Monday, November 24, 2008

Sadie's Survival Guide to Breastfeeding-Part 2

You can read Part 1 here.

I know some women who never really get into the Boppy thing. They are more than fine just settling in Boppy-less and feeding their babies. But me? I found it nearly impossible to feed Norah if I wasn't comfortable myself, and regular pillows, no matter the number or configuration, never felt right. The Boppy? A velvety soft God send.

I have this particular one, because it matches Norah's room decorations, but they are all the same thing regardless of the cover. Plus it doubles as a place for Norah to hang out.

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I know I mentioned in the last post that I was going to discuss my breastpump, but really, there isn't much to discuss. I use the Medela Pump in Style, and it works fabulously, but because I have never used a different one I don't have any comparisons. I would suggest, however, that if you are planning on using the pump regularly for storage purposes or to help build up a low supply, get an electric pump. The manual ones just don't work as well.

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Now here's the real meat of the post. Soon after Norah was born I tried to nurse for the first time, with no success. She sniffed around and latched on a few times, but didn't stay there. My mom was there helping me, and she didn't seem worried so I wasn't worried, and tried again later, but still with no success. That first night she didn't nurse at all. The next day, same story. She would sniff, try to latch on, but never really got to eat. The nurses asked me how things were going, but I was determined to do it myself. The day continued, still no eating, still not accepting help from the nurses, and it's pretty likely that breastfeeding would have ended up being a serious source of frustration and failure for me if it hadn't been for the timely arrival of one, Jasmine Brown.

She walked in, told the nurses we needed a nipple shield, and helped me nurse for the very first time. It was an incredible feeling, Norah all nestled in and content, and we owed it to the fact that Jasmine is one of those friends who can see your boobs and not make you feel awkward about it later on.

I had never heard of a nipple shield in my entire life, so when I got home (and after I laid on the couch for a few days) I started researching them and was confronted with a thousand different warnings. Nipple shields are bad! Your baby will never latch on without one! You'll never really nurse! Burn all nipple shields!

So I promptly freaked out. But Norah, stubborn from the day she was conceived, was all about the shield. She wouldn't eat without it. So I made excuses for a while, and if anyone asked how breastfeeding was going I reluctantly admitted the dependence on the shield, and vowed to myself that I was going to stop using it at 6 weeks.

We used that thing for 6 months. Eventually I just stopped caring about it. Norah was eating, she was healthy and happy and that was most important. If Norah needed a piece of silicone to help her eat, then fine.

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In Part 1 I mentioned that I was going to be trying out the LilyPadz breastpads. I did try them, and was not impressed. I felt like they were more visible than I wanted them to be, didn't really stop the flow like they were supposed to and just ended up being messy. I could see, however, using them on occasion, for very specific outfits.

For now, that's all I have. I am about to start using some vitamins that increase your supply, so I may update on how effective they are later on. Until then, happy nursing!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Norah's First Blog Post

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The force is strong in her.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Communal Living

"The most difficult lie I have ever contended with is this: Life is a story about me."
--Donald Miller in Blue Like Jazz

I started going to a women's group at Jasmine's church two weeks ago. I spent most of the morning before the first meeting fretting about my hair and my pants and my bag and would I need a Bible? And what about a notebook? And what if they all think I am weird? And what if they ask me to play stupid ice breaker games where you have to make up two lies about yourself and I can never think of believable yet hilarious lies? And what if I just go ahead and puke now and get it all over with? I spent at least half an hour arguing with myself over whether I should call Jasmine and tell her I couldn't go. I did go, but was just a big ball of anxiety the entire drive there.

I get nervous around new people. It's like I suddenly become very large and gangly and don't know what to do with my limbs, so I fidget and fumble around trying to find a way to get my suddenly gigantic hands into my now too small pockets. I worry that people will scrutinize my clothes and my hair and that infuriating blackhead that has been on my chin for the last 7 months. I worry that my comments will be met with the agonizing silence that often accompanies a bad joke. I worry that people will leave thinking "Dude. That Sadie girl was weird."

So I often waste an entire first meeting with people, fidgeting and distracted and very very quiet.

I very much like to stay at home or with people I already know. It's easier. It's more comfortable. I feel safer.

I like to be alone, because when I am alone I am always right. I am always the best, the prettiest, the wittiest, the smartest, the one with the best clothes, the one with the perfect-est baby. When I am alone, I can do my thing without worrying that I will upset or offend or get in the way of anyone else.

