Sunday, January 22, 2012

Colic - another way to say "I dunno"

Our little monchichi is gassy. Not in a demure, giggly "I've got the vapors" way. She's gassy in a burping, farting, make her brothers turn their heads from across the room cause it's so loud, sorta way. So much sound coming out of someone so tiny is hilarious most of the time, until her eyebrows scrunch and her lip quivers and her body tenses, cause she is beyond uncomfortable.  With that discomfort comes a pterodactyl screech and makes me pout, no mama wants to see their baby in pain.

I wouldn't say she's a fussy baby. She really only cries when she needs something. That being said, she has been crying more and more with her gas pains, which wakes her up. Add that to the three hour sleep cycle plus the fact that she only wants to pacify on my nipple- shouldn't be hard to guess that I haven't been getting a whole lotta sleep lately.

When we saw the pediatrician I asked her about the whole gassy baby issue. Her diagnosis? Colic. Typical for babies before they are three months old. Her solution: wait it out. Um, seriously? The lactation consultant didn't have much more advice. Although she did encourage me to get over my fear of co-sleeping which has given me a little more rest. But, the general consensus seems to be that some babies have temperamental tummies for no real reason. Oh the age of science and wisdom...

We have tried Gripe water and I'm gonna buy some fresh manzanilla (chamomile) to make her tea. Other than that there doesn't seem to be many more options. At the moment she is breastfeeding and supplementing with formula. If her belly badness continues after the three month mark I plan to look into either changing up formula (if we still need it), or once again limiting my diet.  Until then I will try to keep my patience.

Monday, January 9, 2012


I've been fighting a cold. After blowing my nose all night and morning I need to just give in to the fact that I have a cold - there isn't a fight involved. Sleep was scarce last night. The little one slept a bunch - she's still asleep in her chair, making the occasional cute sound.

D is on his way to pick up Mia's ashes.

I kept dreaming that she was coming home alive. She is not even coming home whole. Ash of her former body. No more shape or form.

I was too tired in the hospital. So much had happened and her birth was the bookend of it all. I wish I had spent more time with her in my arms. I wish I had sent everyone away so D and I could hold her and her sister together. I wish I could have seen the two girls at the same time. I wish.

We are planning a memorial of sorts at the end of the month. We haven't decided on what yet, but something to help with closure.  Mostly I want a way to put her to rest without losing her memory. But I suppose that's what everyone who's lost someone wants.

Friday, January 6, 2012

One month.

Abuela's visit

Grandpa Johnny

Diapers are still big.

One of the best purchases - PUJ tub!
So little.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Odds and Ends

Breastfeeding is difficult. I had prepared for this - especially with twins. I read up on it and went to the La Leche group, heard the stories and knew that things might not go well at first. Even with that - breastfeeding is hard. You would think that something we have been doing as humans for thousands of years would be ingrained - like peeing, but no, there are lots of little obstacles to overcome.

Immediately after Ripley was born she latched well. Not a wimpy- oh there happens to be a nipple in my mouth sort of latch, a full on- I'm famished and I'm gonna Hoover this milk out if necessary latch, so right away I had high hopes. The next day the pediatrician even commented on how strong her suck was, and my achy nipples agreed - that little girl was determined. She fed every 2 or 3 hours and even though I couldn't tell, the lactation specialist assured me that I was indeed making Colostrum. On Thursday when we were discharged we were exhausted, but at least this was one thing that I didn't have to worry about.

Ripley's first doctor's appointment was the next day. We bundled our three day old little girl up and headed out. All morning and the night before she had continued to latch well and seemed content and sleepy after she was finished. In fact, she enjoyed it so much, that she had to munch at the doctor's office, in the waiting room and in the exam room. So, when the doctor was concerned - I was not prepared.

Ripley had lost a whole pound since birth. Weight loss is normal, but a pound is on the high side. She was also a little yellow, so the doc was worried about jaundice. Apparently my body wasn't making enough milk for her. The doc told us to supplement with formula and sent us to the lab to get blood work done.

We had just left Mia and the hospital, and here we were, worry shifted to Ripley. My body once again failing me. I felt so defeated and inadequate.

