Friday, March 28, 2008

Today, Gonzo and I decided to quit breastfeeding Sofia. At least, straight from the breast, that is.
Sofia developed thrush. That is the final diagnosis. Not a nursing strike. Not teething. Thrush.
Luckily, I found it super early. She just has a few pin-head sized spots.
However, these spots are causing her enough discomfort that she will not breastfeed without a major fight. This morning, she cried for an hour and half while I tried every way to get her to breastfeed. She has now smartened up to every single trick I've figured out.

It was a really hard decision - even though everything in my head tells me that this is the right thing to do. I cried, and I cried hard because I know that putting her on the bottle will probably mean she'll never come back to feeding from the breast. It surprised me that I was so emotional about it. I honestly feel like I'm having a way of bonding with my daughter taken from me.

But it's about Sofia. It's about her needing to get what she needs to thrive.
I think that God has this happening so that Sofia doesn't pass the infection on to me, and then I only perpetuate the problem.

I have prayed that she'll be back on the breast once the infection clears up. I know that God can do that.

Movie Making with Christine

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Movie Magic
Today, Christine asked me to help her with her project that she has to do with her informal apprenticeship as a Director of Photography. Her assignment was to shoot in 16mm film a story that she had come up with on her own. Christine has never shot in film before. She had never used a Bolex before. She had never had to come up with a script before and shoot a story without the luxury of editing afterwards (this was a requirement of the assignment). And I have never been ON CAMERA before.

We were both a tad stressed.

Anyhow, once we got going it was actually super fun and it was cool to problem-solve... Christine would keep forgetting to wind the camera up and so she'd end up with these short segments she didn't intend. We had to make it look like she did it on purpose, of course. I think that it's going to turn out pretty good. And no, not because I'm a spectacular actress. Christine made it easy on me.

Looking forward to what we came up with!

Caught sleeping on Good Friday

Friday, March 21, 2008

102 / (Good) Friday, March 21

Being busy with my three month old baby has made me skip the whole lead up to Good Friday. Good Friday is such an important day for me personally because of what God did to make the gap between me (as well as others) and Him disappear. We can be friends again. Good Friday is a day that we can commemorate that. Even today, as I fed her at 8:45am, I thought to myself, 'I should just skip church today - what's the point? She's gonna make me miss the message anyhow.' (She'd get hungry between 2 and 2.5 hours).

I'm glad I went anyhow, even though she did make me miss the speaking time. To see the community that I'm a part of because of God had done for us so long ago was really worth it. It took me forever to get out of church (we were in a semi-rush because Gonz had to be back at church just a mere hour later to prep for the Easter presentation) because everyone was hounding Sofia down. So many people had heard of her but had never seen her yet.

Right now Sofia has me missing being a good part of the church community that I love. Of course, not on purpose. I have to work hard to remain connected and in touch - even as it good for my own spiritual life. God created us to be connected to others, so He created this rich community that is birthed out of the reconciliation of us to Himself. I am naturally not strong at remaining connected, partially because I'm so stubbornly independent. Independent is good when you can learn to do something yourself, but independent is bad when you learn to do everything by yourself. It's important that I remember to include others in my life as it enriches mine as I enrich theirs (at least I hope!)

It would have been nice to feel like it's Easter already, but that doesn't have to stop me from being so grateful every other day of the year.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

some days i feel undone
coming to the very end
tangled up in chasing control
wound into confusion

that's when i say to myself
let's begin all over again

The truth is...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I have finally figured out what the heck is wrong with Sofia.
Over the last month, Sofia has been drooling incessantly. My mother-in-law and my sister-in-law both exclaimed, "Maybe she's teething!" I was like... geez, I hope not. Seems way too early.

I mentioned it to my doctor and he also said, "Impossible! It's way too early."

