Monthly Archives: September 2010

daddy magic.

travis is quitting his second job. he will be home 5 evenings a week now, instead of just 1 or 2. i know one little girl who will be very happy to have more daddy time.

travis has what i like to refer to as “daddy magic”. sometimes sylvie sees him and immediately calms down. well, little girl, there’s a lot more daddy magic coming your way!

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emotional recovery.

i’ve been putting off writing this post for almost 8 weeks now. it’s been 7 and a half weeks since sylvie’s birth, 7 and a half weeks spent trying to come to terms with my unplanned c-section. this article, thought quite lengthy, is the best i’ve read on the subject.

it’s like this. say you have spent the better part of a year planning a trip to paris. you’ve thoroughly researched your flights, hotel accommodations, and every thing you plan to do and see there. you’ve written out a dream itinerary. you’ve read countless guide books and websites. you mark a big red X on the calendar each evening before bed, counting down the days, minutes, and seconds until you leave. you are excited beyond all belief.

on the morning of your flight, you decide to run some last minute errands. travel sizes of shampoo, snacks for the flight, etcetera. suddenly, another car runs a stop sign and crashes into you. your leg is badly broken. you have to say au revoir to paris. except you’ve never been to paris, so what you’re actually saying goodbye to is the dream of paris. the fantasy of paris. the paris you’ve built up in your head to be so extraordinarily life-changing. au revoir.

in the coming weeks, as your leg begins to mend, you notice that the authors of several blogs you read are traveling to paris. you read detailed accounts of their trips, “travel stories”. you see countless pictures and videos of couples beneath the eiffel tower and the arc de triomphe. you read drool-worthy accounts of every wonderful meal consumed there. you are happy for these bloggers, some of whom you consider to be your friends. still. all the while, in the back of your mind, comes a nagging feeling of it should have been me. you are convinced that nobody wanted and worked for that trip to paris as much as you did. it pains you to see others get the experience you longed for, some of whom don’t seem too enthused. you know that maybe you will get the chance to travel there again a few years in the future, but that the likelihood of that isn’t up to you. you hold onto that for comfort.

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that is the best parallel i can draw. i never got my paris and i still get a twinge of pain every single day. some days it hurts more than others. i have the deep red scar to remind me every time i change clothes or shower (which isn’t as frequent an occurrence as it used to be). i know it will take time. i’ve heard it does get easier. now that i’ve lost breast feeding as well (sylvie is SO MUCH HAPPIER this way), it’s been weighing particularly hard on me. i wonder: if i had the natural birth i dreamed of would sylvie have been a better nurser? could we have gotten through her tummy troubles? would she even have those tummy troubles? i know the answers are probably no, no, and yes, respectively. i still can’t help but wonder if things would have been different.

my mind is a constant swarm of what ifs? what if i had her at a birth center (like i wanted, but there are none close by) instead of a hospital? what if my water hadn’t broken prematurely and she had made it to term? what if i had waited just a little longer to finally give in to that epidural? i don’t know if any of these things would have mattered. all i can do is to try again when the time comes to give sylvie a sibling. if i work hard enough, maybe i can have the natural birth i envisioned with her little brother or sister. perhaps we’ll be living in a place with an excellent midwife-attended birth center nearby. i hope so.

until then, i will work as hard as i can each day to move on from the experience, to live in present and focus on how blessed i am to be sylvia’s mother.

wardrobe wednesday.

i was thinking about starting a new weekly feature on the blog called wardrobe wednesday. every wednesday i will post a picture of sylvie’s cutest outfit from the past week.

yesterday we went on our weekly family outing to the park. fall is in full force here and the days have been chilly but beautifully sunny. here is what sylvie wore:


headband: target (part of a 3 pack), cardigan-style sweatshirt: baby gap (it’s reversible!)


skinny jeggings and booties: babies r us

i have been waiting for that headband and those jeans to fit her! sylvie’s general style is comfortable, a little bit tomboy, a little bit hip, but always with a feminine accessory thrown in.

what do you think of wardrobe wednesday? would you like to see more of sylvie’s styles every week?

the beginning of the end?

after a couple of weeks of supplementing with formula, we have finally found a brand that works for sylvie. she has a sensitivity to both milk protein and soy. the original formula we got for her, earth’s best organic soy and lactose-free, made her even fussier. that’s how we found out about her soy protein sensitivity. enter the nutramigen. no soy and lactose. everything should have been good, right? WRONG. this stuff smelled FOUL. satan’s armpit FOUL. it would take 45 minutes of constant screaming to get her to choke down an ounce. obviously, this was no good.

