Baby Quotes – “How a baby is born”

As a former nanny and preschool teacher, I’ve heard some amazing stuff over the years. I have an immensely entertaining list I’ve acquired – straight from the mouths of babes! I’m calling this series: “Baby Quotes!”

The people I most recently nannied for had the same thought process as me: if a child asks a question, you answer it age appropriately. That way, they have their answer and don’t find out potentially embarrassing and very false information.

So when I first started with Maddy and Andrew in August of 2010, I wasn’t too surprised when Maddy told me how Andrew came “out of his mom’s belly.” I WAS surprised, however, by the interactive performance…

I just laid the then 1.5 year old Andrew down for a nap. When I came back downstairs to play with Maddy, she popped off the couch and decided we needed to play house. I was the mommy, she was the little girl…and then she informed me that I was pregnant as well.

So she stuffs a baby doll under my shirt and pats it. She then says, very matter of fact, “Ready for the hospital?”
I blinked and said, “What?! Hospital?!”

The look she gave was a mix of annoyance and superior intelligence when she said, “Well. I certainly can’t make the baby come out of your vagina!”

Ok then. So she grabs a bag she had made for me, complete with ribbons, pretty jewelry, a few drawings, a fairy wand, and a play stethoscope. All the necessities. She makes me lay down on a makeshift “bed” in the living room with cushions, throw pillows, and a blanket then suddenly yells: “ok! PUSH!”

So, I make a funny face and pretend to push. “No! Push harder!” she yells.
I do it again, this time I make a small grunt noise. Suddenly she whips the baby out of my shirt and says, “Here. Let me show you,” while shoving me to the side.

She lays down, puts the baby in her shirt and begins to writhe and flail as though in agony. Then she pushes once, obviously very hard, and pulls the baby out of her shirt.

I was dumbfounded…was she in the room when Andrew was born?! So I asked her.

“No NO NO!” She says. “Mom told me that a baby grows in the belly, then when he’s ready, comes out of her body from your vagina. She said the baby changes in your body, just like food changes to make poop, which is why he comes out the vagina and not the belly.”

“I understand,” I say, “so why the hospital?”

“Because the special doctor makes sure the baby is clean and happy when he comes out.”

“Ok…” I say tentatively, “then why were you rolling around like you were in pain?”

“Because, I heard daddy tell Uncle Charlie that he’s glad he’s not a woman because mommy screamed at him and told him he didn’t know real pain until his vagina was being ripped in half.”

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The Nanny Tips #1

If your little ones love waffles and pancakes, but you hate the mess and sugar of the syrup, cut the waffle or pancake into strips after they are cooked. Pour a little bit of syrup in a baby bowl and let them dip their new finger food. Easier clean up and less sugar!

Random Mom Thought #13

Is it hardwired into baby brains that when mom is pj-clad, covered in puke, pee, poop, and possibly hasn’t showered in days, that they will finish eating in 15 minutes…

But when she’s dressed and ready to leave the house for an appointment in an hour, the baby will still be eating on the first breast 45 minutes later?

I need HOW many?!

Ok. I’m setting this up with the fact that I am overly logical and planning oriented. I will plan every single detail of events, but I’m not so OCD that when the plans change I freak out. Even if the plan is: Around noonish we’ll head to the mall, maybe ride the train depending on who’s driving, we will probably eat downtown, and be home around 6. I know an approximate time to start and end, possible desitination, and if I have to bring more lunch money than the $5 food courts warrent. But nothing irritates me, or sets me off, more than reenacting the vulture scene from Jungle Book “What do you wanna do?” “I dunno. What do you want to do?” “I dunno…what do YOU want to do?” I’d rather not go anywhere, or literally have the plan be veg in front of the TV watching Grey’s Anatomy eating HoHos and cheese balls than the brainless back and forth.

I digress. So I plan, right?

One thing that I asked EVERYONE right before I had my son was “How many pads do I need, and how many breast pads do I need?” I never got a straight answer from any of my multitude of resources – chat groups, mom friends, MY mom, Google. I kept hearing the general “just stock up.”

It was infuriating. What kept running through my mind was “When you say ‘stock up’ are we talking first-period-at-summer-camp stock up or like zombie-apocalypse stock up?” It was so vague. “Well, you may bleed heavier, or longer, or shorter…or lighter…” Oh. My. Gawd. SERIOUSLY?

