Monday, January 28, 2013


So I had this dream the other night, and I've had some difficulties interpreting its meaning. However, I do know the meaning is deeeeep.

There was this seminar I was required to attend, and many of my coworkers and friends were present. One of the activities was to mount a horse and nurse it. My boss went before me to show me how it's done (she was the one who originally informed me about the benefits of breastfeeding, and is an inspiration on how to be a nursing mother with a full time job). When it was my turn to go, I jumped on a Clydesdale bare back and looked at the people watching me from below with pride and determination. All of a sudden, I was afraid of heights and couldn't complete the task at hand.

Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE horses, and I have only been afraid of heights one other time in my life. When Jeff and I went on a hot air balloon ride a couple years ago, I had a slight panic attack during takeoff. It felt like we were rising into the air inside a balloon - which is exactly what was happening - and it was scary as s***.

Anyway, back to my dream. I climbed down to a platform below the horse's belly to find security. When I was there, I found all the constellations in the universe and nursed them instead. I looked down when I was finished and my nipple had been split open, showing the contents within. It did not hurt. It did not concern me. It just was. The people disappeared and it was just me and the cosmos.


It's no wonder I am having dreams about nursing (the constellations). New mothers can spend up to 8 hours a day nursing/figuring out nursing, and skin-to-skin contact fills another couple hours each day. This schedule can drive any woman insane, especially one who has never had a child before.

In the beginning, it's an easy pattern to discover. Baby will shut it if you latch him/her. Want a nap? Latch your baby. Want to visit with friends sans crying fit? Latch your baby. Need to eat a meal? Latch your baby. Baby will almost always fall asleep in your arms.

Is there anything more predictable? Well...yes. I was fine with this schedule until Everett got back up to a healthy weight. Although I was excited that he finally found comfort being around my bosom, I soon found myself unable to leave his side because he could only be put to sleep if he was first latched. Then, when I set him down after he fell asleep, he would immediately wake up and scream. From there, I had to figure out how to simulate him still being in my arms. We warmed up the crib with a heating pad, swaddled him twice, and rolled two blankets to prop him on either side to make him feel like he was being held. I was pleased to find this worked, but I still wanted him to go down without the effort of me soothing him to sleep.

Last summer I purchased a used copy of the book Babywise from Powell's Bookstore in Portland. This book preaches the notorious sleep program that suggests parents let their babies cry themselves to sleep, and to let the parent (rather than the baby) decide when it is time to eat. The book also boasts an 80% success rate of babies sleeping through the night at 9 weeks. Well...why not try it.

I put E down for a nap, and he started crying of course. Since Babywise says every baby needs to cry for a short time before they fall asleep, I thought I would wait it out. After all, baby Betty in the book cries for 20 minutes every time she is put down, then she takes a nice long nap. A few times I thought he was settling down, but it turned out he was just choking on his saliva for a bit, causing him to cry even harder. Almost an hour after he started crying hysterically, it was time to feed him again. I picked him up, and in looking at his sweet, innocent face I found terror and deep sadness reflected in his eyes that seemed to say, "Why did you abandon me for so long?" He burrowed his face in the crook of my neck and hiccuped a few times before his breathing became normal. I attempted to feed him, but he was just too upset to eat and only wanted to be cuddled.

The next time he went down for a nap, we sat in the rocking chair for 5 minutes and sang lullabies. He cooed up at me as his eyes became heavy. I set him in the crib and he slept for 2 hours. He would have slept longer, but we had to be somewhere and I decided to wake him up to eat.

So the crying it out doesn't work for this mommy right now, but there is some great advice to be found in Babywise. The author suggests putting babies on a schedule of eat-wake-sleep. This means you do not nurse your child to put him/her down for a nap. I did find benefit in this. After all, how is one to put a toddler to bed who has been weaned off breast milk, but can only be comforted by being latched? Seeing Everett's current patterns made me realize we were definitely in danger of having a difficult sleeper unless we made some changes fast.