The lab called later in the day and confirmed that she was jaundiced. We started the formula immediately. I think D was actually excited about bottle feeding. He had fed both the boys with bottles and I think he was missing the closeness. I was concentrated on giving my body the benefit of the doubt. I had just had a tragedy. I spent four days in the hospital with very little sleep and food. I had only given birth three days before and it was perfectly natural to not have milk yet. All these were rational arguments, and none of them worked.

When registering for bottles I had researched every bottle out there. Nipple confusion is a major breastfeeding dilemma. Every bottle we had was low-flow and breastfeeding compatible. But they still seemed strange. The milk would drip out very quickly and Ripley would gulp big and quickly. When I put her against me again she didn't know what to do. Her little head moved back and forth as she desperately tried to figure out what to do with her tongue. She was, in all senses, confused. More ache and frustration.

We had another appointment the next day. She was weighed again and thanks to the formula she had gained an ounce. The pediatrician that day was much more optimistic. He agreed that she was confused and showed us how to supplement with our finger and a tube (to promote suckling). He also assured us that the jaundice was common and that it was a very low level. We left that day with some relief.

It's been almost a month and I'm still not confident. We have been seeing a lactation consultant and she agrees that I don't have enough milk yet. To promote production I have quite the routine: Let her latch for 10-15 minutes on each breast, then supplement with formula (by a tube that inserts in her mouth while she suckles), and finally pump for 10 minutes on each side after she's satiated. I am diligent for the most part - except for the pumping. I need to pump more. I am also working on my diet and hydration. And I just bought Fenugreek.

I have mustered all my patience. But I repeat: breastfeeding is hard.


I am spoiling her. I hold her all the time, I let her pacify on my nipple, she sleeps mostly in our bed and we don't let her cry. I am alright with all of this.


We're trying to keep the sleep thing from kicking our asses. D went back to work after the first week so I have been trying to pull most of the wee hour shifts on my own. Even though I have a long history of nights that have bled into dawn - no amount of pre-baby training prepared me for the third, fifth, eighth night with very little sleep. I was feeling mighty zombified for a bit. But, we may have come to a happy place. If I take a nap from 9-midnight while the little one sleeps with D, then I can be up till 2 or 3am with some coherence. D also gets up around 5 and does a morning change/feeding before work and then she sleeps with me for a few more hours. We have tried this for a couple of days now, and I have to say - its nice to be wide eyed once again.


I don't think I cried today. I may have welled up - but I don't think I actually shed tears. That's progress.
I also feel like this is the first week that people don't look at me like a vase about to hit the floor. Up until now D has had a very concerned look in his eyes like I could shatter at any moment. I am sad, the most sad I have ever been, but I don't think I will break anytime soon.

D and I have two very different perspectives after Mia's death. He feels that we have had our tragedy, and that nothing can touch us now. I am the opposite. Losing her made me more aware that nothing is guaranteed, and tragedy can strike when you least expect it. It's a horrible feeling. I used to be so fearless, that is gone now, I am afraid of everything. This makes me want to build huge walls up around me to keep me protected and numb my feelings (go on big bad world - try to hurt me now!). Instead, I work at letting the emotion sweep over me. I will build my walls from sand and let the waves break them as they come. I will not fight fate, I will see how this life unfolds (and try not to be afraid).

I miss Mia. The whole situation sucks. I was mentally prepared for two babies. I was so very excited. Now there is one and this empty space. Ripley is wonderful and delightful, but I wonder if I'll always feel like there is something missing. Will she feel that way too? We are making arrangements for Mia. We pick up her ashes soon. Will I feel better after that? Does anyone who loses a child ever feel better, or do they realize that despite their loss the world continues and eventually you decide to join back or you fade into your sad self? I am joining the world again slowly. It's strange to know that such little time has passed, and even though I may look the same, I am profoundly changed.


“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. but the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. i'll always be with you.” Winnie the Pooh

"You know that place between sleep and awake, the place where you can still remember dreaming? That's where I'll always love you... That's where I'll be waiting." Peter Pan