Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Man, that gallbladder surgery was rough. For further proof that our health care system is completely twacked, they discharged me after my surgery without the option to stay. I thought it was a simple procedure and had no qualms about that until they got to the part where they told me they re-wire your liver to your intestines. Yeah, if you're removing one organ and messing with two more, you should monitor the person for more than an hour afterwards.

I look and feel like I was rode hard and put away wet. Mr. Lincoln hasn't gotten the memo yet to not kick me. And, unbeknownst to me, one of the four incision sites is your bellybutton. Let me just share this conversation with you so you can adequately grasp what things look like post-surgery:

Me: Hmn, that's odd, I thought there would be four incisions?

Rob: The fourth one is in the area formerly known as your bellybutton. stomach looks awesome after pregnancy, a c/s and now a second surgery I can't pronounce the technical name of. Don't look for me in a bikini any time soon!

Lincoln has been extremely stressed out by not being able to nurse. He never had a problem taking a bottle before but now it infuriates him. He doesn't understand why I am in the room but don't hold him, or why we are all giving him a bottle when my boobs are in the room, too. Each time I try to lay down with him he attempts to root and it is heartbreaking to watch. Therefore, for his sake I have stopped taking the pain meds cold turkey. I am in a lot of pain but I feel his needs should come first. The pain meds all carried warning that while "technically" safe, they can cause such sever sluggishness that I need to monitor him to ensure he doesn't stop breathing. Um, yeah, not gonna happen. Besides, how can I monitor him if they make me sluggish, too? So, I'm just gonna tough it out. My doctors were all shocked at how quickly I quit the pain meds after my c/s so I figure I can do it a second time and live to tell about it.

If you still have your gallbladder, take a quick minute to stop and thank it for doing its job, LOL!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I am about to share something with you for which I have caught a lot of flack. In fact, "a lot" is an understatement.

My son has never left the house except for doctor appointments.

Not once, in eight weeks.

We haven't stopped briefly into a Target or gone out to eat. We haven't window shopped the mall or purchased groceries.

Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

I tell people that I am a germ-phobe and hopefully it makes them laugh. This is not actually how I view myself but I try to lighten the mood, knowing full well what is likely to come. If I speak the real reason, it seems to invite a debate or negative, unsolicited opinions.This is another one of those issues that seems to divide people, but I don't know why. We're all just doing the best we can, right?

The reason I haven't taken Lincoln out is because he was not vaccinated until this week. When I explain to people that I fear him contracting something while we are out in heavily populated areas, they seem to take personal offense. A few kind souls have commiserated with me, and even more have assured me they are current on their own vaccinations, which is a friendly gesture. But really, many people have been insulted.

Particularly at church, a lot of friends have told me I am wrong to not bring Lincoln to church or other places. Someone told me that "God wouldn't allow anything bad to happen at church." To that I say, 'Hey, he gave us free choice. He won't compel anyone to wash their hands after they poop or make sure they get their TDAP.' My own husband doesn't have health insurance and it cost us a small fortune to have him vaccinated for whooping cough and I can't expect everyone else to make those sacrifices, especially if they don't have children of their own.

If I had a dollar for every time I heard, "You need to expose him to people and stuff to build his immune system" I'd be rich. This statement is only partially true. Yes, you do build an immunity to things from exposure. However, Lincoln is breastfed, therefore I pass antibodies to him based on my own exposure to those things. Also, your immune system doesn't stop producing antibodies so whenever he IS exposed to things after his immune system has had a chance to mature, he will still process them. It's not like he has a small window in which to be exposed to things before he will no longer be able to overcome them. I am simply not interested in risking exposure to things unnecessarily.

Lincoln's doctor also told me, in the hospital, that he prefers babies not to venture out before two months. After initial vaccinations, he prefers you avoid heavily populated places during peak hours. For example, shop the mall on a Tuesday morning not a Saturday afternoon. Obviously quarantining a child will be more difficult if there is an older, say toddler, in the mix, but I will cross that bridge when I come to it. For now we are cautiously venturing out. Lincoln's doctor is not a quack. He has excellent credentials and through discussions with him, I am confident he keeps up to date on the most recent data and findings on various issues. I pay him for his expertise, yet that answer doesn't satiate some "moms with experience." Apparently their own experiences supersede my own or his medical training.

Lincoln will still get sick like any other person; it is ludicrous to think I can protect him from "everything" as someone suggested I was trying to do. However, I can still be prudent and diligent trying to control certain things. We are big hand washers here, for example. I would rather he fight the flu at 1 year as opposed to 1 month, for obvious reasons. I can see people labeling me "crazy pants" with their eyes as they inquire to Lincoln's whereabouts but I am fine being labeled a loon. A snarky label is a small price to pay for trying to do my part to ensure my child's good health.