So encouraged by my hot doctor to keep up with Babywise (because everything he says is fact...because he is so attractive...right?), we have decided to be less flexible with the eat-wake-sleep pattern. Where before I would feed him whenever he woke up crying, I have discovered that he can often be coaxed back to sleep with a little song and a quick hug instead of a lazy feeding session followed by a fussy awake time. We have developed quite the good little pattern. Although the Babywise author would scold me for hugging my baby and singing him a lullaby before he goes to sleep, I truly do not think this will be a bad way to put a child down for naps/bedtime in three years. The idea is to establish patterns you can handle early in the game, and Lord knows I'm okay with singing a little ditty.

Two weeks after Babywise made its appearance in Everett's life, I can put him down for a nap with eyes wide open, and I am semi-confident that he'll fall asleep on his own (with a bit of chatter beforehand). We still have the blanket rolls and utilize a sound machine, and I still love seeing him smile up at me when I sing a lullaby. However, rocking (and nursing) him to sleep is no longer necessary unless he is upset for reasons other than being tired. AND guess what, I'm not even going to tell you how long he's sleeping at night because I don't want to jinx it! But praise the heavens above!

However, as always I will keep you posted. We know that once you say there is a pattern it is bound to change soon. And if I'm singing a ditty every half hour, I might just let the goober cry himself back to sleep. At this point in time he does occasionally wake up and talk to himself in the middle of the night. When Jeff checked on him the other night, one of his arms was flailing every which way, and the other had a fist jammed into his mouth. We let him be and he eventually went back to sleep.

So I guess my philosophy is this for now: If before eating time he is wailing and sobbing, give him a hug (and maybe a diaper change); if he is being a silly boy and chattering to himself, let him be.

So now that we are all scheduled and whatnot, and since I have a husband who is willing to help, I have found time to take care of myself. I did a workout video, went on a run with a friend, and...wait for it...took a bubble bath!!! What the...a bath?! I even cleaned out the tub beforehand...What's that you say?!?!

In an episode of Sex and the City, Carrie and her friends talk about "strange single behavior," or SSB. When alone, women exhibit some rather quirky behaviors. Some find comfort in sitting on the kitchen counter while eating crackers with grape jelly, some put Vaseline and gloves on their hands while watching reruns on television, and some stare at their pores in a mirror for hours. As I was bubble bathing it up, I found myself resuming one of my SSBs. For some bizarre reason, I find gratification pulling ingrown hairs out of my legs. I look for them with squinted eyes, squeeze them, pull them out, and continue my search for more. Don't judge.

Sitting in the tub, musing over the resumption of my SSB, made me really appreciate how far we have come since Everett was born. It is nice to know I can have some time to myself to work, blog, bathe, clean, or read a fantasy book. Then, as I watched an ingrown hair float by me in the water, Everett woke up from his nap, started crying, and my nipples started leaking milk into the tub. And here we go again...

Monday, January 21, 2013

Diaper Changing 502 - Cloth Diapers

For the last week or so, Jeff and I have been experimenting with cloth diapers. We love the idea of creating less waste to pollute the environment, and even more, we love the idea of saving money. Cloth diapers are not what they used to be, but even those received rave reviews from our parents and grandparents. Today, cloth diapers are as easy to use as disposable, and the only extra step is a load of laundry.

A while back, I bought 4 Grovia shells and 8 inserts when they were on sale. From there I wanted to try the bumGenius! diapers, which I read are the most popular on the market. I bought one snap closure, and one Velcro closure. A while later, Rumparooz went on special with their adorable new covers. I snatched a couple of those and received a free Fuzzibunz diaper with my purchase.

The Grovia diaper is a “hybrid” diaper that has a waterproof cover and inserts which snap into place. The other three brands we tried are called pocket diapers.  Pocket diapers also have a waterproof cover, but they also contain a pocket in which you stuff a washcloth-like piece of fabric (which is the equivalent of Grovia's snap-on insert). The shell of the pocket diaper wicks away moisture from Baby, and the inserts absorb it, keeping moisture from seeping out the sides and back.

After a week experimenting with all four brands we have had zero leaks or accidents. This is a hard claim to make with disposable diapers, even when following the hidden instructions to a T.

We will definitely be buying more of the bumGenius and Rumparooz for now. It feels like we have enough of the Grovias, but will probably be purchasing more when Everett is a little bigger. Although we like the Fuzzibunz diaper, we do not prefer it at this time.