last night, after a few days of breast milk only and an exceedingly fussy and gassy baby (a baby that hadn’t pooped in 5 DAYS), we purchased a canister of gerber good start gentle plus. at almost $10 cheaper per canister than the nutramigen and $5 cheaper than the organic soy, we figured it was worth a shot. like the nutramigen, the milk proteins are hydrolyzed and broken down. this makes them much easier to digest.

my milk supply never came back up. in fact, it has gone down a bit more since she started nursing again a few days ago. she has never been a strong nurser. for the last 5 weeks it has been an uphill battle to get her fed and keep my supply going. we gave her a few consecutive feedings with the new formula last night while i pumped to help my supply out. she went down to sleep at 10:30 last night and didn’t get up to feed again until 3:30 this morning. then she went right back down until 8:00. no fussing. no excessive gas. no screaming in pain. no startling herself awake by spitting up. she woke up a new baby. she is smiling. she is engaging us and grasping at toys. she is doing all the things she was in too much pain to enjoy before. she is cuddly and content again. she is the baby i came home from the hospital with, the one who was replaced by fussy mcgee at 3 weeks. she has never napped without my holding her before today.

for now, i am continuing to pump to keep a supply going. we are going to give the new formula another few days to settle in. we are going to make sure it works for her and that she continues to tolerate it. if all goes well i think it’s time to slowly ease up on the pumping and come to a stop. i have come to terms with the fact that NOTHING has gone the way i planned. my perfect natural birth turned into a c-section. my breast fed baby will likely be formula only within a few weeks. the idea of breast feeding was difficult to let go of. she fought me at EVERY SINGLE FEEDING for the last 4+ weeks. she was excessively gassy around the clock to the point of constant straining, fussing, and crying. i gave up dairy and soy. i ate incredibly bland foods at every meal day after day. nothing eased her troubled tummy. the bottom line is my baby can’t tolerate my breast milk and to continue to feed her that way because i can’t let go would be SELFISH. i want a happy, well-fed baby. for us, this seems to be the answer.

i wanted this to work out so badly. in the weeks after her birth, when i was still grieving over my c-section, nursing was all that kept me sane. i couldn’t BIRTH her, but i could FEED her. at 2 and a half weeks, a switch flipped and the room went dark. i have spent everyday since then pumping around the clock, offering her the breast only to have it pushed away, listening to her scream and cry through every feeding. this morning i fed my child a bottle, which she contentedly and vigorously drank down. after a quick burp she was napping in my arms, smiling in her sleep.

thank you.

sometimes you have a really bad day. you know the kind. the baby cries for hours on end, she won’t eat, and you feel tired and a little bit sick. then something happens to turn the whole day around.

today was one of those days. sylvie cried and fussed and barely ate enough at each feeding to hold her for 2 hours afterward. travis and i are exhausted. determined to make tonight better, we cooked ourselves a nice dinner and ventured out to rent a silly movie. on the way home we stopped by the mailbox. inside was a small package from allie and henry, which contained the most beautiful vintage corduroy dress for sylvie.

the note tucked inside was even sweeter. i nearly cried when i read it. so, thank you, allie (and henry, too!) for making my day a whole lot brighter. sylvie thanks you, too!

louisville.

i apologize for my blogging absence. i spent the last several days with my little family in louisville, kentucky! travis was down there to take (and pass with flying colors) his first level sommelier exam. sylvie and i tagged along because it’s BIRTHDAY WEEK! what is BIRTHDAY WEEK? travis’ birthday was tuesday and mine is today. we both turned the big 2-5.

to celebrate the three of us went out to a nice dinner at proof on main in downtown louisville. sylvie slept in her maya wrap the entire time.

after dinner we took a walk down the block to the louisville slugger museum. travis snapped a picture of me and my girl in front of the world’s largest baseball bat.

the rest of the time we were there it was super hot outside. 97 degrees is far too hot to walk around downtown louisville with a little baby! we spent the next couple of days at various indoor places. i read magazines in a borders for hours while sylvie did this:

it was heavenly to read magazines at a leisurely place and with BOTH HANDS. we also walked around a random mall for a couple of hours. again, she slept in the maya wrap while i scored a peacoat sweater for her at old navy.

old navy is having a FANTASTIC sale right now. all clearance is an additional 50% off. i got this peacoat for…wait for it…$2.98! TWO NINETY-EIGHT. say whaaaaaat?!

we got home fairly late last night after a delicious dinner stop at an all-you-can-eat-for-$9.99 family-owned buffet. amazingly, sylvie slept 5 consecutive hours the last two nights! i feel like a new woman. she and travis were still recovering from the trip this afternoon.

she is snoozing on her daddy’s chest as i type this. we’re going to put her down and climb into bed. goodnight!

awake.

our days are looking more like this:

and less like this:

it’s way more fun this way! happy six weeks to my little milky-moo.