Saturday, December 22, 2007

News roundup

So much to say, so little time. Eggbert had her one-month birthday on Wednesday. I can't believe that I've already been a mama for a month now. It's gone so fast, and yet I can't remember what life was like without her.

She had her one month checkup on Thursday, and all was more or less well. She's still tiny, but is growing well. Her latest stats: 3.4 kg (~7 lb, 7 oz), and 52 cm (~20.5 inches), up from 2.8 kg and 44 cm at birth. That places her around the 10th percentile for weight, and the 25th for length. Her head is above average for her age, so she's a real Egg head. She's also grown a very fetching double chin, which makes me quite proud. The doctor was very pleased with her growth, and congratulated me for exclusively breastfeeding, which was nice. The only less-than-pleasant part of the visit was a hepatitis B vaccination. Eggbert does NOT like having needles shoved into her thigh, as it turns out. She turned purple and screamed for about three hours straight. Not fun.

While we love her with every molecule of our beings, and think that she's just about the most perfect creature on earth, there are no signs yet that she is a rocket scientist. Twice now she's started screaming hysterically because she had a fistful of her own hair and was pulling. It took several seconds (and a lot of resistance on her part) to pry her fingers out of her hair. You'd really think that this lesson would be one that you'd only have to learn once, but apparently not.

Aside from occasional mishaps like the above, though, she's a pretty cheerful girl as long as she gets her way. Unfortunately, her way involves her being on the boob 24 hours/day, which can't always be arranged (I haven't quite managed to master the art of changing her diapers without pulling the nipple out of her mouth, for example). So, she occasionally gets the opportunity to give her lungs (and our ears) a good workout.

Breastfeeding has been a bit of a challenge, but it's going well at this point. I was pretty sore for a while, and it took her a while to figure out how to latch, but now we're both old pros at the feeding thing. We also tested the bottle out a few days ago, just to start easing her into things in anticipation of my return to work, and she took it graciously, although she then slurped it down in one nanosecond, and wailed until I pulled out the boob. Oh well. We'll just have to put more in the bottle next time. The one real fly in the ointment so far is that while feeding her is going well, pumping is not. For some reason, I find pumping really painful. My nipples are sore for hours or even days each time I pump. I've tried setting the pump on the lowest setting, and that helps, but it's still a bit much. I'm thinking I might need to get a different kind of pump (I have the Medela mini-electric). Any thoughts?

One final thought--why is it that while everybody warns you about cluster feeding, nobody says anything about cluster pooping? Just wondering...

A reader asked for an update on my friend H, who is pregnant with twins again shortly after losing her much-wanted twins at 20 weeks in March. She has been on bed rest since 14 weeks, and is now at 23 weeks, and holding steady. There haven't been any signs of trouble, so we're now all cautiously optimistic that she'll make it to her doctor's goal of 30 weeks. Obviously 36 weeks would be even better, but her doctor thinks that they should have an excellent shot at good health if they at least make it to 30. Thanks for asking, dear reader!

Happy holidays!


Marie-Baguette said...

Dear Sara, I am so glad everything is going well and that your little girl is growing like a champ -- all this on breast milk!
Younger babies do poop a lot but it will get better! At 4 months, Max still has some cluster pooping episodes but at least he does not projectile poop anymore when we change him!
Re: your pump, I had the exact same problem. I had an Isis manual pump and it was far too painful to use it. I remember forcing myself once, and my boob ended up bleeding. I was horrified. Again, things get better. Maybe it is that your boobs get less full at some point, or that they acclimate. But now I can use my Isis electric pump at full blast 4 times a day. It is still not pleasant mind you, and sometimes my boobs are sore for a couple of hours, but there was never again any bleeding. So don't despair. I started to pump when Max was 2.5 months, and it got better very slowly. Just try to build up some stock before going back to work. Chances are you will get 1 or 2oz per pumping session when you start, but your yield will slowly improve. To me the pump is a lot like electric epilators: the first few times, it is excruciatingly painful. But then your body gets used to it. I recommend the avent stocking systems: you use bottles with a special top to freeze your milk. Then the caregiver just has to thaw the milk, and screw on the nipple to feed the child. Later on your can use the bottles to freeze pured food. Re: vaccines, I always try to not feed Max too much before them so that I can put him on the boob right after the shot. Once he is on the boob, he gets comforted very quickly.
Please do post some pictures of your gorgeous daughter!

Rachel Inbar said...

She is stunning!!!

I'm so sorry she screamed so long after the injection. Mine seemed to barely notice them - it's a shame I didn't appreciate that enough...

JENN said...

Sara, next shot ask the dr. about Baby Tylenol (and take it with you to the appt.) Our dr. suggest .80cc of Tylenol before giving the shot based on her weight at the time. Don't give up hope on Eggbert being a rocket scientist, there is research out there that supports big head & intelligence.
As far as the pumping, I had a similar experience with a manual pump, but as marie-baguette said, it does get better. Hang in there.

Marie-Baguette said...

I forgot to mention this great site for breastfeeding advice:

Happy holidays!

Lut C. said...

Sounds like your both doing great.

Maybe a manual pump would agree with you more?

Cheryl said...

Sara, try getting bigger nipple suction cups. That way more boob is in the suction not just your nipples. This seemed to work for me. hope this helps (cheryl)

Sarah said...

we had our first vaccines today--just awful!! but sounds like things are generally going really well, so happy for you!!!

Sarah said...

on the pump thing, maybe you just need different breast shields? i have the medela pump in style and it works well for me, but i'm smallish, and it seems like a lot of people need to get the larger shields. if you have any rubbing at all, that's your answer. there's more info on the medela website.