And guess what...those prefold diapers our parents used are still around and can save you even MORE money than the ones I'm about to talk about. Just don't get the ones from Babies R Us...

Disclaimer: it was E’s naptime when I shot the photos. His mood was not the best.


According to my research and recent purchases, Pampers cost about $0.26 per diaper, and the Kirkland Signature brand runs at about $0.22 per diaper.

  • Easy! You don’t need to do laundry to have clean diapers.
  • Can take them with you wherever you go.
  • Trimmer than any cloth diaper we tried.
  • Have a wetness indicator so you do not need to touch the diaper to see if it’s wet.
  • More babysitters and daycares are willing to deal with disposables over cloth.
  • No stuffing or prep, just buy your diapers and you’re ready to go!
  • You don't need to put poopy diapers in your washer and dryer.

My Response to the Above After a Week
  • You have a child, which means you are doing more laundry than you would like anyway. Why not do one more load?
  • If you want cloth diapers on the go, simply pack a couple, then put any soiled diapers in a wet bag. I have 2 wet bags I cycle through when I leave the house. Throw the wet bag in the laundry with everything else when you get home.
  • There’s no getting around the bulkiness of cloth diapers. However, Baby’s little bottom is so fun to pat when he/she is wearing them.
  • I wish cloth diapers had a wetness indicator. But with Everett his diapers are ALWAYS wet. I am never in doubt.
  • My mom used the cloth diapers when she was babysitting Everett and was surprised at how easy they were (FYI Jeff thinks they’re easier to put on than disposables…because with disposables you have to follow all these hidden steps you never knew about). Like I said, she just took off the soiled diaper, put it in the wet bag, and put on a new diaper. She really liked the bumGenius! Velcro closures, but has yet to try the buttons. As far as daycares, I am assuming the daycare named Clown Town around the corner from our house does not prefer cloth. However, if you are passionate about cloth, chances are your daycare selection will be in line with your beliefs anyway, and no one normal believes in a daycare called Clown Town.
  • I can honestly say the prep work for cloth diapers has been about 5 minutes each morning. You bring the laundry up, dump it out, stuff, and then put in a location close to the changing table. To me this is easier than driving across town to Costco every other week, dodging people down the aisles who are racing to sample tables, and standing in those annoying lines. 
  • What parent has never put poop-soiled clothes in their washer?

If you are interested in a short review of the four diapers we used, please feel free to read on! Otherwise, know this blog post is here if you are interested in learning more in the future. We will continue to update it with our cloth diapering experiences.

For an update on our cloth diaper adventures, click here!

Approximate price per diaper: $16.95 for the shell, and $17.95 for 2 inserts ($18.95 for the organic cotton inserts). This diaper can cost as low as $12.98 per diaper if you are able to reuse the shells between changes. And it’s even cheaper if you can use the shell more than 2 times each day (which I have yet to do).

Is it worth it? The diaper will pay for itself after using 59 disposable Kirkland diapers, and 49 Pampers. That is 5-6 days’ worth of diapers!


  • No need to stuff, snaps right into place, which makes prep insanely easy.
  • Can potentially reuse the shell by snapping in another insert if it does not get soiled, which makes it an incredibly good value.
  • Inserts are very soft.
  • Snaps overlap, making for a snug fit. Jeff prefers these snaps to any of our other diapers.
  • Dirty pads are incredibly easy to clean, especially since they snap off.
  • No muss, no fuss when rinsing messes off. This was by far the easiest diaper to clean off. UNLESS, you got a spill off the pad, which meant you had to rinse two pieces of the diaper rather than just one.
  • Made in USA! In Bozeman, MT actually, which is one of my favorite places.

  • Super bulky on our little guy.
  • Inserts take FOREVER to dry, especially the organic cotton ones.
  • Cover is not machine dryable.
  • Hasn’t leaked yet, but it is hard to get the gussets tight against E’s legs since he is so tiny.
  • Newborn clothes absolutely do not fit when this diaper is on.
  • Inserts stained after one use, even with a thorough rinse; this does not concern us though.

