January 27, 2009

Free Our Breasts

At work, there is a small room called the Lactation Room. It's a place where anyone who is in the hospital can go and pump in privacy. There is a hospital grade pump available there if you have the pump kit, breastmilk storage bags and magazines to read. I found this little ditty last night. It was just typed up, no author's name, but I thought it was pretty funny. I still pump at work when I get the chance and I still intend to breastfeed for several more months. This lactation room seems to be getting more and more use lately and I'm glad to see it, if not just for the extra reading material. For awhile, I think I was the only one who went in there. Some people may think that beyond a year, Isaiah doesn't need to breast feed. Nutritionally, he's getting what he needs from whole milk and food, but the nutrients in Bmilk won't hurt him, he needs to feel that comfort and security that breastfeeding provides. When he decides he's done, then we're done. Be that tomorrow or in 6 months. There of course will be a limit for me, 2 is as long as I think I can do it. When he's talking, it will be too weird. But, at least for now, we're still going strong. I make no judgement of people who choose not to breastfeed. It's a mother's choice, but all to often, I've felt pressured to not breastfeed, or at least to not be breastfeeding still. It's too bad that in some places, society sees breastfeeding as something for the mother's enjoyment, or something that should be hidden away in bedrooms or bathrooms. Breasts are for feeding babies. That's how they should be seen, not as sexual objects. My kids see me breastfeed and both Jacob and Clara understand that that's what they are for. I don't go whipping them around and whatnot, but I don't hide the fact that I am feeding Isaiah with my body. I am discreet and always use a blanket when anyone else is around, mainly for my comfort. Women who give their babies bottles aren't forced to hide, so why should breastfeeding mamas? Plus, the World Health Organization recommends 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding, and breastfeeding along with food for 2 years. Sorry, I'll get off my podium now. Enjoy!

*Sing to the tune of "Be Our Guest" from Beauty and the Beast

See our breasts, see our breasts-
Everywhere, half-naked chests.
While we nurse,
The prudish curse
And wish we'd button up our vests.
Sorry, folks, look away
If we're too decollete,
but this is what boobs are made for,
Not those Wonderbras you've paid for.
We refuse to go feed
Hunched in bathroom stalls---indeed,
We're appalled that you would make such rude requests.
Would you agree to eat
Upon a toilet seat?
See our breasts, see our breasts, free our breasts!

