Lip- and Tongue-Tie Revision

Inara has had some trouble nursing from the start. She wouldn’t latch, and needed a nipple shield. She was fussy and screamed at the breast for half an hour before finally nursing when she was a newborn. She dribbles milk out the other side of her mouth, soaking both of us. I never thought to look into lip-ties or tongue-ties because I thought her pediatrician, who looked in her mouth, would have seen it. I was wrong. Apparently, they’re not trained to check for them.

In a mommy group on Facebook, I posted about her being a messy eater, just thinking it was a funny quirk. Someone mentioned I should check her mouth for ties. I lifted her top lip, and saw a tie so obvious, I couldn’t believe it hadn’t been noticed yet.

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I checked with a lactation consultant, and she agreed it was a severe lip tie, and that tongue ties often occur with it. I got a recommendation for a dentist, and we made an appointment right away. Unfortunately, we hadn’t thought she’d need dental insurance yet, and she can only be added in June, or within 60 days of her birth. We were literally 2 weeks past that.

We took her in for her appointment, he agreed it was a class 4 upper lip tie and a posterior lip tie. He did the procedure that day, using a laser (some still clip them). We paid out of pocket. She screamed (we weren’t in the room), then she was brought to me to nurse. She did for a short time, then slept for then next 2 1/2 hours! Poor wee one. :(

Unfortunately, I’m not seeing any improvement with nursing. This was 2 weeks ago, and she just recently regressed a bit, fussing at the breast, and I’m having nipple pain. I’ve gone back to lactation group but the LC doesn’t help much. I’m doing her mouth stretching exercises, which she hates, but apparently she might need physical therapy too, to really help. We can’t afford much more after paying for the procedure.

I’ll give them a call and see if we can get insurance to cover it. I’m getting very frustrated. :(

Bedroom Transition

It’s so hard to find time to blog! There are so many other things to do while she naps. I’m crossing my fingers she stays asleep long enough for me to finish this (and my lunch!).

So a few weeks ago, I transitioned Inara to her own bedroom (she was just over 2 months old). I felt that all our little noises were waking her up, like when we went to the bathroom or my husband got ready for work in the morning. It’s been…varied. Some nights she sleeps fairly well. Some nights she’s up every hour. I don’t think it’s due to her being in the crib, more just usual sleep problems for a baby her age. At first I was going to nurse her in the rocking chair in her room, but it was super uncomfortable, so we moved the recliner in there. We have a great video monitor but I was kind of glued to it the first few nights and didn’t sleep well. Now I’ve learned to just check on her via video before I go to sleep and when she makes noise, and to keep the screen off the rest of the time.

We had a fan in there for white noise but she sleeps so well in her swing during the day with its music playing, so I set up an iPod in there last night. I started with Disney music but the volume was too varied, so I switched to a Mozart lullabies album. I think I’ll get some more classical lullabies to add to it, as regular classical can get loud at times. She seemed to sleep fairly well, though I did take her to bed with me in the morning as I often do. She pretty much sleeps 1/2 to 3/4 in her room, and the rest with me, though sometimes she doesn’t sleep with me at all. She still can sleep on her own, so I’m not worried about it. I love our snuggly time. :)

It’s a little more tiring to have to go to her room every time she wakes up, but it’s maybe 10 feet down the hall, so it’s not bad. I think my husband and I sleep better overall with her in her own room, and eventually I think she will too. She still can’t sleep without a swaddle, but if she wakes up in it, she fights it until she gets her arms free so she can suck on her hands. Putting her to sleep without it hasn’t worked, but I’m sure she’ll transition out of it soon. The Merlin Magic Sleepsuit has been suggested to me, but it’s a bit pricey when I’ve already invested in all these swaddles. I do have a few Woombies I got on sale when Isis Parenting went out of business, but all they had was the 14 lb. size so she’s not big enough yet. I miiiiight buy one smaller one and try it out.

I’m looking forward to sleep getting a little better. I don’t get much. She fights napping during the day, but will be too overtired to sleep if she doesn’t. We’re still working all the kinks out together. She’s almost three months old now, and I’ve heard her sleep should improve soon. We’ll see. ;)

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2-Month Checkup

I cannot even believe our little munchkin is two months old already! Just like everyone says, it flies by…and every day is better. It’s easier to feed her and put her to sleep now, on the whole (not always). She’s tons more fun, smiling and laughing and reacting to us. She is such a joy!

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Today she had her 2-month checkup.

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She’s still perfectly healthy and gaining weight much faster now. She also got two shots and wailed her poor little heart out. :( She recovered fairly quickly though, and is now passed out asleep in her swing.

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Here are her stats so far. :)

Birth:
Weight – 7 lbs.
Length – 18 3/4 in.

1 month:
Weight – 8 lbs. 4 oz.
Length – 20 1/2 in.

2 months:
Weight – 9 lbs. 13 oz.
Length – 21 1/2 in.

Delighting in her Beauty

Two blog posts in three days! Who AM I? ;) She’s been asleep in her swing for around an hour, so I don’t expect to get much more time before she wakes up. I might have to finish this later.

After my post the other day, I thought it only fair that I wax poetic about my love for my daughter. She is amazing and unique and I love her to the moon and back. Here are some adorable facts about her:

1. She giggles as she’s falling asleep. This isn’t the best instance of it (she’s full-out chortled before), but this is the only one I’ve caught on video. It happens at the 16-second mark.

 

2. Her left ear is a little curled, almost elvish looking. Or Vulcan. She has sort of done “Live Long and Prosper.”

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3. She makes the most HILARIOUS faces. So hilarious I have to caption them!

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4. She LOVES to be naked. I try to let her have a little naked time each day.