This diaper is much more utilitarian than the others we tried (no cutesy prints or frills). The fabric reminds me of my dad’s hiking shirts, and the inserts are straightforward. I really wanted to love this diaper, but I just like it for now. I am thinking it might be a better diaper for us once E is a little bigger. We are not giving up yet!

Approximate price per diaper: $17.95 for the shell and 2 inserts.

Is it worth it? The diaper will pay for itself after using 82 disposable Kirkland diapers, and 69 Pampers. That is 7-8 days’ worth of diapers! If you use these diapers every day, they will pay for themselves within 3 months.


  • Easy to stuff.
  • Wicks away moisture well.
  • Cover does not stain.
  • Diaper is super trim.
  • Velcro closure is similar to disposable diaper, making it easy and familiar for babysitters/daycares.
  • Snap closures are straightforward.
  • Can be bleached once a month, which makes me feel like they are more sanitary than the others (none of which can be bleached).

  • Inserts have stained after only a few uses. Again this doesn’t really concern us since all cloth diapers can be dried in the sun and the stains will be removed.
  • You have to remember to put the Velcro snaps down before washing, which Jeff and I both have a difficult time remembering when there is poop to deal with.
  • Inside is not as soft as the other diapers we tried.
  • Velcro wears down over time.
  • Cover cannot be put in the dryer.
  • Velcro can rub against the baby’s skin, making it a little irritating when you have an active baby. In conclusion, the snap closures are better than the Velcro closures.

I LOVE this diaper.   A note: the Velcro fasteners were better for getting around E’s tiny waist and was easiest to adjust of all the diapers, but we will definitely go with snaps.

Approximate price per diaper: $19.95 for the shell and 2 inserts.

Is it worth it? The diaper will pay for itself after using 91 disposable Kirkland diapers, and 77 Pampers. That is 7-9 days’ worth of diapers! The diaper will pay for itself within 3 months if used every day.

  • Very soft on the inside.
  • This is definitely the trimmest diaper we have, which I love since he can still wear his newborn clothes when wearing this diaper. I have a sentimental attachment to his little clothes, so it makes me sad when he cannot wear them with the bulkier diapers.
  • Does not stain.
  • The snap closures on this diaper were definitely my favorite, as you could adjust the waist in 3 different places as opposed to one (bumGenius! and Rumparooz) or two (Grovia) places. However, Jeff found this diaper to be the most challenging to fasten, so it is not husband friendly.
  • This diaper has the best “one-size” fit, as you can adjust the elastic around the legs and waist rather than snapping down the buttons. You also get extra elastic with each diaper you purchase –ensuring you will use this diaper for many years.
  • The entire diaper can be put in the dryer, shell and all.·        

  •  Its trimness makes it incredibly difficult to stuff.
  • The soft fabric on the diaper is hard to get messes off.
  • Elastic adjustment to fit the baby's growth seems a little annoyig to me. I prefer the button down method from a working-mom perspective.

Approximate price per diaper: $23.95 for the shell and 2 inserts.

Is it worth it? The diaper will pay for itself after using 108 disposable Kirkland diapers, and 92 Pampers. That is 9-11 days’ worth of diapers!

  • By far these have the cutest prints.
  • They fit E even at his smallest. The company claims it will fit newborns as small as 6 pounds, and I believe it.
  • There is an extra inner gusset to help contain messes.
  • SUPER soft against baby's skin.
  • The diaper claims to be more absorbent than others on the market with the 6r soaker pads. We haven’t utilized this yet, so I cannot comment on this claim.
  • The entire diaper can be put in the dryer, shell and all.
  • I trust this diaper most when putting E down for a nap.


  • Inner gussets are so good at containing messes that there is still poop in them after a wash if they are not rinsed off well.
  • They are pretty bulky for a little guy.
  • They are the most expensive diaper we tried.

I love this diaper. The prints are adorable, and the leg gussets fit trim against Everett’s tiny legs. Although they are expensive, I would definitely invest in more of these for nighttime and long naps.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Diaper Changing 201

Most people know how to change a diaper, and if you have never changed a diaper (like Jeff before we had a baby) I assure you they are pretty self explanatory. However, there are a few tricks we quickly learned when dealing with leaks, blow-outs, and the like, and I find it necessary to share in this community...because no one thought it important to share with me.

