Wednesday, May 21, 2008


You guys are just absolutely amazing. Thanks so much for your support and suggestions about the whole leaking and sweating thing. Really, THANK YOU. And a special double merci to Mel who posted on the Lost and Found that brought so many of you here to help.

Ah! This community! it just rocks.

I know you know, but: it is so great to feel not alone! This was me a few days ago: I'm so abnormal, what the fuck is going on with my boobs, am I a freak of nature?! This is me now: I may be uncomfortable, but many others have been through it, and I WILL survive.

Woo wee. Deep breath: it's all gonna be ok.

I have been wearing a bra at night with my regular reusable breast pads. It has worked so far except on one occasion where I leaked. One out of the past 5 nights is not bad.

But... (isn't there always a but?) A few things of note:

I have found since not leaking at night I wake up incredibly engorged. My boobs (already size G since giving birth) are hard and full and heavy.

AND: this new bra-wearing, non-leaking regime has coincided with the baby deciding to sleep through the night! Not that I am complaining about the sleeping (he has slept from about 9pm until 4 or 5 am the past 3 out of 4 nights), but this is exacerbating the engorgement of the boobs.
Furthermore, I think I have a plugged duct on the underside of my left breast. It hurts. Like a bitch.

So... here are my questions for today:

1- My supply will go down, and the engorgement will stop, right? If the baby stops his night feeding then my body will stop producing milk and adjust, right?

2- So given that, if I pump to empty my breasts so that I leak less, the pumping will actually stimulate my body to produce more milk. I think I have that correct, do I not? So I think that I am only going to pump when I need the milk.

3- I have resigned myself to wearing a bra at night (which I don't enjoy, but is a necessary evil, I guess.) Given my humungoid breasts, does anyone have a suggestion for a very comfortable bra to wear at night?

4- I am interested but weary of using Lilypadz. What happens to the milk that leaks? It's no good if it just pools around the nipple, is it? I am not adverse to using them, I just don't want to spend all that money (on one set of pads!) and never use them.

5- Back to this plugged duct... what do you guys recommend? I am going to use hot compresses through the day and see if that helps.

AND AGAIN: you guys are the greatest. There is nothing in this world that can compare to the support and love that I feel from you.


Do you want to hear about the baby at all?

I'll be brief (in case you don't. And in case he wakes up in the meantime...)

Sacha is doing great. He's 7 and a half weeks old (He'll be 2 months next Thursday!)

He is getting chubby, so I know that he is eating well. His long slim fingers he had at birth are no more. And he has like 4 necks. He has even grown out of some of his sleepers, and is fitting well into clothes that he was not able to wear in his first month. I have no idea how much he weighs (we haven't been to the doctor since he was 2 and a half weeks old), but I would guestimate about 10 lbs. To think that I was worried about my breast milk and about him getting enough!

It's also fun to watch Sacha do new things. He's been smiling for a few weeks (especially for The C, it's so delicious to watch!) and in the past day or so I think that I can identify a little laugh as he is smiling. Sacha also loves his mobile- he can lie under it for 45 minutes just babbling away to his little animal friends. I try not to use it as a baby sitter, but I have to admit that it does give me time to take care of some things! We also try tummy-time at least once a day, and some days are more successful than others. Sacha is getting more consistent at holding up his head, and he likes to look at the baby in the mirror.

And his sleeping... I told you above that he's maybe starting to sleep through the night (praying for no regression...). He naps well too, in short spurts during the day. He rarely has trouble going to sleep in his crib as long as I swaddle him tight. He is even learning to fall asleep on his own in his crib (as opposed to before when I would only put him down after I rocked him to sleep in my arms.) Don't get me wrong, he does fuss- he is a baby after all. But overall in this department I count myself as totally lucky. (And luck has everything to do with this!)

Ok, I'll leave you with one yummy picture. (Taken a week and a half ago.)

Next time I will try not to write about my boobs. Maybe I will tell you about the good and bad behaviors of my husband...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I have so much to write, but every time I sit down and finally have a second either: 1- my brain goes blank; or 2- Sacha wakes up from his nap. Here I am... but the little guy seems like he is about to stir.

I have a million questions, and two million things to tell you about (and that I want to record for posterity), but I will stick to the single most pressing issue du moment.

Of course, it's about breastfeeding. (Ok, it very well could have been about sleeping or pooping, but this time: it's not!)

Here's the thing: Sacha is a champion breast-sucker. Pretty much from the middle of his second week things have been smooth sailing for him in the breastfeeding department. (We were off to a rocky start due to my insecurities coupled with Sacha's 3 days in the NICU, but I had a lactation consultant come in immediately when we got home, and she helped us out immensely.)

As you can imagine, I am thrilled beyond belief that my boobs are working to feed my little boy. I actually never thought I would be able to do it, you know, what with the fucked up hormones and all. And I'm certainly not all smug and fanatic about breastfeeding. I pump from time to time, and my mother and The C have both been able to feed Sacha from a bottle.

So the question/ advice that I need today is not about the baby and the breast. It's about ME. (Yes, me, me, me.) This is going to be totally TMI, but I don't know where to turn to talk about this...

The problem I am having arises only at night, and it is two fold.

First: While during the day my breast hardly leak at all (as in I don't really need to wear breast pads, but as I have leaked about 2 times, I wear them just in case), at night I find that they leak pretty much out of control. If I'm lying on my side then I get huge, soaking spots on the bottom sheet, and it I'm lying on my back I soak the top sheet. (In terms of timing, I usually feed the baby at 8 before putting him to bed, then he feeds at 1-2 am, and then again at 5-6 am.)