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5. She can sit up like a champ already!

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6. She LOVES the water. Co-bathing is so much fun!

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7. Just look at her in this rainbow tutu. She totally puts up with mama’s shenanigans.

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8. Awesome neck control. And CHEEKS for miles!

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9. She’s a maniac on the floor. :D

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10. And last but not least, she’s totally daddy’s girl.

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Okay, and mama’s too. ;)

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<3 <3 <3

Delayed Love

This is a hard post to write. It’s difficult to admit I wasn’t in love with my daughter from day one. I wanted her for so long, hoped and prayed and suffered, so being any less than completely in love with her sounds incredibly ungrateful. However, I know I’m not the only one that’s felt this way, and it needs to be talked about.

My daughter was born via C-section. I think this has a lot to do with it. It was not what I wanted, but it was necessary, and as long as she came into this world safely and healthy, I was happy. I didn’t get to hold her right away, didn’t get skin-to-skin till about an hour later. I didn’t see her emerge from my body, and she didn’t exit the way nature intended. I think all of that added up to me feeling a bit disconnected from her. Like some people have said about their relationships with adults: I loved her, I just wasn’t IN love with her.

Those first few weeks were hard. Not enough sleep, she was constantly fighting breastfeeding, I felt like I was doing everything wrong. I couldn’t enjoy her yet. She felt almost like a pet (that’s not as bad as it sounds; we REALLY love our pets). I loved her about as much as one of my nieces or nephews. I felt like a caretaker. The whole motherhood concept still hadn’t really sunk in.

Sometime around one month postpartum, I finally started feeling it: that gut-wrenching, soul-deep love for another human being. I had a DAUGHTER. My CHILD. It amazed me and filled me with joy. It had eventually hit me; I was in love. I had gazed at her before; now I drank her in. Her absolute perfection astounded me. How did WE create something so beautiful and perfect?

It’s not always this idyllic, of course. There are days when I just want to throw in the towel (not that I could). She can be exhausting and frustrating and impossible. My sister came over today to watch her so I could sleep for two hours after a horrendous night. But this morning, when I was at the end of my rope, my little (wide awake) angel gave me a giant goofy grin that seemed to go on forever, and I melted. I was completely exhausted, but the smile I gave back to her was totally genuine and full of love.

This is my baby girl. My heart. It may have taken a little while, but I try not to feel guilty. Birth and motherhood are HARD. I’m just doing the best I can.

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The 4th Trimester

For those of you that don’t know me well, I’m a big fan of body positivity. I am plus-sized and proud, and not embarrassed of my body. Some time ago, I saw the 4th Trimester Bodies Project linked to on Facebook. I was pregnant at the time and intrigued by the project. It celebrates mothers’ bodies without shame or hiding of flaws.

Eventually they posted tour dates, and I realized they’d be in Boston 2-4 weeks after Inara would be born. I signed up for their emails, and as soon as the Boston dates opened up, I purchased a slot. It’s a good thing I was on top of it, because they sold out quickly!

As Inara came a little early, she was exactly one month old yesterday for our photo shoot. We drove into Cambridge, nearly late due to traffic, and thankfully arrived just in time (I HATE being late!). Ashlee, the photographer and founder, and Laura, the hair and makeup artist, were absolute dolls. It was so nice to chat and work with body-positive moms. Laura beautified me, and I felt lovelier than I have since my wedding day. Ashlee took my headshot and did a video interview to get my info for my bio. Then it was time to strip.

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4th Trimester Body Project photos are taken in a black bra and underwear (bra optional, breastfeeding encouraged). Honestly, I had no qualms about it at all. I was very comfortable with the women and the only other people there were my husband and baby. Then we stripped down said baby and took our photos. Inara promptly peed on me, which obviously happens a lot and we quickly toweled it up. Otherwise it went by quickly, while I just cuddled and played with my sweet daughter, who obliged with adorably open, wide eyes. Then I got to choose which photo would be used for the project. There were so many good ones, but this one just spoke to me. I’m just so happy to be holding her.

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So here I am, post-baby body in my skivvies for the world to see. I’m not nervous about it at all, honestly. It took a long time for me to get to a place where I can say that, and it took a lot of mental work. I wasn’t always heavy. I started gaining weight in college then gained a lot more through my mother’s illness and death. I’ve never been able to keep off what I lose, and I finally had to give myself a break from it before my mental health deteriorated further. Now that we have Inara, we both want to try to get healthier, but I’ll be going a lot easier on myself this time. I love my body no matter what. It has done amazing things for me.

Thank you Ashlee for an amazing experience. This project is something the mothers of the world desperately need.

Catching Up

Here’s some irony for you: I finally get the baby to sleep by midnight, but I had a good nap on the couch this evening and now I’m not sleepy. Every. Single. Night. I’ve been begging her to sleep. Now she is and I can’t!

So, since I’m awake, I’ll blog! ;) I can’t believe Inara is almost 4 weeks old. I’m woefully behind on blogging, but things have been crazy. Not unusually so, just newborn-level crazy. I’m getting by on a LOT less sleep, though I’ve been sleeping longer stretches than I ever did pregnant. It’s awesome to have my body back. So much less pain and less going to the bathroom.

Breastfeeding has been a challenge. My nipples are apparently a little flat so we need to use a nipple shield. She often screams and flails instead of latching, but she’s getting better. One night she fed almost constantly for five hours. That was exhausting. We’re trying to keep her awake more during the day now so she sleeps better at night.

Otherwise, she’s a complete joy. She’s gorgeous and hilarious and snuggly. We can’t even believe we made her. We are so completely in love with her and our new life.

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