May 12, 2009

4 kids later...

...and there are still times I do not know what I am doing.

Last tuesday was the low point. Twain would scream hysterically every time we put him down. My arms were tired and I needed to rest.

In my entire career as a mom, I have only purchased one baby contraption: a little swing. Everything else was a gift or hand-me down.

So when I urgently sent mom out to babies 'r us to buy a hideously blue-colored boppy bouncer, you know I was desperate. I had previously vowed that only tan or grey neutral items would step foot in my house. But this bouncer came recommended by a friend. She said is was very snug and made it feel like someone was holding the baby. And did I mention my desperation???

I think Finn and Calvin were more excited about it than anyone. 

$54.99 later and the boy is still screaming.

Mom, John and I were completely outnumbered. We needed back-up. Heck, we needed back-up for the back-up. 

That evening, Twain was screaming again. I had just fed him. Mom and I were delirous at this point and had no idea what we were doing.

Is Twain hungry?


Is Twain gassy?

Do we give him a bottle?

Or will this make him even more gassy?

On and on we went. You'd think he was our first.

By now, my tiny newborn is screaming and kicking like a wild little donkey. It was really something else to witness such fury from someone so small. Finally we caved and gave him a little formula, which he guzzled.

My child was starving. Starving, I tell you.

Normally I have no qualms about giving the baby formula, especially in the beginning. But it can be a slippery slope--some babies get lazy, and I feared this was going to be the case with Twain.


he was quiet. And calm. And happy.

and he loved his new bouncer.(above photo by Lorie)

I pretty much thought my nursing career was over. I'm kind of melodramatic when it comes to nursing. I always vow, each pregnancy, that I am not going to be as neurotic.

But when my baby is hungry and unhappy, then I am unhappy. And every cry starts to sound the same to my sensitive ears.

feed me!

Feed Me!


Even if the baby was crying for no good reason at all. Which we all know that babies do from time to time. 

I decided that if Twain was going to quit on me, then I was gonna go down in a blaze of glory, trying to increase my milk supply.

So, I did what any reasonable person would do.

In all of 10 minutes,

I ate 2 steaks
and a hamburger
and guzzled half a gallon of water until I was dizzy.

I ate like a pig for the rest of the night. It helped some, but not as much as it should. My milk supply was still kind of slugglish. Which was odd for me.

I suspected that my pain killer Darvocet was partly to blame. One of its side effects is drowziness. If it could slow my brain down, who knows what else it was slowing down?

So even though I was not entirely ready to bid the Darvocet goodbye, I switched to Advil, to see what would happen. The next day my supply DRAMATICALLY INCREASED. 

That sneaky Darvocet. Or perhaps it was just coincidence. Or the combination between Darvocet and not eating enough. I will probably never know for sure. 

And the Twain boy is a new baby. He has been downgraded from a category 5 tropical storm to a gentle breeze of wind on a warm sunny day. Well, not exactly, but in comparison to what he used to be...

Now that he is no longer starving, he actually SLEEPS. He sleeps a lot. Dare I say he is mellow after all? And he can go at least 2.5 to 3 hours between feedings. Sorry about all my ramblings, but if this helps anyone to hang in there with the nursing, then it was worth it:) It can be so hard in the beginning.

And the best part is, I have been able to rest so much more and so my incision is healing much better. I am still on Advil, but am gradually decreasing my dosages. I am still recovering and am not back to my old self(ie. I still can't sew yet). But day by day I am able to do more and more, as I putz around the house. I am very pleased with the overall progress of my recovery. And to spur me on, I even ordered some fabric online for when I can sew again.

In the meanwhile, I will just hang out on my deck and dream of all the little things I will get to make Twain someday.


  1. im so glad he is full and happy and that you are too!
    have i mentioned i cant wait to see you??
    ill be calling you tomorrow or thursday!

  2. Oh Davi, being a mom is hard stuff. It's nice (for me) to know that it's not just tough for us newbies, but also for veteran's like you. (not that I'm wishing it to be tough on you, but you get the idea) Aubrey was STARVING her first 3 days and I was in tears! Finally, based on the advice of the nice old nurse at the hospital, I gave her an ounce of formula. NEW BABY, I tell you! When my milk finally came in, we never once had a problem nursing. I love that we can be flexible as moms. I love that your milk supply is better and that sweet Twain is no longer a category 5 hurricane ;). I get to come see you next Tuesday...YAY! Any food aversions?

  3. O-M-G! Those orange polka them!

    Aw..poor baby...poor momma...
    Glad everything is going smoothly now!