A couple things to note before I begin:

  • Place a wipe/clean diaper/cloth over private parts once they are released from the dirty diaper.
  • Layer changing pad covers. I have three. If - well when really - one gets soiled, I put it in the laundry and have a fresh one ready for the next accident (which usually comes soon). 
  • If your diapers are leaking out the back they are probably too small. Try going up a size.
  • If your diapers are leaking out the front or side, see Steps 3 and 5.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after each diaper change. Because that's just gross if you don't. Also, since you're washing your hands so frequently, it is helpful to have an extra moisturizing lotion next to the sink. My hands got so dry that my nipples started hurting every time I touched something...I know weird, but it felt like a nails on chalkboard sort of thing, and my nipples happen to be responding to that sensation these days.

So when you have a naked baby, here are the steps to follow:

Step 1.

Wipe the baby from front to back, starting in the crotch. Next, work your way in the creases between little boy's nards and legs. Wipe the nards. Wipe under the nards. Maybe grab another wipe. Wipe the bottom until no disgustingness remains. Put on some sort of diaper rash cream. The Grovia Magic Stick allows you to apply diaper rash cream without having to use your fingers. Yay clean hands!

Step 2.

Place the back of the diaper near the bellybutton line. Note: the back of the diaper is the one that is stretchy and has tabs that will fasten to the front.

Step 3.

Tuck the penis down! I hate that no one told me to do this until after we were going through 6 outfits a day.
Step 4.

Fasten diaper tight, but make sure you can get 2 fingers in the front. If newborn bellybutton is still gross, tuck the extra front material inside the diaper.

Step 5.

Untuck the side ruffles to contain sharts!

Step 6.

Wash your hands. Kiss your baby.


And there you have it. Don't miss any of these steps because you'll be sorry.

I'm good at art. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Titty Quest - A Husband's Perspective

Titty Quest

A blog post from guest-writer Jeff Wirth

A quest is when you embark on a journey with a goal at the very end which motivates you to overcome all the adversity you encounter along the way. Hopefully, before a person begins their quest they will learn about and acquire any tools they will need to survive. It’s like Zelda. In every Zelda game, you always get a sword and shield before you have to start fighting stuff that wants to kill you. In fact, there are failsafes in each game which actually PREVENT you from wandering into a dangerous situation unless you are prepared for it with the right equipment. 

Unfortunately, learning to breastfeed is not very much like a Zelda game. Rather, a titty quest is like skipping the part where you learn the controls, skipping the part where you get a sword and shield, and proceeding directly to the final boss. You may somehow learn how to defeat this grotesque creature with your bare hands, but you’re going to have to die like a thousand times in the process. You may want to scream. You may want to take the controller and hurl it at the television. You may say to yourself, “This is probably the dumbest game ever. How sick am I that I willingly put myself through this crap?” But, if you’re my wife, you keep trying and trying because you believe that getting to the end will somehow make it all worth it. And if you’re her husband, you admire her tenacity, her strength, and her spirit. And you also hope she’s right about the end being worth it because I swear to God if we beat this boss and we find out our princess is in another castle I’m going to **** some **** up.

