24 May 2012

A blog first

I have to say that my last post was the first time I have received a negative comment on my blog, and it's taken me some time to figure out how I wanted to respond. For those of you who don't read the comments – here it is, so that you know what I'm talking about:

Day care? Day care? DAY CARE for a 6 week old infant?!???
That is cruel! A baby deserves time to bond with its parents! Not to be banished to institutional care at the ripe old age of 40 days!!

I sure hope the first parents know you're doing this!! I cannot imagine any first mom would let an amom planning to dump a teeny-tiny baby in daycare!!!

I have a lot of things that I wish to say to this. Yes, I am going back to work after six weeks, which I don't think that anyone believes to be ideal, but in my household I am the primary breadwinner, and I don't have paid maternity leave. When I go back to work, my husband is staying home for two weeks, and then my mother-in-law will be here for the two days that I have to work the week of the fourth of July. This wasn't an easy decision for us, and there are many factors that come into play, like the fact that because of Jakobe's diabetes and the cost of health insurance, we can't afford for him to become a stay-at-home dad. Me being a stay-at-home mom was never an option, no matter how much I would like it to be. We are doing the best that we can.

As far as characterizing our daycare as “institutional care” I find it to be a gross mischaracterization of our plan, made by someone who has more politics than knowledge of our situation. The first parents know exactly what we are doing, as Niko will be attending the same in-home care as her first siblings.

Be outraged if you want. I am. I'm outraged that someone would come here, bringing the “mommy wars” with them, to tell me what a terrible mother I am before I've had even three weeks with my daughter. We all have to make choices and compromises.

Be outraged, I am. I am outraged that I live in one of the most advanced countries in the world, but I have no paid maternity leave. I am using every drop of my vacation and sick leave to stay at home as long as I can – and that's not right. Every other first world country has paid parental leave because they recognize the importance of family, and bonding, and how that makes for a stronger society, and most likely a more productive workforce whose mind is on their work while they are there, and not at home (or wherever their child is being cared for) with a child that the parents aren't ready to leave. So if I sound defensive, it's because I am. I want to stay at home longer, I want to be there with her, and I don't get to be. I can't imagine yet how hard it is going to be to go back to work. But, I don't really have a choice. Two rounds of IVF, and an adoption that fell in our lap from the gods have drained our savings, the money I had planned to use to cover the unpaid time off I wanted to take when I had a child. The short term disability policy that I've been paying for for years doesn't apply. Why? Because I'm not “recovering from childbirth.” The best laid plans, right?

So I guess what I am saying to StaN is: know what you're talking about before you make judgments. And if all else fails follow the golden rule. Or – just keep your damn mouth shut – you don't have the right to judge me.

To the rest of you: thanks for putting up with my rant, and maybe someday we can make a change to the family policies and politics of this country. Politicians like to say that family is central to our lived. Maybe it's time for them to put their votes where their mouth is.

17 May 2012

Induced Lactation - The results

I make milk.  not a lot, not enough, but I do make milk.

The lactation consultant calls it a miracle - mostly because I have never ever been even a little bit pregnant.

At last check Niko was getting about 1/4 to 1/2 and ounce from me when breastfeeding - so we're supplementing with a lot of first mom's pumped breast milk.  Our current goal is to introduce no formula until  she's at least a month old.  She's also getting almost all of her nutrition at the breast, with the help of a Lact-Aid.  While I may not make anywhere near enough milk for her, there are so many other benefits that I'm not giving up.  Nothing calms he down when she's upset faster that being put to the breast, and the little sleepy satiated smiles that she gives when she's full but still suckling are among the best ever.  We'll keep this up as long as we can.

It's been so worth it.

15 May 2012

On the Fist Week of Motherhood

Before I can say anything else, I just have to say, in a tone of utmost wonder I am a mother.

This week has been one of the most amazing weeks of my life. And as a capstone, My baby girl, the most beautiful baby you have ever seen, finished her very first bath... by pooping in her hoodie towel. Okay, maybe not finished, because she had to get back into the bath.

Sleep is a luxury, one that I treasure and don't get anywhere near enough of, but at the same time, there are small joys in the lack of sleep, like a head totally picked up so that a very small face can peer at you in the dark, that are unmatched in my dreams.

Niko was born last Friday, at 10:44 pm. She weighed 8 lbs 2oz, was 20.5 inches long, and had a head circumference of 13.5. for tho9se who care about other details, her apgar scores were 8 and 9 – both knocked down for color. The cord wasn't wrapped around her neck, just over her shoulder and around the rest of her like a boa constrictor. He first mother was a champion. She was induced first thing in the morning, but things didn't move very quickly until they broke her bag of waters at about 6 pm – after her epidural. When it came to pushing, it was all over in one contraction. So – Our daughter was born with a beautiful round head, instead of the common cone-head.

We stayed in the Hospital until late Sunday morning, long enough to avoid worst of the Bloomsday madness downtown. Once we got home, we all got settled in. First Mom was staying with us until we got her milk supply established, because she's pumping and providing breast milk to make up for my very limited production, so we had a room for her, and for her youngest son, so that she could cuddle her baby while she was here. She stayed until Thursday afternoon. In most ways it was great, but I wasn't prepared for the bustle of a bored thr4ee-year-old in my house, and sleeping during the day was just not possible.

Other things we did this week:
  • On Monday, we went to court with first Mom while she relinquished their rights to Niko. When she came out of the courtroom I could tell that it was hard for her, but all she did was give me a great big hug, and tell me “She's yours now.”

  • On Tuesday, we saw the pediatrician, and the lactation consultant for the first time. Both appointments went well, but We learned that I am not all that great at getting Niko to latch correctly, and it was affecting my minimal supply in a negative manner. (I was an excellent student at the brain based stuff – but sports and coordination we not really my forte, and correct latching should be an Olympic sport.) Also – My sister and brother in law came over to visit.
  • Wednesday, We didn't do much. My Mom came to visit on her way home from work. Just a lot of practicing and trying to make breastfeeding work better. Plus we were on an every 2 Hour schedule. (from start to start. Wake, feed, supplement, pump, sleep in whatever time was left) The while first family came over for dinner.
  • Thursday, First mom went home in the early afternoon. I lent her one of my hospital grade rental pumps to use, instead of a manual pump. Hopefully it works better for her, and helps her out when she goes back to work. Thursday Night the whole family came back – So the dads could talk about one of their hobbies. Honestly – I just wanted to sleep.
  • Friday, back to the lactation consultant. I'm still only makking about ½ an ounce of milk per feeding, but – I no longer have to pump in the middle of the night, and I have learned how to use the lact-aid, so w can breastfeed and supplement at the same time, and it should help my supply more than the breast pump did. My best friend and her finacee came over for our normal friday get-together, and he made us dinner. I love them!
    (...pause to feed the baby, and maybe run errands)

Note – that pause lasted 4 days. So, I figured that I had better post this while I have a moment.

05 May 2012

Introducing Niko

Born 5/4/12 - on Star Wars Day, just for her daddy.

10:44 pm
8 lbs 2 oz
20.5 Inches long
Head circumference 13.5 inches
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