    He's such a doll!

  4. I was on Darvocet also and my milk NEVER came in =( I wonder if there is any connection ...?! I never thought about that.
    I am so glad it is working out now, formula seriously KILLS the pocket book!
    XOXO hope you are back to your normal sewing self soon =)

  5. I'm so glad things are going better for you...and Twain. Yay for more rest AND for getting to eat steaks and hamburgers. =)

  6. I am slowly learning that on the days that I am not eating or drinking enough.. Zoe is MUCH fussier and just seems so clingy. She wants to eat more often which is not very fun. ;) I am glad to hear that you are feeling better and healing nicely.

  7. Glad things are settling down and that he is a happier baby now! That formula can make a world of difference when things aren't going great with the breastfeeding. I'm glad everything's back on track for you!

  8. I, too, am coming out of lurkage. (sis-in-law of Lydia's)

    I can relate to this post on so many levels. We had a cheapo garage sale bouncy that my son LOVED and preferred over being held in the early days. I suspected the vibrating helped his tummy. But then the vibrator started to go out, so we bought the same kind of bouncer you have... and the kid would have nothing to do with it.

    Nursing is hard. And so worth it. But oh the frustrations and the fretting... is he hungry? Is it time to feed again?

    And lately, I've been discovering all sorts of crazy things medicine can do to you. I'm hoping to go au natural here soon and see what happens.

    Twain is beautiful. Congrats on your new band member!

  9. Oh wow, Davi. I so could have written this post when lil' G was first born. She would scream and cry and act starving and I would have to give her a few ounces in a bottle and then she would be sooo happy. After a couple of days though... (and a million pumping sessions to increase my production!!) I was able to exclusively breastfeed her. You're doing great!!!!!

  10. I was on Darvocet for a few days after having Gracie and my milk came in like Niagra Falls. I bet it was just the stress on your body from the C-section. I'm glad all is well that ends well.

  11. crazy how each baby is different and props to you for really investigating the problem with your milk supply before throwing in the towel! Good lesson to learn! Hope things get easier now!

  12. Julie-- i agree that the difficulty of this particular c-section was probably a factor.

    KarenD-thanks for delurking with your encouraging words:)

  13. Wanting to sew is always a good sign that you are healing. So glad to hear you are doing better and can't wait to see what you create from those great Amy Butler dots. I too love the orange. Hate to bug you AGAIN, but will you email me your address one more time? Promise not to lose it this time.

  14. I am pretty sure I know who to call with any parenting questions! You are an amazing mom. Thank you for sharing your experiences here. We all benefit from them.

    And oh, I am loving the baby pictures!

  15. Your blog made me laugh happily. I have been there with you - desperate to do ANYTHING to quiet the incessant wailing of babies,looking at my sewing machine with a heart longing for a fond tryst again, and having dreams of what we will create together when that day finally comes around... which it will, and does. Hold on, young mom, and cherish these moments, because a day is coming when you will comment on some new mom's blog how her words made your heart happily laugh.

  16. DAVI! I doubt you will believe me but I JUST emailed those same fabrics to Ellie last Thursday asking her what she thought of my visions to make bumpers out of them for the twin boys rooms! Nice taste, I love it :) Hang in there with all the feeding and comforting of the newborn stage...ugh, I will be there soon enough, and will be coming to you to hear some success stories :) He's a doll!

  17. Beautiful boys!

    If you're still having milk supply problems, try taking some fenugreek. It's basically anise or fennel and you can get it in the vitamin/supplement section of your grocery store. I'm not sure why it works, but it helped me a lot.

    Good luck!

    -Andi (friend of Jenn)

  18. I'm getting caught up on my commenting, can you tell?? :)

    This post made me go "hmmm". Rosalie screamed her head off and did not want to nurse well at ALL, even after my milk came in. She would get so angry and frustrated. It was awful and miserable and sad. And it didn't occur to me at the time, but I was taking Darvocet for a little while after she was born too (I had some major stitches down there, no fun)... I wonder if the medication was my culprit too??

    well, anyway, I am just so glad that things are going more smoothly now, that you're getting rest, and healing nicely. Hooray!!

  19. Love the orange pokadots! I just used that fabric for the trip and back of Katy's pillow shams!!! Which, incidentally, turned out so great! She has great taste. :) Thanks again for letting us come by that day. It--no, you--were inspiring, to say the least!

  20. I am so sorry nursing was difficult at first but I am glad things have greatly improved!! Nursing is so hard in the beginning!