Once upon a time... Everett, Emily, and I were at the hospital. There we were, the three of us, just enjoying each other’s company after the nurses had bathed Everett and measured him in a variety of ways. My son’s first attempts at breastfeeding were apathetic at best, and who could blame him? His stomach was still full after birth, and remained that way for the next twenty four hours. There was no urgency because there was no hunger.
But soon enough, hunger struck. And when it strikes, new mothers are kind of screwed because their milk isn’t in yet. Even worse, it doesn’t come in until AFTER their baby learns how to suck on their nipple properly. So, all a new mother can do is shove their boob in their child’s face and hope they go to town on it. Sometimes, mom’s boobs fit perfectly into baby’s mouth and mom gets her milk early and baby is a naturally gifted little titty sucking hoover and everyone is happy. But most of the time, learning how to breastfeed your child is an arduous process. Some women call it a journey. Some call it a cluster****. Both are right, I think.
Now, before I get all huffy and puffy, I want you all to know that I respect the nurses who served us at the hospital very much. They helped us change his diaper. They taught us how to swaddle. They normalized his weight loss and taught us what else we could expect in the first few weeks. They were extremely helpful and patient with us, and I don’t doubt they made Everett’s birth and initial acclimation to planet Earth much easier than it could have been. Unfortunately, some of the worst advice is often given by well-meaning people, like when one of the other nurses told us NOT to wake him up ever to feed him. Obviously she was trained in the year 45 BC.
Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce a character which has served only to make my son’s ability to nurse exponentially more difficult. It’s called a nipple shield. This piece of plastic, designed to fit over a woman’s breast, is shaped like a cone, with little holes at the tip through which breast milk may flow. Basically, it’s like a perforated little top hat for a woman’s boob, not only a fashion statement in and of itself but also a useful prop for titty ventriloquists. Ventrittyoquists. The nurse who gave it to us explained that some people are just freaks and they have flat nipples, and that the nipple shield allows the children of these unfortunate creatures to establish a firm latch onto their mother’s breasts.
Besides making my poor wife feel like a flat-nippled mutant, I’d like to point out that the nurse’s assessment of my wife’s chest was just plain wrong. I’ve seen my wife’s chest after a typical feeding, and I have a simple question: Miss Nursypants, aren’t things which are supposed to be flat generally NOT pointy? I mean, you practically have to purchase lift tickets to get to the top of them.
Anyway, we had no idea what the hell we were doing and so we deferred to (what we mistakenly assumed to be) the expertise of the nurse and agreed to try the shield. It seemed to work ok at first when Everett wasn’t hungry and didn’t really care, but we learned a few days later that even a plastic titty top hat can’t help when your son throws a frustration-induced tantrum because he hasn’t learned how to get at the food he wants. He knows it’s right there and he’s quite literally starving, but he can’t get it. Did I mention the shield wasn’t working?
We were concerned. We didn’t know what to do. Our miserably dehydrated and undernourished son was beginning to look more and more like a pissed off raisin with each passing moment. So, a few days in we broke down and gave him a bottle of formula. Ah, his first bottle. Christ, it was basically his first actual MEAL. I remember that moment vividly. It was like watching a starving beggar chow down on a meatlover’s pizza. After he was done, he zonked out and didn’t wake up for hours. We were relieved. We also kinda felt like hipster jerks who cared more about our own au naturale pro breastfeeding agenda than our son’s health.
When we reported to the pediatrician’s office later that week, we were told Everett was under weight and that we should give him a bottle after each nursing attempt. But oh don’t you dare take that shield off, because if there’s one thing Everett truly despises at this point it’s a titty without a top hat. We agreed, mostly because at this point we felt like NOT using these plastic miracles--especially the bottle--was tantamount to deliberate starvation. What soon developed was a breastfeeding routine which helped to solidify Everett’s titty phobia even more. See, the thing about the nipples on bottles is that they are perfectly shaped to fit inside an infant’s mouth--in fact, they are more perfectly shaped than an actual woman’s nipple could ever be. That is, unless your nipples are shaped like giant uvulas that stick straight out, which is weird and I’m sorry.
So, faithfully armed with a nipple shield and Ol’ Lefty in one hand and a bottle in the other, we committed to our new schedule. Every time Emily gave him the breast he kicked and screamed and didn’t get any food. Then, we would give him a bottle and he’d shotgun it like a boss. I mean, think about it. With a behavior reinforcement schedule like this, we were basically TEACHING him to associate titties with intense anxiety and frustration. Poor guy is probably going to have PTSD when he goes to a strip club for the first time.
Fast forward a week or two, right around mid-December. We’ve about had it with the shield. This thing will fall off and frantically scramble under the couch if you so much as look at it the wrong way. And it seems to know exactly the worst possible moment to detach itself, too. Like, right when there is a bunch of breastmilk pooled at the base, it will take a dive, spilling milk all over the place. Believe me, this spilled milk is definitely worth crying over, and apparently it is also worth my wife going into a blind rage one day and hurtling the goddam thing across the room. I swear it made a trail of blood as it slowly sank to the floor from where it struck the wall.