Lets put it another way. My husband and I chose to use cloth diapers for a multitude of reasons – monetary savings and sensitivities being the main, and actually cloth breast pads too. The diapers I chose are adjustable from 9lbs to 30lbs, and have cloth inserts and PUL covers (Ragababe for those interested. We LOVE them!). I calculated how many disposable diapers I would need to last 30 days – past the meconium and possibly enough time to give him weight so the diapers fit properly.

The average NB/Infant uses 10-12 diapers a day. I went with 10 for my average.

10 diapers x 30 days = 300 diapers (yea. In one month)

Huggies Pure and Natural (sensitivies) size 1 go to 14lbs and come 88 in a box. We were given 50 of them at my baby shower.

300 diapers – 50 = 250 diapers

250 / 88 in a box = 2.8 boxes

With this information we trot to Target and buy two big boxes and one bag. I figured we would have enough to last the month, maybe a few extra. We ended up needing a third box, because our average was 14 a day…and I still started using the cloth earlier than expected.

Also with this information, I realized 16 inserts would get me by with doing laundry every day. Fine, except if I was exhausted and forgot to put the load in. So we have 24 inserts.

See the pattern? I can adapt – but seriously I need a starting point!

So. This very long winded explanation of a post is to help all you OCD planning mamas figure out how many pads and breast pads to actually plan for.

At week 6 I had gone through 3 packs of overnights (40 per pack), 2 of supers (40 per pack) and 1 regular (54 per pack). This was with two friend store runs, and a husband emergency run. I’m also the type that will change my pad with the slightest blood. I find it disgusting and it can actually cause infection. I was never a heavy bleeder during my period anyway, so that may have had something to do with it. So if you are a first time mom – JUST BUY THE 3 PACKS OF EACH BEFORE THE BABY!

But here’s my thought: even if you choose to start with 3-4 packs of overnights and 3 packs of the supers and only use 1 pack of each, you WILL get your period back and can use them in the furture. If you don’t, put them in the same box you put all the out grown new born outfits in for the next baby – be it yours or your girlfriend’s. It’s not like they’ll go bad.

On to breast pads. I purchased washable breast pads with the understanding that if I leaked a lot, I’d probably need a few more pairs. As it was I had 8 day time sets, and 2 night time sets. That was very sufficient for me.

Then my son got thrush. Thrush, if you don’t know, is literally a yeast infection in the babies mouth and your breast. When people hear “yeast” they think bread or vagina. The vagina one usually grosses people out, me included. So when I heard my son had a yeast infection in his tiny new born mouth I was so upset…and disgusted. But here’s the thing. Yeast is all over our bodies, and inside. If you take an antibiotic you’ll usually get a yeast infection because the antibiotic killed the good germs too. It likes warm, moist places – like a baby’s mouth when he falls asleep while eating, or his tiny little fat rolls after sweating, spitting up, or peeing everywhere. If you are breast feeding, getting rid of the yeast is a serous pain in the ass because while on medications, apple cider vinegar or tea tree oil (I did all three. It was that bad.) you are STILL breast feeding so the yeast keeps getting transferred. Like if your husband gets sick, and you still make out with him. Now your sick, but you still make out. Now he’s sick. Get it? Awful, awful cycle.

To use washable breast pads during thrush only makes the problem worse because it is SO hard to kill yeast. I was soaking them in melaleuca (tea tree oil), boiling them to sanitize, using my plant’s UV light…it was awful. So disposables are preferable because you can change them, and throw them away.

Because I feed him every three hours and pump during the night, I have gone through 2.5 boxes in four weeks. Each box of my brand contains 60 pads (30 sets). If you want to know how many boxes to stock up on the first few weeks I came up with this:

Most infants each every two hours, which means 10-12 feedings a day.

10 feedings x 30 days = 300 sets or 600 pads

600 pads / 60 per box = 10 boxes

As I’m breaking these down I realized I am putting a very good fiscal argument to go for cloth!

Anyway. As a brand new mom, if you want to prep so you can get to the point of feeling like you’re starting to get the hang of things (6-8 weeks) and you want to actually PLAN for disposable items here’s the breakdown for you with what I paid:

Diapers $24 per box:
6-8 boxes or 530 – 700 diapers (without a store run)

Maxi Pads $7:
3 overnight packs or 120 overnights
2 super packs or 60 supers
1 regular pack or 54 regulars

Breast Pads $8 per box (if you change them every feeding):
14 – 18 boxes or 840 – 1,080 pads

Wipes $15 per box:
Get two large boxes of 720 or more. You’ll use them for everything and three times more than you think when they poop at first.