January 22, 2009

Adventures in Parenting

I swear, there is never a dull moment in the life of a mom. Most of the time it's great, but there are moments that I long for a worry-free day. Tuesday afternoon, I woke up a little later than usual (because I set the alarm for 2:45 a.m instead of p.m.) so I was rushed trying to get to the sitters house to get Jacob as he got off of the bus. Term.in.ix was scheduled to come between 5-7 pm and I wanted to make sure I was back from getting all 3 kids and have time to pick up the house a bit. I just got dressed, ran a brush through my hair, threw on a little mascara, brushed my teeth and left. So I was looking hot. I get Jacob, and go into town to get the other 2 kids from daycare. I go to Clara's room and don't see her. Her teachers then tell me that she's been crying non-stop since nap time. It was 3:50 and they lay down for naps about 1p.m. WTF?!? Usually, they are all too happy to call and tell me I need to come get my kid if something like that happens. They tell me she's been complaining about her cheek hurting. She was fine over the weekend. Absolutely no complaints of pain, so whatever is going on came on quick. And she looks like hell. Her poor little eyes were blood-shot and her hair a mess. I'm a bit put-off because, hello, there is obviously something wrong. I get home, and the bug guy knocks on the door 5 minutes later. Thank goodness he was early, because I've now figured out that it is Clara's ear that is bothering her and I need to get her to the doctor's office before their walk-in clinic closes at 6:00. It's now 4:45. I call Husband and tell him I need him to meet me at the doctor's office because I can't do 3 kids again (tried it once, and it didn't work). In the meantime, Clara has been crying, constantly. Isaiah is used to having Mommy-time right after we get home and he's not happy about being loaded back in his car seat, so he's crying. Jacob is fed up with all the crying and is hollering, too. We get to the office, and no husband in sight. We go back to the room where they weigh and do vitals, but Clara refuses to stand on the scale, Isaiah has thrown himself on the floor crying and Jacob is opening cabinets and drawers. And here I am, trying to keep Isaiah from crawling out the door, trying to keep Jacob out of stuff and bribing Clara with a toy if she could please just stand on the scale. And she's doing the jello legs thing when I try to pick her up and stand her on the scale. It could have been an episode of a sitcom- Harried mother trying and failing, miserably, at controlling her children as they destroy the doctors office. Thank God, at that time husband gets there and takes the boys home. Whew. Everyone was breathing a little easier. The doc looks in her ears and one is clear, but the one that hurts is so full of wax that she can't see the eardrum. Oddly enough, Clara has now stopped crying. Doc tries to clean out the wax (and I try not to be offended when she suggests stuff for me to use to clean out her ears. I never use q-tips and we clean her ears at bathtime. How am I supposed to know there's all sorts of wax in there) but is unsuccessful and she goes ahead and prescribes antibiotics. Clara sat perfectly still as she tried to dig out ear wax, but refused to stand on the scale. Go figure. By the time we get home with her meds, Clara seems fine. She whimpers here and there but the incessant crying has stopped. To make the night even better, I'm talking on the phone, relaying the events of the evening to my sister, and Isaiah starts fussing, so I go in the kitchen to get him a sippy cup. Then I hear someone tumble down our stairs and then hear Clara crying. Those damn stairs scare the crap out of me. I didn't see it, but I freak out, hang up on my sister and check on Clara. She didn't tumble like I had imagined, but had just slipped onto her back and slid down. So her back is covered in bruises. And I'm hoping I don't have to take her back to the doctor again anytime soon because they'll think we beat her. We get the kids to bed and hope the worst is over. The next morning as I'm pulling Clara's hair into a ponytail, I notice all sorts of wax, blood and dried stuff all over her ear. Crap, crap, crap. I go upstairs, and there's a small spot of blood, fluid and wax on her pillow. Her eardrum burst. She tells me her ear doesn't hurt anymore, but it's clogged and she can't hear out of it. There must be some genetic thing in my family because my sister's eardrum ruptured a couple times as a kid, and my grandfather's did, too. I had just really hoped to avoid that. So, again, I call the office just to see if I need to do anything and they order some type of drops for me to put in her ear. I tried to pick them up yesterday and the pharmacy didn't carry the drops and so they would order them, and they'd be in today. Well, today they called and said they still haven't been able to get them. I just wonder what in the world they are that this huge chain drugstore doesn't have them. But, Clara seems to be fine and she says her ears aren't as clogged anymore. Sister (a MD herself) and I speculate that at the office, all the pressure in Clara's ear made just a tiny hole, and all the gunk in that ear was the infection leaking out, and it burst more overnight. It's just odd that the uninfected ear didn't have so much wax. I'm a bit tired after the last couple days, if you can imagine.

January 19, 2009

Good labor and VBAC

Everyone likes to be right, and I'm no exception. Saturday night, I admitted a momma, pregnant with her 3rd baby. She had had some bloody discharge at home and was only having contractions about every 15 minutes, but she was worried about the blood so she came in to be checked out. She had been a good 4 cm in the office and she was still a good, soft, stretchy 4cm. She really was only contracting here and there, but when she'd have a contraction, she was pretty uncomfortable. I called her doc, who said she could stay overnight and we'd see if she change and that she may go ahead and induce her in the a.m. if she hadn't made any progress because she had some pregnancy complications and was scheduled to be induced the next night anyway. Or she could go home. I just really felt that even though she wasn't doing much yet, if she went home, she would get really active and by the time she returned to the hospital, she'd be complete and ready to push. Not that that would bother me, but she really didn't want to deliver without an epidural and they also had 2 other little kids to worry about. So I encouraged her to stay. I actually thought she was going to go home, but her husband and I did finally convince her to stay and see what happened. Husband took the other 2 kids home and about an hour later, she got up to the bathroom and there was a definite change in how uncomfortable she was. By the time I could get her back to bed, she had gone from barely contracting to cranking them out. She was 5cm, 100%. So IV started, and anesthesia was called. While we waited for anesthesia to get in to the hospital (no one was there and they have 30 minutes to get in from home in the night) she started making those deep primal grunty/pushy noises. All you labor nurses know what I'm talking about. Check her again, and she's 8cm. Called her doc back to tell her to head this way. The anesthesiologist arrived right after that, and he did place the epidural quickly and she did get some relief. Fifteen minutes after her epidural was placed she pushed with 3 contractions and delivered a beautiful baby, no tears or lacerations. The only thing that kept her from delivering before her epidural could be placed was that the baby was straight OP, or facing up. Her doc, a petite woman, I swear has fingers of steel, and she turned that baby so that he was facing her left leg while mom pushed with the first contraction. After that, the baby descended very quickly. If you saw this MD work, you'd never know that's what she's doing unless you really paid attention. It's really pretty amazing.
Last night, I actually had a VBAC patient. We don't see too many of those because most of the docs really discourage them from trying. This mom was having her 4th baby, delivered her first vaginally, but her last 2 were c-sections. She actually had no intention on a VBAC this time and was scheduled in 2 weeks. Well, she went into labor, and by the time she realized she was in fact in labor and got to the hospital, she was 9cm with a HUGE bulging bag of water. I called her doc, and thankfully, this doctor can get to the hospital in 4 minutes from the time you hang up the phone and he opens the door to the unit, I kid you not. In the short time it took me to call her doc in, her water broke and sprayed everywhere. Her doc got there and before I could even start an IV, she was crowning and she pushed that baby out like a pro. And, hmm, she had 2 prior c-sections and her uterus did not rupture. Hmm, and she delivered without an epidural. Imagine that. Love when that happens. Let mother nature rule the roost, and things go smoothly.