On that same day my wife killed the shield we had a lactation specialist named Veronica or Deb or something come over and basically confirm every doubt we had about the direction we had received from the hospital and our pediatrician. No, nipple shields aren’t usually necessary. Yes, nipple confusion is indeed a thing. Yes, routinely using a bottle will make breastfeeding nearly impossible. No, your nipples are not flat. Actually, can you please take a step back because your giant pointy nipples are stabbing me in the face thanks. Also that same day Emily got Everett to latch onto her ACTUAL BOOB for like two hours, which was a first. We also learned that he is capable of getting much more food when there isn’t a barrier of plastic between it and his mouth. That’s just pure science, right there.
 Fast forward another couple of weeks and you’ll find us in the present. Everett is getting pretty good at latching on efficiently and my mutant wife is having to use the shield less and less. That’s a good and bad thing, but I’ll just focus on the bad for now. Basically, my son is latched so well and sucking so hard that it seems like he’s trying to tear Emily’s nipples right off. This is because he learned to breastfeed on a nipple shield and sucking this hard was the only thing that worked. Actually, we are talking about how much fun all this is as I’m typing, and Emily just said, “Imagine hot needles which are constantly poking into your nipple. That’s what I feel like all the time.” I just keep thinking about that scene from Mad Men where Betty Draper would just sit there and feed her baby a bottle whenever it got hungry. No mess. No fuss. No excruciating pain. No top hats. That seems kinda nice right about now.
What have we learned? Well, I suppose what we’ve learned is that even medical professionals are capable of giving advice that sucks ass. We’ve also learned that there is an ideological war being waged between these same medical professionals and a community including midwives and lactation consultants who prefer more natural methods. By the time new mothers realize this, they are already in between these two fighting factions and they’re just dodging bullets. The only way for mothers to avoid being made into mincemeat is to pick a side, which is just another example of how every issue in this country tends to degenerate into a petty bipartisan feud. My pediatrician actually asked us, “Did you see a lactation specialist? Did she contradict what I told you?” All the while he was grinning sardonically. How about just give terrified new mothers ALL the facts and let them make an informed decision? How about stop shoving a ****ing nipple shield onto to someone who doesn’t need it, thereby setting their progress back by about four weeks? One thing is clear: it’s an incredibly political world, and parents need to look after their own interests, and to do that they need to do a LOT of research beforehand.
In conclusion, playing Zelda is a lot easier than learning to breastfeed your child.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

1 Month

Good news folks! Everett has "turned the corner" according to the pediatrician. His weight gain is steady and all is well! And to what do I owe this improvement? Following my intuition and ignoring everything the doctor told me to do. And there you have it.

My name is Everett Simon Wirth. Today I am 1 month old. I weigh 7 pounds 12 ounces (5-10%). I am 22 inches tall/long (50-75%). My head is 38.5 cm around (50%). I'm a bean pole like my Daddy. I love to cuddle and hate getting baths.

Today Everett has peed on 2 outfits (and his face), pooped on 1 outfit and the changing table (twice), and had a great visit with friends and family (thank goodness he didn't poop or pee on them). I'm not mad.