So when you want to start buying baby stuff in your first trimester – DO IT. Even if your partner whines. Because to buy all this in one pop is around $350, and they probably will loose it (my man did!). You have 9 months to plan and prep…make this a part of that plan. Trust me.

Why My Kids Are NOT the Center of My World

Remember the “amazing finds” part I mentioned about this blog…this woman took the cake! 😀

Modern parenting and thinking makes me crazy.  The young generations of today (yes, I sound old.  I realize I’m only 29 years old.) are being taught that they shouldn’t have to ever put up with anything doesn’t make their hearts feel like rainbow colored unicorns are running around pooping skittles onto piles of marshmallows.
 
Modern parenting is creating a generation that’s not going to be able to function in society.

Why My Kids Are NOT the Center of My World

A LETTER TO MY PREGNANT, CHILD-LESS SELF…

This mom is my new favorite writer…in the whole world. Hilarious, truthful and direct. A woman after my own heart!! 

A LETTER TO MY PREGNANT, CHILD-LESS SELF…

Breast Feeding Relief…

So this is obviously not for moms that struggle with milk supply. I apologize profusely if you are one of them. I know you can make lactation cookies as well as take some supplements and herbs to help…but I have no idea about that issue.

No. No this is a post about my hypERlactation. And the weirdness of my letdown, milk coming in, and feeding. 

First did YOU know there is such a thing as hyperlactation? I sure as hell didn’t. Obviously my computer didn’t either because I’m getting the little red squiggles under the word “hyperlactation”. 

First and foremost, the history. When my son was born he latched beautifully. No issues, no complaints – there was obviously the soreness that comes with having your nipples go from sexy play time, to being used as a milkshake straw (I say milkshake because I vividly remember feeling like I needed Hoover vacuum strength to get a newly mixed milkshake out of the damn cup), but overall it was great…

Ten day three hit. 

I’m going to segue here a moment to tell you that day three was the worst, most depressing, exhausting, and emotionally draining day of my entire life. Look for THAT cheerful post soon! :/

So day three, my milk was supposed to have come in that day. My midwife said it would, my mom said it would, my friends, WebMD, BabyCenter.com, TheBump, my 50 iPhone apps, my mom chat group…All day long I waited. All day long my son screamed every time he fed. I KNEW he was starving, but I couldn’t do anything about it. My body is different in many ways than the norm, I’ll detail that later, but one main way is that I’ve never felt the “waterfall” or “gushing” sensation of let down. Also…I barely leak. Add that to hyperlactation and you get engorgement. All the time. 

The first time however, my boobs were massive. I’m talking Dolly Parton massive…but no pain. They were rock solid, my nipples were even swollen, but seriously – no pain. 

By hour ten of constant screaming from my child, sobbing from me all day, regular phone calls from my husband checking in (and feeling helpless, poor guy) who had to go back to work, and refusing to have anyone at the house so I could finally figure this breast feeding thing out because I KNEW how beneficial and important it was to both me and my new child, I had tried everything could think of, researched online and heard about. We tried the cradle hold (traditional breast feeding position), the football hold (exactly as it sounds – the baby is on your side like a football), on our side laying down…and at one point I was actually naked from the waist up, on all fours, with my boob in his face, praying that gravity would help him stay latched on and actually get food while tears streamed down my face and the feeling of utter failure and self hatred coursed through my veins. 

Suddenly there was a knock on my door…and I was pissed, annoyed, and terrified that someone would ACTUALLY see me like this. I didn’t want to answer, but for some reason I did. I grabbed my screaming kid, threw a housecoat on backwards just to cover my naked self, and answered the door. Thank god for small miracles because Tanith, my downstairs neighbor who had a 5 month old said exactly this: 

“Hi! I just wanted to see if there was anything…OH HUNNY!!! LET ME HELP YOU!”

She shoved me inside and I lost it. I blurted everything – every tiny stress and issue. Then, she did what someone (specifically my midwife, and/or lactation consultant) should have done BEFORE I gave birth…she showed me how to use my breast pump, explained different breast anomalies, and offered a nipple shield. 

Dear. Lord. *rolls eyes and does a facepalm*

First and foremost – here’s the education part for some of you ladies – my son had a tongue tie at birth. It means the little piece of skin connecting your tongue to your jaw was too far down the front of the tongue, his was cut…but I’m still not convinced it was far enough. If your baby can’t stick their tongue out, they can’t latch correctly. If they don’t open their mouth wide, they won’t latch correctly. And if you have a slow start to your let down, your child (who has no fathomable idea what patience is) will flip the f*&k out and keep unlatching so the milk won’t release. 

