Friday, August 27, 2010

Family Ring

A new take on the 'family ring'. Available here:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Four weeks

I've had a lot of things swirling in my mind the last little while. It has been a difficult few weeks. Seeing my little girl in hospital being poked and prodded, worrying about her health. Staying in hospital for 5 days away from Ian, worrying about him and how he was coping with his mommy being away during a time when he was already dealing with the adjustment of having a new baby in the house. I'm feeling a little numb these days. Trying to process these last four weeks. A lot of bottled up emotion that doesn't want to come out.

It turns out Avery had viral meningitis AND a bladder infection... how the hell did she get so sick? Though she seems to be doing well now she will be monitored for some time to make sure that the meningitis did not affect her heart or cause any neurological issues. She's also on antibiotics for the next 10 days. She seems to be doing really well though and that helps me get through the days. I feel so grateful she's home with us now and seems to have gotten through this without any long term effects.

I am still pumping after every feed and despite help from a lactation specialist Avery is not doing any better at the breast. Her latch is fine but she mostly just sleeps at the breast... (but will happily gulp a bottle of expressed breast milk!). This whole breastfeeding thing has really surprised me. Because things went so well with Ian (it was SO easy!) I never expected that I wouldn't have the same experience with Avery. I guess success at the breast has a lot to do with the baby, not just the mom and the milk supply. This has added a whole other layer of stress we could have done without. I WANT to breastfeed my baby. I know it's what's best for her. I breastfed Ian for 16 months, I feel like Avery deserves the same. It doesn't seem fair to her not to breastfeed, plus she is sick, so breast milk just feels right. On the other hand, I'm not sure how much longer I can keep pumping after every feed. The only reason I've been able to do it this long is because Ian is still in daycare. Friday is suppose to be his last day. Being the incredibly active, curious and willful child that he is, there is no way I'll be able to pump this often when he is home with me. I was looking forward to being home with both of my kids, but now it's turned into this stressful deadline... and I am sort of scared (how will I be able to give them both what they need?). But I don't want to give up. On the other hand, I am exhausted and feeding Avery has become an hour long thing for each feed (feed at breast, pump, give bottle) and this takes away from time with me that Ian needs too. Plus I'm just not sure she's going to get any better at the breast. Because she lost so much weight before (and never cried to tell me she wasn't getting enough) I don't really trust her on the breast alone... how will I know she's getting what she needs? It is hard not to feel stressed out about all of this.

My sister says there is some 'magic' that happens at the six week mark... that if I can just stick it out until then it should be ok. I guess we'll see.

Throughout all of this I've felt incredibly grateful for surprise visits at the hospital from family and friends with magazines, snacks, vermicelli salad, a good book and drop offs at our house with stew and carrot cake and my mom taking a six hour bus ride to stay at our house and provide extra support to Ian and Derek (coming home to a clean house was SO nice). But mostly I'm grateful that my baby girl is home with us and so far seems to be healthy.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Discharged today

We were finally discharged from the hospital today. It's been a crazy few weeks. Will update when I get my head together. Feels good to home and to have our family back together again.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Three weeks

I'm writing from the Children's hospital. Avery was admitted yesterday morning with a fever. Today we found out that she has viral meningitis. Her fever is down now and she seems to be doing better. They will keep her here another few days, probably until Thursday or Friday to monitor her and make sure she is ok. We are staying positive. Hoping things continue to be ok. We are still waiting for some test results and there is the possibility that she isn't out of the woods yet. I can't believe my little punkin' is in hospital. She has been poked and prodded every few hours since we've been here. They have taken blood, suctioned her nose, put in a catheter for urine, and did a spinal tap. She has been really good through it all. She is so strong and laid back that little girl of mine. Like Derek said 'so much for not worrying about her once she was out of utero'. These past few weeks haven't been easy with the breastfeeding issues and her weight loss and healing from birth etc. Still trying to stay positive and be grateful. You don't have to look far in a children's hospital to find things to be grateful for.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Children's patterns

Oh how cute are these patterns: Citronille and they are French too which is a bonus! Before I order any of these I need to make the Oliver and S patterns I bought recently... and realistically I won't have much time to sew for a while, but one can imagine and dream until then!

Two weeks post-partum

Avery is 16 days old today. Momma is on the mend. Slowly feeling like myself again and that's a good feeling! I'm not sure why, but I never realized how much mending and healing there is to do after a natural birth... it makes sense of course. I think in general we are so focused on the birth and the baby we forget about the toll pregnancy and birth takes on the body. The tearing, the stitches, the hormones, the contracting uterus. I wasn't prepared. I thought I was, but turns out I wasn't. I thought for some reason that healing from a natural birth would be easier than a c-section - and it was, but it wasn't. The first week was painful. I'm finally feeling better and like with everything now that the pain has passed I hardly remember it. It seems like a lifetime ago that I could hardly walk or sit.

Avery is mostly doing well. Monday we had an appointment with the midwife and found that she had lost weight (she should be back to her birth weight by now but she was only at 7.2). Her latch hasn't been good enough to stimulate my milk production. So now I'm pumping after every feed to stimulate my milk and give her a supplement. A lactation specialist came over this morning and we worked on improving her latch. The good news is she's gained 2.7 oz since Monday... so things are getting better. My little girl is so laid back. She hardly ever cries, so I didn't know she wasn't getting enough milk. I felt so bad when I found out. My baby was hungry and I didn't know. I never had these issues with Ian. He nursed really well from the very beginning. So we are really taking things easy these days, resting a lot, focused on feeding and healing.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

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