Second: I have been having unbelievable night sweats. Again, nothing during the day whatsoever. But at night I am soaked. And again, my sweats are soaking my sheets. Top sheet and bottom sheet. And so much sweat that the other night I had The C bring me a towel to put on top of me because i was absolutely dripping.

I have tried to "deal" with the two situations above by putting a waterproof pad down on the bed. (I procured it from the hospital post-partum... thank goodness I had the foresight to, umm, bring it home with me! I thought I would need it for bleeding at night...) In the morning the pad is so wet that I joke to The C that I can just have Sacha suck on it for his morning meal. It gets very cold when I get up in the middle of the night, making it very uncomfortable to come back to bed. And also it is very hard to turn during the night as the pad is so wet that it literally sticks to me.

I know that the the leaking and night sweats are related: the higher levels of prolactin due to breastfeeding cause sweating (I read about it in brief here.) So I know in theory that what is going on is, perhaps, normal. BUT I don't feel normal. In fact I feel disgusting, gross and wet. (How yucky is it to have to ask your husband to get you a towel to put between yourself and the top sheet because you are pouring sweat!)

So... I need help.

Firstly- really, is this normal? Is this just one of those things that no one talks about/doesn't want to tell you about?

Second- How come I am leaking so much- should my supply not be all "regulated" by now? Sacha eats pretty regularly (in terms of quantity consumed and number of feedings per day.)

Third- What can I do about it? (The leaking and the sweating.) Does anyone have any solutions for me? (Sleeping with a bra and nursing pads is not really an option- I will leak right through...)

(And, before you ask, yes I sleep with nothing on, because how double gross would it be to leak and sweat through pjs. Oy!)

(And also: I feel pretty bad/guilty writing about this. Like in the same way as I did about writing about pregnancy after IF. I'm so sorry if I'm offending any of you out there who are thinking: if only I had these problems. I know that feeling. I will never be able to forget that.)

Friday, May 02, 2008


My precious pumpkin,

I can hardly believe you have been around a month already. (Yes, I know it's a few days late, but so were you coming into this world, so let's just call it even.) We use the phrase "I can't believe that..." alot around here. That's because you're unbelievable. You are pretty amazing, little guy. We worked so hard to get you and you are all ours. It still seems so unreal.

When your papa and I carried you out of the hospital (the first time, when you were 2 days old), we looked at each other and mused: I can't believe they are just going to let us walk out of here with this perfect child. Truth be told, even though I had yearned for you for 32 months (plus an extra 9 days for good measure!) I had no idea what we were doing.

One month later I am learning minute by minute and day by day what your needs are. You are doing a great job of teaching me what you need. Your classes are very hard- some of the hardest I have ever attended- but I think that I'm passing.

One of the toughest classes by far has been breastfeeding. At first I couldn't even imagine that my breasts would be able to nourish you. I know, it's an age-old art, but when it came down to doing it, you and I, I found myself thinking "how's that gonna work?!". After many trying times (made much more difficult because of your stay in the NICU) it would seem that we have this eating thing down pat. It's like a well choreographed dance: you whimper, I whip out my boob, you are thrilled. Lesson learned. We even successfully got you fed in public on a number of occasions. Really, I can't believe that my breast milk is making you grow big and strong.

And big and strong you certainly are! At your 2 week check-up you weighed 8lb 4oz, and I'm sure you are well over 9lb by now. I feel it- you are getting heavier. And pudgier-your thighs, hands and neck are really filling out. It's amazing to watch day by day how you are learning to control your body parts. Your neck is so strong- you often want to hold up your head all on your own. And you have discovered how to get your hands to your mouth- a feat that requires so much coordination! It's so fun to lay you on your tummy for a minute or two and watch you stretch and exercise your arms and legs- you seem to have endless amounts of energy bursting out of your every limb!

But, I have to admit, it is more fun to watch you sleep peacefully. Primarily because with your eyes closed you look so peaceful and beautiful. I feel like I could sit and stare at you for hours. But I can't- this is the time that I use to get stuff done: work, laundry, shower, pee, the list can go on and on! Sometimes, if I'm lucky, I am able to take a nap too. Oh, and the second reason that I love to watch you sleep? It's knowing that once again I was able to do something right by you: it's a major accomplishment sending you off into dreamland.

Speaking of major, let's take a moment to discuss your poop. Kid: you poop like no other. Your quantity, frequency and timing are probably unparalleled. We had to move to a bigger diaper size just to be able to contain your movements. (All is normal, I have been assured. But it DOES seem like alot.) One skill you have mastered is the projectile poop. Oh, your papa and I have learned our lesson! Change that diaper FAST. Last week your poop travelled no less than 5 feet across the room when our timing was off. And somehow the other day you managed to plant poo on papa's leg. Still trying to figure that one out.

I think your papa and I thought we would never become the type of parents to discuss sleeping, crying, eating and pooping with so much interest and enthusiasm. But you are the new centre of our universe, and these are your crowning achievements. How could we not spend hours dissecting their frequency, change or meaning? I mean, it's all just so important!

The newest lesson I have learned is that if I do everything right by you, you will give me the biggest reward of all. You show me what love and joy and feel like. You have even started showing me your gorgeous gummy toothless grin. A smile that melts my heart, that makes me think: I can do this, and I'm doing it right. And that, most of all, is so amazing to believe.

I love you.