Last night, after a tough day with Sofia, I was looking for more possible reasons why she's having so much trouble nursing. I wasn't completely convinced that she was on a nursing strike STILL. Nursing strikes are supposed to last a few days to a couple of weeks. It just seemed too long. And since I was just so stinkin' tired of not knowing what was up with Sofia, I researched on the internet and some suggestions included 'thrush'. Thrush is a yeast infection in the mouth that commonly occurs in babies and it's supposed to be super painful. With the help of my mother, we pried her mouth open and went looking. Nothing.

Except for a little white dot on her gums. A tooth? I didn't know what thrush looked like.

I googled images of thrush. GOODNESS ME, she definitely doesn't have it. GROSS.

I told Christine and Margaret that maybe Sofia has a tooth coming through on iChat, and Margaret asked "Did you feel if it was hard?" No... for some reason I didn't think to do that. So, before we went to bed last night, I went to feel it and yes, it was hard AND she started gnawing on my finger. Gnawing. People who know babies know that if you put anything in their mouths at such a young age, they suck on it. They do not gnaw. All the lights came on in my head and I was convinced. THIS IS IT. I HAVE FOUND THE ANSWER.

This morning I looked into her mouth again, and looked on the outside of her gums and found a white bulge. SHE HAS A TOOTH! The girl is only 3 months old. On average, babies cut their first tooth at 6 or 7 months. It freaked me out and made me happy too, 'cause now at least I know how to comfort my baby.

Fortunately, someone had given us a teething ring at one of our baby showers, and so I pulled it out and she had a great time with it. Poor thing. She's been teething for about a month now. And I had no idea.

▼ The teething ring is a tad big. After all, it's meant for babies at least three months older than Sofia.

100 / Wednesday, March 19

So I lied

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My last post about Sofia's Nursing Strike #2 was prematurely posted. I had about 4 good feedings with her, and then after that it was back to the horrible times again. This one started on February 25. Today I did have two good feedings without resistance from her... I have to maintain proper perspective. Before looking at the calendar today, I thought this stint was already 5 weeks - but it really is only the third week. Also, we just had a doctor's appointment yesterday for her regular check up and she's gaining perfectly.

It's hard not to worry - especially on a rainy day.
Somehow, everything feels like it's coming down.

My first knitting project

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I chose my first project from "Essential Baby" - cable socks. For a long, long time I've wanted to be able to knit something by following a pattern. Honestly, I thought it was going to be a lot harder than it was. Back on Sunday, Christine and I went to the crafts store to buy the needles that we needed in order to do our projects.

Today, I completed one sock!

I'm super proud of myself!
Oh, if you're interested in knitting but was also scared like me, you can go to knittinghelp.com. They actually have videos that demonstrate different stitches along with the different abbreviations that show up in patterns.

On to the other sock...

For your dancing pleasure...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sofia dances to "Meglio Stasera" from Kathy Jimenez on Vimeo.

It's over...again...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Monday, March 10

Finally! The Nursing Strike #2 is finally over.
Yesterday, at her first evening feeding, she didn't put up a fight. She didn't have a look of fear. She didn't wave her arms around. She didn't kick like crazy. She didn't scream. She didn't cry. She didn't have big ol' tears rolling down her face. I didn't have to rock her to sleep first. I offered her the breast and she took it. What a stinkin' relief.

Oh, and it was her three month birthday too.

It's been such an amazing three months. Even with all the hard parts.

Here are some highlights -

  • Sometimes Sofia sneezes and farts at the same time
  • She now adds a 'sigh' at the end of a sneeze or yawn
  • Recently, Sofia cries not because she's hungry, wet or tired, but because she just wants us to hang out with her
  • She smiles while she tosses and turns when I put her down to bed
  • She squeals
  • When I shred paper, the sound scares the crap out of her (not literally, FYI)
  • She loves to look at herself in the mirror, that vain little baby
  • She is the most chatty at around 10:00 to 10:30 in the morning
  • She sure loves Gwa-kong
  • When Sofia is especially fussy, she settles down quickly to Diana Krall
  • Sometimes when I sing to Sofia, she sings along (it sounds just like her cooing, but she elongates all the 'syllables')
  • She loooooves bathtime