I guess I am writing this blog because I find it mildly irritating that people think I am somehow harming my child by not taking him out before he was vaccinated. The fact is, were he to contract something for which he was not vaccinated, the mortality rate is not good. These diseases are so life-threatening that they found a way to make a vaccine; they're not simple maladies such as a cold. When I see a week-old baby in the grocery store I don't stop and tell that mom I think she is insane in the membrane. Rather, I keep walking and respect her right to make decisions for her own child. Who am I to piss in her Cheerios? I did my own research on vaccines and consulted with his physician before I even consented to him being vaccinated, period. In particular, I did NOT consent to the initial treatments prescribed for newborns in the hospital so in some respects he is behind in treatment. That was my choice. At the end of the day, if something were to go wrong, I would need to live with my decision. I remain flabbergasted that people have the gall to comment on other people's parenting decisions in this way, and I know there is no end in sight. I had heard of this phenomenon prior to his birth and I am dismayed it is so true. If someone engages me in discussion I will certainly speak my truth but otherwise I butt out.

So, here is me soliciting your opinion: am I a Looney Tune for sequestering my child till he was vaccinated? You can speak your truth, I can handle it! ;)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Gah! My Gallbladder!

Last weekend I was up all night with a pain in my abdomen that would NOT quit. I thought maybe it was food poisoning but since I had complications with the incision from my cesarean section Rob insisted I go to the e.r. in the morning. Long story short, my gallbladder needs to come out.

My gallbladder itself is not diseased, but it is full of gallstones that resulted from pregnancy, which is apparently very common. My mom had her gallbladders out shortly after birthing me, and many of my female friends have come forward with similar stories. The doctor in the e.r., my OB and my surgeon all blame pregnancy. Joy! If I try to procrastinate on having the surgery then my gallbladder itself will become diseased, making the removal much more complicated.

So! Since I already paid my astronomical deductible and am starting new insurance next month with a new astronomical deductible, the race is on to get this bad boy removed.

I am scared only because I have a child now. I don't like the idea of being under anesthesia as it is and being a mom compounds my fears. But! Onward, ho! I am having it removed the 26th. I am busy preparing a milk stash for Lincoln and praying he doesn't reject the breast after taking a bottle for so long. Hopefully because he has been nursing for two months now, he won't give it up without a fight. And yes, I am very thankful he takes a bottle with ease, as I know many nursing babies won't have it.

So, that explains my absence. I have lots I want to write about but I am unsure of what I will be up for this week prior to the surgery. Ciao!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cultural Differences, A Conversation

I was getting my nails done by a friendly Vietnamese woman when this conversation happened (no really):

Lady: You want me to tell you how to lose all your baby weight?

Me: Well, I already did but sure, I could always stand to lose more!

Lady: You have to salt the weight off your body! Salt, salt, salt! (She then proceeds to go into an entire Eastern medicine schpeal.)

Me: I see. Well, maybe I can try it.

Lady: (Gestures to her breast to indicate breast feeding.)

Me: Yes, I breastfeed my baby.

Lady: Oh. Then you will have saggy breasts!

Me: It's OK, I will just buy a new pair!

Lady: Oh no, no. You do like my people! You go to the Walmart and get birth control. It should be $9. It will make your breasts look better. Much better! And it will make sure you never have more than two kids. My people! I swear it! That's what we do!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

To Nap Nanny or To Not

My pediatrician recommended we get a Nap Nanny to help with Lincoln's reflux. I was all set till I saw there had been a recall. I am fine with the safety of the new models (I think) but I don't like that it needs to sit on the floor. Try as I might to keep a tidy room, things have fallen to the wayside with little sleep and even less time for chores. Plus, we have pets. I don't typically allow my dogs in our room, and when I do they stay in one spot, but still...It's one thing to encourage his immunity to allergies with exposure to pet dander and it is another to have him sleeping mere inches from it, ya know?

So, if you had a Nap Nanny did it work out for you? I am desperate with this reflux situation. I thought it was getting better but now it is back to being pretty bad. We are trying a new medicine but I'm not keen to pump my infant full of drugs and I want a natural remedy. Even with burping him for twenty minutes and keeping him upright, he almost always vomits in his bed at night. Poor baby! And while I am at it, anybody know where to get the good burp cloths? Ya know, the super thick, old-school ones? We do A LOT of barf remediation up in here!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Oh, The Reflux!

As I mentioned earlier this week, I took Lincoln to the doctor for projectile vomiting. Thankfully, we were able to rule out Pyloric Stenosis, which runs in my family. I don't want to minimize his condition, but I am thankful it wasn't this.

Lincoln has reflux.

He has it bad.

He is in a lot of pain and we waste a lot of Liquid Gold (AKA breast milk.)

We are taking some disgusting medicine twice a day and implementing other techniques such as feeding at an angle, sleeping at an angle, pretty much living at an angle. Oh, and we have to burp him for a minimum of twenty minutes a day. Talk about making a night feeding drag on even more!

I still maintain I am thrilled it was not something worse. My girlfriend's baby had Pyloric Stenosis mere weeks ago and it require surgery. How she survived the fear of her newborn requiring surgery is beyond me, but she has my respect for her strength!