Tanith gave me her nipple shield (yes it was cleaned and sanitized) to use because she noticed these little things. The nipple shield looks like a clear mini sombrero that you literally put on your nipple before breast feeding. It forces the baby to open their mouth wider, and also helps with inverted nipples and a fast release. It is NOT recommended for everyone. Suddenly, my son was opening his mouth wide enough to get my nipple into his mouth. He was actually eating!!! I cried again. After a small while, my son passed out in my arms…finally full. But my boobs were still huge and rock hard. 

Enter the breast pump. Mine was given to me and when I couldn’t figure out why there was no suction prior to birth (I was trying to start labor) and I didn’t think anything of it. Everyone told me “you won’t pump until he’s about 6 months anyway so don’t worry about it until then. It’s too much added stress.” Au contraire. That first night, AFTER my son had eaten his fill…I still pumped over 6 oz. I never truly appreciated that tiny amount (an ounce) until breast feeding came to play. Tanith figured out that the plug to give one side suction while closing off the other vacuum, wasn’t sealing. So we taped that puppy up and suddenly…relief.

But, the real reason I’m writing this, here’s my anomalies that no one tells you about:

My letdown is still not pleasant. I feel as though I’m getting a titty-twister EVERY TIME my milk comes in. Even 7 weeks later. The reason? Because my release is so fast that it’s like opening a trap door on a dam and having a wall on the other side. Most women begin to leak when they letdown. However, though I will drip…it ends there. So even my nipples can get engorged. 

Because my release is SO fast, when my son begins to eat, if he isn’t latched correctly at first, I literally just deal with it for three minutes because if I unlatch him and try it again (like the books say), within seconds he is covered in milk. It’s all over my stomach, the pillow we’re using, my arm, and sometimes the couch. Seconds. In addition, sometimes I am literally drowning him, so he’ll pull away and breath like he just came up from the deep end of the pool. I use the nipple shield off and on now, especially in the morning, to help this flooding crisis. 

I over produce, so I pump all the time. I know I will have to stop eventually and just suffer for a few days, however until he’s a pro at breast feeding, I will continue to pump. I’m not dumb about it – I don’t pump after he’s eaten, or the other side if he fell asleep on one side if it’s been less than four hours since he last ate. Oh. Right. My son is an expert sleeper. He got that from me. I can tell, even at 4 weeks (the first time he slept nearly 7 hours at night) that he would rather be starving in the morning, and soaked through in the butt, than wake up before he wants to. Most people are surprised…but then again, his mom showers at night, lays out her clothes, and pre-makes breakfast SOLELY so I can sleep longer. I think I started the trend of yoga pants and only mascara…because I valued that ten minutes of sleep more than looking good. 

Anyway, hyperlactation, no leaking, and a sleeping champ is not a good combination. I try to co-sleep with my son as much as I can, usually on the couch after morning feedings. The other day, however, I decided after he ate on the left that I would just take a small nap with him instead of pumping first. BAD BAD STUPID move! When I woke up (3.5 hours later), my right boob was twice the size, rock hard and excruciating! It did not help that Little Man’s elbow was jabbing into it because he was fussing. I sat up with him, and immediately put him down in the boppy at my feet. I nearly screamed. Thank god my husband was up, and showered because he took him in to change his diaper. I nearly sobbed at the thought of holding my baby against my chest that whole 15 feet and back. It dawned on me that the last time he’d fed/I had pumped was well over 9 hours. Even my nipple was engorged. So much so…it was hard getting him to get latched at ALL. I blessed the coveted nipple shield yet again. 

I told this story because that’s the next thing – engorgement. It means the milk is stuck in your boobs because you haven’t breast fed for too long, you have a clogged, duct or an infection. Here’s the rub…they can all lead to each other. If you have an infection, you can become engorged, but if you’re engorged you can get an infection. Awesome. Not. Hot packs (I made rice packs out of wash cloths and white rice that I use for EVERYTHING), hot showers and massaging all help. But they all hurt. They all suck. Because it can’t just be the warm soothing heat you put on your uterus for cramping…no no no. It has to be 1˚ below 3rd degree burns to help. And the massaging is like doing a deep tissue massage on a pulled muscle. But it IS worth it. 

Even though it seems miserable, and there are issues…I am determined to breast feed as long as possible. It may be 6 months, but I’d love for it to be at least 14-20 months. The benefits far outweigh the issues. Besides, moms sacrifice right? We’ll wear heels that make us limp after a few hours, why not go though some boob issues to give my child the best start?