Here is what I have learned after a month --
  • Hire a lactation specialist to meet you in the hospital right after Bebe is born. The specialist at the hospital was so busy it felt like a tornado had been in the room after her 5 minute visit with us. Make sure there is a professional who can really spend some time with you, as breastfeeding does NOT come naturally to most women.
  • People talk a lot about the weird "underwear" given to you at the hospital. Don't be silly and bring your own. Wear the diapers! And bring some home with you. No maxi pad will contain what happens after the first couple days.
  • Ask for extra witch hazel pads at the hospital. They feel amazing.
  • Do not take too much pain medication after delivery. I had a second degree tear and manged just fine on Advil. Those stronger medications make Baby too lethargic to eat.
  • After giving birth, stool softeners are your friends...Senna tablets will not effect Baby too much according to my hot doctor.
  • You can never have too many baby wipes, then all of a sudden you have too many baby wipes when your little one develops diaper rash. We found wipes to be the culprit. And yes we bought the ones "for sensitive skin." Now we only use wet paper towels. We haven't had a problem since we made the switch. Simply wet some paper towels in advance, and put them in your wipes warmer for the next few changes.
  • Use diaper rash cream at EVERY diaper change.
  • Never let Baby stew in a dirty diaper. However, after you hear movement, wait 10 minutes. Chances are the movement isn't quite over. Live and learn...
  • Kirkland diapers from Costco are great. We started using them when Everett was around 7 pounds, and still have not had a blow out despite the fact that they are quite big on him. However, please read my upcoming diaper changing tutorial...I promise there will be some helpful info.
  • Read The Happiest Baby on the Block. We use Karp's advice hourly.
  • Turning on the shower is the best way to stop our crying baby.
  • Have a method for keeping track of your nursing/feeding schedule. I use the iBreastfeed App from Medela.
  • Drink so much water. Since you are spending much of your efforts caring for Baby, this is the most essential way you can care for yourself.
  • Let people help you, and be sure to get out of the house. If I stay cooped up for an entire day I go nutso. If you can't get out, I at least suggest asking someone to come over for a visit. But everyone is different, so know your limits.
  • The Moby Wrap. If your baby is anything like mine, he/she will love being close to you. When you are wanting to eat dinner with the family or play a board game, this little tool is essential. It is also nice having a place to put Bebe when you need to do chores. We also use this when we go out and don't want to deal with a bulky stroller that gets in everyone's way...seriously mothers, don't bring your stroller into small are annoying to everyone, even those who have children of their own.
  • The Boppy. If you have a vaginal birth I also suggest borrowing a second Boppy from a friend; one for nursing and one for sitting upon. If you have a corgi you may need a third. Willow loves curling up inside the Boppy.
  • Yoga ball. Although my pelvic issues continue to keep me from utilizing this method, bouncing on a yoga ball is a good way to calm down a frantic baby.
  • Bouncy chair. It's good to have a place to put baby when you need to shower, dress, eat, clean, put on makeup (yes I'm crazy and still do this), etc. 
  • The BOB. Okay so not everyone has awesome coworkers that will buy them a BOB, but we loves us some BOB. I recommend saving some money and making the investment. The thing goes in the snow like a champ! You don't see many strollers with such good control. Speaking of snow, we use the Bundle Me for our frigid Spokane outings. Although it's cold outside, Everett really loves being in the stroller so we bundle him in the Bundle Me and go fer it. PS you will also need the car seat adapter, since newborns are too young to sit up in the stroller.
  • Sound machine or a loud fan. We use the Sleep Sheep, on-the-go version. Per my advice above, read The Happiest Baby on the Block if you aren't convinced you need this.
  • Everyone has their favorite nighttime sleepwear for babies. Our favorites for now are the Carter's one-size fleece sleep gowns. They are warm, fuzzy, and have zippers that are easy to get Baby in and out of in the middle of the night. Sure Everett looks like a girl when he wears them, but they are really quite wonderful. 
  • Long-sleeved shirts with hand covers. I'm def a fan of the kimono shirts that have this feature. Everett flails his arms quite a bit, and the kimono doesn't need to go over his head (he gets pissed when we put clothes over his head...he should probably stop peeing on his clothes then). The thing about newborns is they use their hands, but don't know their hands exist. Keeping Everett's nails covered has helped avoid many a scratch.
  • Lanolin. For after nursing. I have also been using disposable nursing pads and think I should get some more environmentally friendly ones. I've blown through 3 boxes already, and at $8 a box I'm also interested in saving ca$h. I'm taking suggestions for any good ones on the market.
  • Folk songs. Jeff and I loved singing Christmas songs to Everett this year. Okay so maybe I enjoyed it more. Oddly enough, he loves when we sing "Oh Come, Divine Messiah." Calms him down every time.
  • Breast pump. It's good to have some pumped milk on hand for when grandma is babysitting. Jeff and I went out for my birthday, and it was nice not having to worry about getting home at a scheduled time to feed Everett.
That's all we can think of for now. Stay tuned for more updates on our adventures in Babyland!
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