I have reflux as an adult so it breaks my heart to see him screaming in pain from the acid in his throat. If you're so inclined, please say a prayer or send a warm fuzzy for my baby!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Yay/Nay: Clothes Addition

I told you I lost weight nursing, right? Lincoln is now 5.5 weeks and I am down 13 pounds. I now weight what I did around 2007/2008. When it gets cool outside (ha!) and I am cleared, I intend to power walk with him. Part of the weight loss has been that I very rarely get time to eat, let alone completely finish a meal. I have also cut out a lot of soda because my son can't tolerate any caffeine whatsoever. Officially, though, breastfeeding gets the majority credit. Here we go:

Yay: I lost 13 pounds and look better!

Nay: I have no clothes that fit (literally) and no budget in which to purchase more.

***I don't remember who's blog started the Nay/Yay theme but if it was yours, thank you for the inspiration and feel free to credit yourself in the comments.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Obligatory Post About Breastfeeding

Since breastfeeding completely consumes my entire day, I began to feel a push to share my experience. Before I do, I want to acknowledge that breastfeeding is a polarizing topic. For my part, I have no idea why. Each mother is responsible for making the best decision for her infant. Breastfeeding is best for my baby. If it wasn't best for your baby, I, for one, am not judging you. Promise.

Moving on...

Prior to Lincoln's birth, if I am being honest, breastfeeding creeped me out a bit. Not because I viewed breasts as exclusively sexual, but because it seemed awkward and intrusive. Maybe I was scared of the intimacy? I can't quite pinpoint it except to say I was never frightened of the work involved, only of the interaction. That said, I decided I was going to try my best to nurse my son.

My decision was made based upon the health benefits Lincoln receives such as antibodies, but also for the bonding and health benefits for myself. Nursing has helped me lose weight, but it is also thought to thwart certain cancers such as breast and ovarian cancer. With my brother having had cancer, the thought of not utilizing this free opportunity outweighed any fears I had.

As soon as he was put to my breast immediately following surgery, Lincoln latched. The nurse even remarked on what a good latch it was. For those not in the know, a baby's latch plays a HUGE role in the success of breastfeeding. A bad latch is painful, frustrating and counter-productive.

The hospital I delivered at has a full-time staff of Lactation Consultants and one visited with me every single day of my stay. Even though he had a good latch, there were growing pains the first three days. Despite what the experts in breastfeeding class said, my colostrum was not enough to satiate his appetite. Additionally, even with his good latch, finding a comfortable position and lack of experience lead to some extreme frustration on both our parts. The wicked nurse I mentioned in his birth story also must've felt frustrated because the reason I had her removed was because she manhandled Lincoln onto my nipple, causing it to tear and bleed. Unacceptable. It IS true that if you're doing it right, breastfeeding should not hurt.

I was also frustrated because Lincoln needed formula to be supplemented his first two days with formula and I was terrified of the nipple confusion some babies experience. I also refused a pacifier but he would return from the nursery with one in his mouth. I have discussed this with my pediatrician and he has explained that babies either have nipple confusion or they don't. You won't know till you see which type of baby you get. Blessedly, Lincoln does not have that problem. He has been taking a bottle since we were in the hospital. I began leaving him home with my mom so I could run errands starting at two weeks, and he takes a bottle for her with ease. Praise Jesus! LOL!!! Also, unbeknownst to me, breastfed babies have a more difficult time battling jaundice, which Lincoln did. In the case of jaundice, formula is better (the explanation is long but I will elaborate if anyone really wants me to.)

Trying to nurse him comfortably has been my biggest issue. When he was first born, the football hold worked just fine, and really helped alleviate any pressure off my tender stomach. By the time we got home, that position was not working for us. The Lactation Consultants were helpful but it took my mom situating Lincoln and literally helping maneuver my breast for us to get it right. We now nurse most often with him laying on my lap. Many women raved to me about how wonderful it is to nurse while laying in bed but I find it extremely difficult to get comfortable.

All that said, I would say nursing has been incredibly easy for us. I have had no problems with my supply, and Lincoln is thriving and gaining weight. I have taken several pictures of him nursing so I can remember the special times. What once made me uncomfortable, now brings joy to my heart. I love to watch my son nurse. My inhibitions are gone. My biggest complaint is nipple sensitivity both while nursing and when not. Again, it is not painful, just uncomfortable.

I heard a lot of horror stories prior to attempting breastfeeding but I am glad I stuck it out despite my concerns. If it was intimacy I feared, I now relish it. I am the sole source of nutrition for my son and I am proud during his weight checks to know my body provided for him adequately. Another favorite Casey of mine desperately wanted to nurse but couldn't, documenting her struggles in great depth; my heart breaks for her over that. I am thankful everyday that it worked out for us the way I had hoped.

I didn't invent the wheel by trying to nurse, but if any of you need support or encouragement, I would be happy to provide it. Having an extremely easy c-section and easy time breastfeeding have taught my a lot about not letting my fears take over. I have learned important life lessons about not worrying about the unknown.

In closing, the only downside worth mentioning is the commitment. There is no place I'd rather be than nursing my son, but it IS a massive commitment. we nurse more hours of the day than we don't. In there I try to find time to pump, too,so that I may leave the house on occasion. No easy feat, lemme tell ya!