January 12, 2009

Full Moon..

You saw me standing alone, without a dream in my heart, without...okay, sorry for the tangent, but I've had that damn song in my head all weekend. Anyway,this weekend was a full moon weekend and as I've come to expect on a full moon weekend, labor and delivery was hoppin'. Every call from ER was "We've got a ruptured 38 weeker here, here's another mom who thinks her water broke". Multiple phone calls from people wanting to know if they should come in or not because they were leaking fluid but not having contractions, etc. But, everything that happened was manageable. Saturday, I took over a patient that had been ruptured for 19 hours, stuck at 3 cm. It was her 3rd baby and her last labor was a quick 4 hours. So she was very frustrated. I go in, introduce myself and she asks me how long this could go on, when will they decide to do a c-section, etc. I told her I figured since it was her 3rd baby that all of a sudden, the baby would drop into the pelvis and she would go from 3 to complete just like that. I did my assessment and decided to check her and found her to be 8 cm. Yeah! I turn around to wash my hands and as I turn the water on, she says "Um, I feel a lot of pressure". Sure enough, she was complete and ready to deliver. A nice smooth delivery within my first 20 minutes at work. After that, I had a couple people coming in for possible labor that ended up going home after the contractions spaced out. Then I admitted another mom, 4th baby with SROM. With her last 2 babies, by the time she realized she was in labor, she had just enough time to get to the hospital before a nurse caught her baby. This time she wasn't feeling contractions at all, but was contracting about every 8 -10 minutes. Baby hadn't descended yet, and she hoped to be able to have an epidural this time. After talking with her, we decided that if she waited until she was in a lot of pain to get her epidural, she wouldn't get one, so I called the anesthesiologist to place it. She was contracting and had changed her cervix from 4 cm to 5 cm by the time he got there, so I didn't feel quite so guilty. After the epidural was in place, her contractions started spacing out a bit. Crap. But, after about an hour, they started picking up again and all at once, I look up at the monitor and see the FHR dip down. Go in, FHR in the 40-50's (read by a fetal scalp electrode) and she's complete and ready to deliver. Now with a FHR in the 40-50's, you have to add about 100 to that to get my heart rate! We get her flipped onto a side the baby liked and got the doc on his way. I figure at the time the heart rate dipped, she went from 5 cm with a baby way up there to 10cm and the baby just slammed down into the birth canal. Doc got there, she pushed through 1 contractions, delivered a healthy baby without any lacerations, and the Doctor was done before the 5 minute APGAR score could be given! It was the easiest delivery I've ever seen. Sunday wasn't quite so busy but was steady. Steady is good. It was a weekend where it was busy, but not so busy where you didn't have time to chart, eat, or use the bathroom. Hopefully, it continues that way and doesn't get too crazy. 12 hours is a long time to go without a bathroom break!

