movers.  Wish me luck!

31 thoughts on “July 20, 2015 – 18 Weeks (7 Weeks Corrected)

  1. I have to ask because you have that enormous freezer stash, is there a reason you need to continue the pumping routine? You likely have enough to get her through the first year on breast milk so you could probably quit pumping, unless you are absolutely gun-ho to get breastfeeding working, in which case it makes sense. Sorry, I have been dying to ask that because creating a stash like that was my dream when I was EPing for my oldest so that I could quit pumping as soon as humanly possible. Lol. As far as pumping after nursing, I would only pump for 5 min to relieve engorgement but no more than that. In a few days you should feel less engorged after nursing as eventually it will signal your body to create less milk. Are you nursing with a nipple shield? That might help. I hope the LC is useful. I know she saved me from EPing again this time around.

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    1. Great question! Probably because I’m a paranoid freak! I have this fear that if I don’t keep pumping my supply will drop, and I guess in reality we want it to, right, as she doesn’t eat everything I make right now. On the other hand though, from a feeding perspective she is only 7 weeks, so I assume the doctors expect her to have some breast milk until she is 12 months corrected rather than 12 months actual. I’m mainly just very confused on how to transition to nursing from pumping. She didn’t wake overnight so I got up to pump like I always do. Then this morning I nursed her, but still felt full, so I pumped for about 7 minutes after I fed her. Am I doing more harm than good by still pumping some? I’m so sore from nursing though, as she is still sucking like a straw rather than the correct latch. Makes me wonder if I should just keep pumping and bottle feeding, as I was far more comfortable that way.

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      1. I wouldn’t pump right after you nurse. Your body is smart and will regulate to her needs. Pumping after is likely increasing your supply which leads to engorgement. It’s a nasty cycle ;-).

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          1. You aren’t failing! Its hard being a new mama and you’ve had it way tougher than the rest of us! I know its uncomfortable but I promise it gets better. With Bella I was in horrible pain every time I nursed for over a month. I had this crazy thing called nipple blanching where my nipple would turn bright white and then I had horrible pains in my breast. With Brynn I was really only in pain the first two weeks. So your body will adjust. Try medela hydragels in the meantime. They are expensive but I just re-used them for as long as they’d last.

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  2. So glad you are meeting with an LC! They can help with latch and talk about how to safely decrease your supply so that you can nurse or pump, not both! Sorry to hear about the additional ortho follow up – hopefully it’s just a precaution because they have to cover their ass.

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  3. Absolutely babies put their hands in their mouths for reasons other than hunger! Think about it — they’ve just discovered the most amazing things: Toys that they can’t drop! That are always there, right in front of their face! And they’re such strange shapes, and warm, and probably quite often interesting to taste. Who WOULDN’T put their hands in their mouths in this situation?

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  4. Sweet picture! I hope all of the appts go well this week. I exclusively pump and it’s so much work, so I feel for you there. Breastfeeding was too hard for us, and I wonder if Brian also has an upper lip tie (his tongue was definitely tied). In addition to the inner upper lip looking off, he makes a clicking sound when sucking the bottle – does that happen with Nora? I do think if you could get Nora back to breast, your body would eventually adjust to her intake. I’m an over producer, which I like for the extra supply, but sometimes I just want more sleep!! Anyway, hang in there with all you have going on. Life will eventually settle πŸ™‚

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  5. One thing at a time, you’ll get things done! And don’t feel bad putting Nora in her swing, as long as she’s content! You need a break and it is good for her development to spend quiet time learning to “entertain” herself-including putting her hands in her mouth, which is totally normal!

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  6. I never comment on blogs, but I have been reading since your fertility journey! I gave birth to a little boy (just three weeks early) but he would NEVER latch on. Not once. So I made up my mind to be an EPer and attached myself 8 times a day. Then randomly, at almost nine weeks old, I tried to BF again and he got it! My pediatrician, LC – nobody had ever heard of it. I felt like he just wasn’t developed enough when he was born. Also – be so thankful for your freezer stash! I had 800 ounces frozen and just discovered I have a lipsase issue so now my frozen milk tastes bad to him. Love your story and your “real” posts.

