Sunday, September 29, 2013

ups and downs

We've had some ups and downs in the past couple of weeks in New Mama Land.

First, my back had been hurting me for a couple of weeks from standing and rocking my big baby girl to sleep. I didn't pay much attention to it, and all of a sudden one day I heard a *clunk* in the middle of my back and I could barely breathe because of the pain. The pain got worse throughout the day and I emailed Patrick, and told him to come home as soon as he could. I couldn't even lift the baby. I panicked, thinking about how I was supposed to take care of this girl for the next few hours until her papa arrived home. Isa must've known that her mama needed her cooperation, because she sat quietly in her chair and let me rock her with my feet for the next few hours. That night, after sleeping for a couple of hours, I was in so much pain I couldn't even get out of bed. I literally could not even roll to my side! Patrick got me up out of bed and I finished my night of sleep on the floor in the front room. He brought the baby to me to nurse and got me set up in our rocking chair so that I didn't need to lift her at all. He took care of me all day and I took care of myself, so I could heal up and care for my girl. I made a hot pack out of beans and a sock and had it on my back most of the day. I used a tennis ball against the floor to loosen the muscles of my back so that the bones could go back in place. By the next night, Patrick popped the ribs back into place and I healed over the next couple of days. Since then, I've been vigilant about using the tennis ball to rub my back out and using a heat pack whenever I start to feel the muscles tightening up. I also spoke with my mom and she suggested to strengthen my back with a few exercises, so I'll be doing those as well.

But that was just the beginning! A few days later I experienced a very severe plugged duct in my breast. A whole section of my right breast was full of milk, sore, and very warm to the touch. I recognized these symptoms and looked up online how to treat this problem. The solution is simple: heat, massage, nurse, repeat. I did this, and although the pain was fairly bad, I made Isa stick to that breast for most of the night and by the morning it felt as if most of the milk had drained. I was so grateful to my little sucker, and I felt good for a few days. Then, all of a sudden, on this past Friday my health started to deteriorate quickly. I felt tired and fatigued. Then I started to get chills and my temperature began to rise. I knew something wasn't right, but didn't know what it was. I got the flu shot, so it shouldn't be the flu. Then, I remembered it could be mastitis, an infection of a plugged milk duct. I felt my breast and it still felt tender (but not as full) in the same place as before. I also looked at my nipple and saw a small white dot on it. I did some google diagnosing and realized that my duct was probably still plugged and it looks like I have what's called a milk blister or bleb (we'll find out for sure when I go to the doctor tomorrow). I called the doctor early Saturday morning, she called in a prescription for an antibiotic for me, and I tried my best to get Isa to suck the plug out, to no avail. I massaged the breast, applied warm compresses, tried to squeeze the blister, tried to pump it out, I tried everything! In the meantime, my breasts we becoming engorged due to the extra pumping I was doing.

And then the worst/best thing happened: Isa slept through the night for the first time. She slept 8 hours straight at the exact moment I needed her to nurse frequently!!! That little butthead! I woke her up after 8 hours because I couldn't stand the pressure in my breasts anymore, but she might've slept longer even! She went back down for another 5 hours and ended up sleeping from about 8 pm until 9 am! The engorgement has since subsided, along with the high temperature, but the white dot is still on my nipple and my breast is still sore. I'm going to go to the doctor tomorrow to try to get that dealt with. On the plus side, our baby might be in a new sleep pattern! Woo hoo! She's growing up so fast.

For every challenge in this new role, there's another little miracle. My body is still adjusting to all these changes, but our little girl just rolls with the punches and helps me out in every way she knows how. When my back goes out, she sits quietly in her chair; when my breasts become engorged, she nurses; when I feel sick, she sleeps through the night so I can get my sleep. She doesn't know how good she is to me, but I love her for it anyways!

I'll post a three month update, more on Isa's growth and changes soon. Until then, see our updated photos in the upper right hand corner of this page.

she's reading a book about circles

Friday, September 6, 2013

2 months old

We still have a huge baby on our hands! Isa had her two month checkup today and here are the new stats:

Weight: 16 pounds 6 ounces (above 99th percentile)
Length: 24.7 inches (above 99th percentile)
Head circumference: 16.25 inches (95th percentile)

She's growing out of everything so fast! She's already out of her size one cloth diapers and she's starting to stretch out the 6 month onesies she's been wearing. Luckily, she got so many gifts while in Chicago and should be set on clothing for the next few months.

She also had 5 vaccination shots and cried like I've never seen her before! It was so, so heartbreaking to watch her face scrunch up and get all red and tears stream out of her eyes. Luckily, her crying was hard and fast. After only a few minutes of crying she fell asleep in my arms. All day she's been a little lethargic and fussy, and we gave her a small dose of infant tylenol to help to ease her pain.

Outside of today, she's generally a very happy baby. She's been smiling and even (we think) laughing! It is so fun waking up in the morning with this warm little body next to me, cooing at me and so happy to see me looking back at her.