January 9, 2009

Choosing my Mood

Yesterday was bit of a maddening day, so I decided today I was going to decide to be in a good mood. Here's what happened yesterday. It started out fine, and yesterday was payday, so I got on-line to see what was deposited. I knew it was going to be smaller than normal because I was missing 8 hours, but when I looked at the deposit, it was quite a bit larger than it should have been. Ordinarily, that wouldn't be a bad thing. But, there was an issue with my vacation time. It's kind of a long story, but as weekend option, I get 64 hours of vacation every year. I don't build PTO. So vacation time is important. It's really a complicated issue with how it got messed up, but I had noticed that I had only used 54 hours this year. So I turned in a payroll slip to use those 10 hours. The lady in charge of our dept. payroll called me and said I had 15 hours of vacation time left and wanted to know if I wanted to use it. Of course I did. I use it or lose it at the end of the year. So I get to work and there's a message on my e-mail saying she was confused and if I wanted the vacation time, it would come off this year and I would only have 25 hours left. That of course ticked me off and I called HR to figure it out and sent her a message saying DO NOT use any of my vacation time. I find out I only have 47.33 hours of vacation for this year because of a screw up when I started weekend option. Anyway, back to yesterday. I take all 3 kids into town to get my pay stub to find out why it was more than I thought it was. I figured I needed groceries, and since I survived the doctors office with all 3, I was feeling like superwoman. Turns out that even though she got my message not to use the vacation time, she turned it in anyway for 15 hours. So, I now only have enough vacation time for 1 weekend. That was the start of the bad afternoon. Then I got a huge load of groceries and it's always painful writing that check because I go every 2 weeks. I shop at the same grocery store and at the check-out, they have a bagger bagging groceries and putting them into another cart while you unload the one they have. They're always pretty good about not switching the carts like that if someone has a baby. They usually always offer to help me out if I have 2 kids with me. But yesterday, I had all 3 and the bagger started putting groceries in the other cart. I figured, no biggie, I'll just transfer Isaiah. Well, turns out the flap you flip down to make the kid seat wouldn't flip down. And if it doesn't flip down, the leg holes are covered. So I'm frustrated trying to keep the kids in line, I'm going to have to carry the baby while pushing out this full cart. And of course, the cart wouldn't steer. So I looked like a moron, struggling to get my kids and groceries out to the van. And the one time I actually needed help, no one offered. I just got looks from people like "what the hell are you doing, lady". Very frustrating. By the time the kids were in bed, I felt wiped out and completely grumpy. But today I decided to have a good day. Of course, today was the day Isaiah decided to fuss all morning long and be needier than normal. But I decided it was bonding time. Then I went baby shopping for a friend and shopping for baby stuff is always fun. And tonight we're even going to go to a friends house and hang out for a change, instead of sitting at home. I'm definately in much better spirits today.

January 5, 2009

Kid stuff

The holidays went by so freaking fast this year. It was like I blinked, and "poof", they were over. The kids sure had a good time though. On New Years Eve, Isaiah had his 1 year appointment. I had to take all 3 kids with me because the office rescheduled it and that was the only day they had unless I wanted to wait until the end of January. So, I braved it. Never again. I'm really not surprised. Jacob and Clara weren't horrible, but they were into everything, wouldn't sit still, complained about waiting, made sure everyone that came through knew I was 30, and asked for snacks. I did finally ask for advice on sleeping for Isaiah. I've read every tip that I've come across and nothing has worked. She suggested laying him down, awake, and letting him cry for 3-5 minutes. Then going back, rubbing his back, not picking him up and then leaving. And to continue to do that until he's asleep. I've heard of doing that, but we've always let him cry a lot longer than that and we eventually give up because either we're too tired to fight anymore, or Jacob and Clara start crying. She said that if you let him cry that long, for like 30 minutes at a time and then eventually give in, he'll cry for an hour next time. So we're going to give it a go. It can't hurt anything. Only thing I'm concerned about, but the NP didn't seem too worried, was his growth. He's 20lb 7oz and 26 in long. He was 18lbs 5 oz and 26 in long at 9 months. He's now in the 15% and 20 % for height and weight. He's kinda starting to fall off the curve. And I'm not sure why. He's a big eater, better than the other two are now or ever were. He loves table food, will take milk, juice, still gets some breastmilk and is happy, active, content and hitting all his milestones. So I know I should just let it be, he's probably fine, but, I'm a mother. I can't. I must worry about something. So we'll see how he is in 3 months. Now that I thought about nursing, he is still nursing. I did get mastitis again this weekend, after he bit me for the second time. That's how I got it the first time. He bit me Thursday, I woke up Friday with a sore, tender breast and by afternoon, I could tell a fever was coming on. So I called, got an antibiotic, and by the time I got home from picking it up at 5pm, I was miserable with a fever. It was so much worse this time. After Husband got home, I went to bed after dose 2 of the Keflex. I slept all night, chilled and was miserable all night, slept all morning, woke up around noon and realized I was sweating and fever was going down, but slept a bit more until 3pm. This time, more than half of the breast was involved, but thankfully the antibiotics kicked in enough I could go to work Saturday. It just amazes me how quickly the infection can kick in, my body react to the infection and for antibiotics to start working. If I get mastitis one more time, it will be time to wean. I hope to make it to 18 months with him, unless he shows signs of weaning sooner, but I just can't take repeated infections. But for now, we're still breastfeeding. Here's to another good few months.