But because Jasmine is the kind of friend who refuses to let me sit at home, wrapped up in my own cool thoughts and fused to the couch, I have learned that being alone has its place. And so does being with others. I have learned that always being right leads to arrogance and inflexibility. I have learned that always being safe gets boring. I have learned that being alone lends me to self-righteousness and self-absorption. It is good to be with others. The family of God is a messed up, crazy family, but heavens, it is good to be in this family.

So I went to women's group two weeks ago. It was uncomfortable and mildly terrifying. I fidgeted alot, I think I maybe only said one word, I worried about my clothes and my hair and that stupid blackhead. And apparently, my internal and hidden feelings were clearly visible on my face (how embarrassing).

I am apprehensively excited about this week.

Weaponry

When I was pregnant, especially toward the end, when I couldn't see my feet and had a pronounced waddle, people frequently held doors open for me. I appreciated this, but always thought it strange, because really, my arms worked perfectly fine when opening doors. Shaving my legs was difficult. Painting my toenails was near impossible. But opening doors was not a problem.

Now that I am no longer pregnant, strangers open doors for me much less frequently. Weird, because when I had two available arms I rarely had to open doors, but now, when I am lucky to have one available arm what with the baby, diaper bag, stroller, blanket, extravaganza that I usually lug around, people seem oblivious to my need.

So, the intrepid mother that I am, I have learned to open and close doors with my butt.

The other day I was returning home from yet another rainy shopping trip. I pulled into the garage and started taking out my 8 bags of stuff. Fully loaded, I shut my car door with my arm, but didn't get it all the way closed. So I swung my butt into the door, a fluid motion that closed the door and kept me walking toward the house, but apparently my butt is alot bigger than I thought. Not only did I shut the car door. I also left a rather large dent in the door.

I'd better be careful what kinds of doors I open with my butt from now on. I would hate to bust the glass in the Gap's door.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Six

WooHoo! Another pre-determined post!

Jasmine tagged me in a 6 random things meme, and I am not one to stop a perfectly good meme, so here we go (though narrowing down the long list of random things about me to just 6? Could be tough).

1. When I was pregnant I only threw up three times. Twice because I accidentally gagged myself while brushing my teeth. The only food aversion I developed was to chicken salad sandwiches. I nursed a serious love for steak, cereal (but only at night) and that pudding that is layered-chocolate and fudge. Toward the end of my pregnancy I ate at least one pudding cup a day. Then I had Norah, and I still had a bunch of pudding cups, so I tried one and EW. Abosolutely disgusting now that I am no longer knocked up. Pregnancy is weird. There is still one lone pudding cup hiding in my cabinet. I will probably eat it one day, thinking that it will be tasty and I will be sorely disappointed.

2. I cannot bring myself to buy the same kind of shampoo twice in a row. I am very brand specific when it comes to chapstick, toothpaste, deodorant, baby wipes and to some extent, lotion. But the shampoo kills me. I simulataneously dread and love shampoo shopping. I dread it because I can never decide what is most important to me: shine? texture? volume? straightness? moisture? curl? will my hair ever be curly? anti-frizz? Why can't they just make shampoo that will give you perfect Blake Lively hair, no matter where you started? And why do they have to make the bottles so pretty and cause me to freak out with the possibilities? However, everytime I buy a new bottle, I can barely control myself long enough to finish the one I already have in my shower. I just love using new shampoo.

3. I love making Norah's baby food. I have only bought one jar of canned baby food, and it was prunes. I never thought that I would be the mom that actually enjoyed making baby food given that I hate making grown-up food. Motherhood has done strange things to me.

4. I harbor a deep admiration for Somerset Maugham and like to pretend that we are friends, on a first name basis. I have read The Razor's Edge probably five times, and each time I fall in love with Larry and Isabel and Edward Templeton.

5. When I was little I never matched. Seriously, never. Not much has changed.

6. I think I would like to own a bookstore/coffee shop/junk store so I can sell all the things I love: old books, coffee and tea, and old used crap that someone else threw away.

I tag: Noah, Matt, Lauren, and Katy.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Filler

*Edit* I am SO SICK of blogger's strange formatting issues. Does anyone else have problems with it?

I am apparently still out of words. I thought they were back, but I was wrong. Oh well. So I stole this from my friend Noah, just to put something up here, so people don't think I am dead.



(On a completely unrelated side-note, my computer is acting very strangely. While I am typing, the cursor will randomly move to another place on the screen, which is really obnoxious because it messes everything up. I'm not sure if my stomach bulge is accidentally pressing the mouse again, or if my computer is just old and weird. Do any of you know anything about mouses? Mice?)



Anyway, here's the deal.