    Being parents - being a mother - is even better than I could ever imagine.
  • Essential Baby

    Saturday, March 08, 2008

    I picked up this book, "Essential Baby" yesterday after seeing it advertised in my "Today's Parent" magazine. It has the most gorgeous knitting projects for babies. Knitting patterns usually REALLY suck, but these ones look like outfits that I would actually pick up at the store. I'm looking forward to learning to follow a pattern - all the way to the end!

    What could be.

    Friday, March 07, 2008

    I love planning for the future.
    I love considering the possibilities - looking at where we are in life right now and looking where we could be in one, two or five years. I love spreading out what God has placed in our hands and taking a good, hard look at what we could and should do with it.

    I'm in such a transitional time in our lives as a family. Maternity leave - what a gift. It's like I've got a whole year to make new year's resolutions everyday. After all, what else is there to do when your baby sleeps 75% of the time?

    Working on Sitting

    Wednesday, March 05, 2008

    Sofia hasn't quite mastered sitting up yet. Here, Elizabeth helps her.

    Hello again, Salomon

    Monday, March 03, 2008

    So, after I wrote my post on the death of my 12 year old Salomon hiking boots, a PR rep for Salomon read it and offered me a new pair of hiking boots. They arrived today!

    Can you believe it? I am not quite sure how the rep found my blog, but I'm sure glad I wrote it! Woohoo! Free shoes!

    Nursing Strike Observations

    Saturday, March 01, 2008

    Believe it or not, my baby is on a Nursing Strike again.

    It continues on to today. This time is worse than the last time. Last time she nursed no problem in the middle of the night. Not this time. Also, she starts crying even before the breast touches her face. This is really tiring.

    To review, she started this back on Monday (that is a week tomorrow) and I thought that it was because her routine was broken. I think that part of it might have been that, but my friend Jonathan helped me figure something out. I noticed that the last time and this time Sofia has noticeably grown - in chubbiness and in length. I suggested this to him. He has two boys - they are something like 10 to 13 years old. He said that he notices that whenever they approach a growth spurt they eat like crazy and then once the growth spurt has ended, they are super finicky about food and almost eat nothing.

    I am thinking this is the only thing that makes sense to me.

    I had emailed Dr. Jack Newman (the author of the book, "The Guide to Breastfeeding) since I figured he's pretty much the expert in his field. He wrote me back (mind you with a copy-and-paste response... which I can understand). And suggested that I had a baby with the nursing strike. I was like, AGAIN?! However, in his email he suggests that it is caused my a decrease in milk supply (NOT ME), and I should stop using bottles because I'm only making the problem worse (don't agree - since this is the way I got myself out of the nursing strike last time).

    I also called my doctor and told him what was happening and he asked me about how she was besides the breastfeeding and I'm like, totally happy - sleeping well, interacting well, developing well... he said that babies just change their habits sometimes, and just to keep offering the breast and then bottlefeed if she really won't take it. This is what I have been doing.

    So, I feel a lot better about it now. I am the kind of person that can withstand and endure something just as long as I know that there is a positive reason behind it. I delivered my baby without an epidural because I had read that the baby can have the drug in their system for up to two weeks. If Sofia is not eating because she is growing 'too' much, then I know that there is an end in sight.

    It's crazy. I'm all for it, but if breastfeeding is so natural, then why is it so hard?

    Oh, and I figured out a new trick - if she is freaking out, give her the pacifier until she calms down. Once she is calm, pull the pacifier out and swap it for the breast. I successfully fed her this way this morning. Also, feeding her while sleeping still works the best.

    (If you're a mother and have had trouble breastfeeding, I would love to hear about when you have trouble too. Please leave a comment and tell me I'm not alone!)