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    1. Ah, thank you Emma and congrats on your little one. Awesome that he all the sudden latched! I do feel like the older and bigger Nora gets, the more able she is to latch. Now if I can just get her to latch correctly!

      And oh, so sorry about your freezer stash. I have heard of a few people I know with that issue, heartbreaking, all the hard work you put into building it 😦

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  7. One of my baby books is about reading your baby’s actions and it says hands in the mouth is a soothing mechanism and an indicator that they are getting tired. Usually seems to be accurate, but then, when is a nap not coming up soon at this age? πŸ™‚

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  8. The LC should give you support–I’m disappointed to hear someone was discouraging you about Nora’s progress with breastfeeding. She is doing great! Keep up the good work!
    As for Kona, my 1yr old black lab, Koa, goes to “doggie daycare” 2 days per week to play with other dogs. They even have a taxi service that will pick up/drop off. My town isn’t that big either. So I’d check into doggie daycare and sign Kona up if possible. Or hire a pet sitter to come play with him/walk him a couple days per week–it’s worth the expense IMHO. XOXO

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    1. So truth be told, Kona was going to a doggie daycare once a week, but we stopped when Nora came home from the NICU. Somehow I thought I’d have more time for Kona, that was before I knew how hard it was to walk a dog and a baby at the same time! We do need to find Kona a new place, but I’ve kind of been waiting until we’re moved to establish with a center there.

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  9. Have medical check the possible tie.
    You have wonderful advice above so only other thing I can think to add is that it is time to dragoon in the troops.
    Have a friend or relative take dog to groomer (NOT YOU).
    Have housecleaner in to do the work in baths and kitchen so you feel place is clean. I know the pick up put away is a nuisance but if need be have the cleaner just do the bath/kitchen which generally has less pickup/put away.
    Tell the dweeb who is coordinating things you need to choose for new house to give you a final printout NOW of all of the rest of the choices and do this in writing. Put in writing that she is not providing adequate decision time so that is why you now need to make this request.
    Ask a friend to do your grocery shopping (you do the list) and come over and run washer/dryer loads.
    Look for anything you can possibly have another human being do and ASK and if needed pay for the service.
    Your stress load is no favor to you, your baby, your husband, your marriage.
    PS: You are doing a great job of parenting with lots of stressors and little help. It will and can get better, but right now a few hundred dollars of help to keep you on track is really white noise as opposed to illness and stress and not enjoying this short precious time with your daughter and life. Honest, and I am old and was always pressed for money so I do not go lightly to ‘hire it out’.

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    1. Jane, thank you so much for commenting. I love your advice here, it’s real, I appreciate that. I think I need to get over the feeling of having to do it all. Somehow I got it in my head that if I ask for help, or hire someone to help, then I’m somehow failing. There have been so many moments over the past few weeks though that I just want to sit and enjoy Nora, but yet I feel like I can’t since my to do list is never ending. I really, truly hope that once we are moved I can start lining up weekly help, like perhaps a nanny and cleaning lady. Thanks again πŸ™‚

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  10. Have you tried a nipple shield with her? My girl twin regressed when we got home from the hospital and wouldn’t latch again until I introduced the shield. I think because she was having so many bottles to boost her growth she got used to the nipple and needs the extra girth to feel right. She nurses like a champ now with it on so I just roll with it.

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    1. I actually have tried a shield, mostly at the hospital, but a few times at home. I found it to be a little hard to work with though, Nora’s hands were always pushing it off so I finally got fed up and ditched it. With all the pain I’m having right now though, perhaps I should dig it out and try again…

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      1. There are days I almost consider using one for my son too just to give my nip a break! The shield definitely is a pain in the ass at times, especially with the roaming arms, but I pre-stick it to me by rubbing a bit of breast milk on the back so it adheres to my skin and then I try to trap her arm before I latch her. If it’s worked before, I’d def suggest trying again. Good luck!

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