Leave your name and:

1. I'll respond with something random about you.

2. I'll tell you what song/movie reminds me of you.

3. I'll say something that only makes sense to you and me.

4. I'll tell you my first memory of you.



This should be fun. However, if 9 million people start responding to this I will probably stop, because really, I have lots of things going on in my life and I don't have time to sit around responding to 9 million people. Or maybe, I just lose interest in things very quickly.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Vicariously

My friend Noah wrote this great post. I am so proud of him for so graciously and accurately expressing something I have been struggling with for a few days now. Go read it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Dire Need For Sure

I need help.

I actually have a serious (and long!) post working in my noggin, but for now I would like to discuss what is on my noggin. This mop that I generously call "my hair-do". At this point it is less of a hair-do and more of a liability. More of a disgrace. More of a distraction. More of a reason to not look in the mirror ever.

I decided back in July that I was going to grow my hair out. This stemmed from a fantastically awful set of hair-cuts I was given by a woman who actually cut my hair while she was on heavy-duty muscle relaxers. And no, I am not kidding. So I had this terrible cut, and I kept going back to the same lady, and kept getting the same horrible cut and it has taken a solid 8 months for it to grow to a point that there is something salvageable from the wreckage. So there I am, in July, with this wreckage on my head, and I said to myself "Screw it. I'm going to grow my hair out so I can put it in a ponytail every single day and not have to worry about it."
But that was in July, in the unbearable heat of July when I never thought clearly and was prone to eating entire packages of Oreos in one sitting. And then, in my overheated Oreo heavy not sleeping baby misery, the ponytail sounded like a grand idea. But now, in the leek eating, comfortable and well rested days, I just don't know about the ponytail. I just don't know. AND I CANNOT DECIDE ON MY OWN!
So I need your help, readers of the world. Do I continue in this awful mop-haired-ness for a few more months when I know fully that I do not like my hair long? Or do I go ahead a chop it off, knowing that it will look good, but I will have to actually do it everyday? Or? Do I just quit worrying about it and find something more meaningful to fill my blog space?

(But look! My words are back! The world is right again!)

Here are some pictures to help your decision.
This is my hair at the height of longness, all done. And yes, my
face often looks like that in pictures.
This also, is my hair at the height of longness, but this is
what it would actually look like on a normal day. But
without all the other people, and without all the parade junk.
But probably with the boa.
This is my hair at the height of cute shortness.
Ignore the goofy face.
So, what thinks you?

Fresh Out of Funny Stories

Baby is still sick. And I seem to still be stuck here in the middle of Nothing to Say Land. Sorry about that.

But! Here's a picture of my baby sleeping in her bed!
She sleeps with her feet in the air. *love*

Monday, November 3, 2008

It's Been a Long Day's Night

Norah has been sick the past few days. She's had nose clogging and dripping, a slight fever, and a fabulous case of The Crankies. That first day, she was really only happy if she was sleeping or I was holding her and that shot me straight back to the days of The Beast. Sweet goodness, how glad I am that we got over that.

And for the most part, I handled her cold well. Until last night. The culmination of fever, nose bleed, putting the humidifier in her room,, and her waking up at 10:00 shrieking from a disgusting dirty diaper made all those stupid anxieties that I have gotten better about, come firing right back at me.

What if her fever spiked in the night and I didn't know it? What if her nose really started bleeding? What if she was humidified to death? If I could get through just one week without worrying about that baby, it would be a miracle.

I was all worked up last night, and stayed up watching Dr Drew for far too long, so when Norah woke up at 7 and was ready to go, it was all I could do to roll out of bed and bring her back to my room. I tried to keep her occupied while I snoozed, to no avail. So we got up at 8. Bleh.

All of that is leading up to this: Since I was awake and ER was not yet on, I read my Bible for the first time since...I have no idea. I read aloud to Norah. And then I pulled her in my lap and I held her in her green and pink parrot jammies and I prayed, out loud. And then I cried, for the love and grace that God extends to us sinners, for Him welcoming us back when we have been gone for so long.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

All Saint's Day



We celebrated Halloween today instead of yesterday. That's how we roll. One day late.

After much consideration and hilarity (mostly from seeing Rusty in my skinny jeans) we attended the Brown's Halloween Bash dressed as a ballerina princess with a snotty nose, an 80's punk rocker who's tattoos kept rubbing off onto her baby, and a Catholic priest with great fire making skills.

















Several people told me I should keep the lip ring.

Several people also knew who I was because of my blog. I'm famous!

It was a grand time, and I am so glad to have friends who understand that, when you have a baby, parties need to start early in the evening.

And on that note, I would like to inform the world that One Eyed Jack and I won the Annual Brown Family Pumpkin Carving contest! Take that Jasmine's stars! And Caitlin's witch! And Garrett's...orb turned scary face.