I forgot how tired and busy you are with a new baby. Have I really done this multiple times? I keep having these “OMG WHAT DO I DOOOO” moments of new-mom-hood where I look at my other kids and realize I can’t remember how I got through their newborn stages. Maybe there’s a good reason for that.

She’s six days old now (!!!), which is insane. Other than days 3 through 5 where she was up from 3am to 6am fussing and cluster feeding, she’s slept pretty well. She wakes about every two hours on the dot for a feed and goes right back to sleep. The only problem is that with her feeding problems I have to make a production out of each nursing by turning on the light, sitting up, working on her latch and ensuring she finishes a feed sitting up, let her puke, etc… rather than the ridiculously simple, “Roll over, latch on, fall asleep” method I used previously. Her tongue tie appears to be type 3 or 4 according to the lactation consultant I talked to (haven’t seen them yet, but talked on the phone) which means it’s a posterior tie and she doesn’t have a whole lot of mobility in her tongue. It’s affecting how deeply she can pull breast tissue into her mouth, as well as her ability to control the flow of milk, so she ends up having a very shallow latch that clicks hard and she chokes pretty badly every time she nurses. We have to pause every 1-2 minutes and unlatch to ensure she doesn’t choke too hard. She swallows a lot of air and gets very gassy and uncomfortable at night, but I’ve found that by feeding her upright and keeping her upright after a meal for at least 20 minutes she does a lot better. With all this going on I have to be really mentally present for each feeding so I can help her out, which means I can’t sleep through them or browse the internet and whatnot. As the days go on she gets a tiny bit better, and I’m hoping that means she’ll learn ways to nurse ‘around it’ as the lactation consultant suggested may happen.
It’s kind of interesting to have a baby I have to teach to breastfeed. While she learns I’m left wickedly sore, and blistering, and have to pump at least 1-2 times a day to ensure my breasts are drained properly and avoid mastitis (which I’m doing only by the skin of my teeth, it seems)… but we’re managing. We’re setting up an appointment with a pediatrician/IBCLC to take a harder look at her tongue and jaw to see if it can be helped without surgery. The reason we’re going so far with it is that it’s a bit more than simply a short frenulum: she doesn’t have one at all.

The good news is that she’s extremely well fed. Sometimes tongue-tie babies have some trouble gaining weight due to the improper sucking and moms not getting the support they need to ensure their supply stays up… but we’re not having that problem. My milk came in after 18-20 hours and at six days postpartum it still appears to be refilling at an alarming rate. When Jill came over to do her PKU she said, “This is an abnormally well-hydrated two day old baby!”.
I did a rudimentary weigh of her on our shitty bathroom scale and it showed her at 8.5 by 4 days old. I’m not entirely sure that’s accurate (or humanely possible), but either way I know she’s gained weight in those first days because I’ve already had to start adjusting her diapers to the next snap setting.

Speaking of diapers, she is a shit machine. Holy shit. A shit machine. Did I say that already? We had our official newborn portrait session with a photographer friend yesterday, and she had a big foamy crap every 25 minutes. By the end of the afternoon there was not a single blanket, towel, wrap, prop or person not covered in poop.

I was given one sneak peek image yesterday evening, and will get to see the rest next week.

Also, that woman has amazing patience. I do not have sleepy, curly babies that let you manhandle them for hours on end… I have fussy, sensitive babies that startle if you breathe too deeply. And she still managed to get a lot of fantastic shots that I am SO SUPER EXCITED to see.
Still waiting on my birth photos, also ridiculously excited to see those. I’m waiting on processing my birth video until those come back. For one, it’s really short (13 minutes) and secondly it was taken from a shelf, in the dark, so you can’t really see much until the very end. I figured the best way to showcase it would be to make a slideshow out of the images and the video and splice the best parts together. I am trying to write out my birth story, I just keep not having the time to sit down and do it. Every time I have a free moment it’s usually midnight and at that point it’s like… why am I not sleeping?!

Also also: food. I love food. God, I love food. Did you know I’ve been eating food? Every day? And dinner? Every night? And sometimes even a dessert? And a glass of wine? And pineapple lychee sorbet? AND FOOD?! THAT STAYS IN MY STOMACH!?
This is mind blowing.

PS. I have a baby!

Comments

comments

40 Comments

  • I’ve been offline for weeks, and meanwhile you’ve been having a BABY. And look at her, she’s just the greatest! That picture of you two together is so beautiful it’s almost as good as that amazing photographer – what’s her name – oh yeah, . πŸ˜‰

  • Anonymous says:

    beautiful baby.

    My nephew was tongue tied and my sister had to take him to the Dr to get clipped. But that was years ago. I hope you get it worked out.

  • Anonymous says:

    You go mama! Im so proud of you working through the nursing issues!
    And Im also looking forward to the images and video!
    I gotta ask – did you make this lychee sorbet? I just discovered Lychees the other day and am hunting for good recipes because frankly I dont like them alone. LOL! If you have it – share it sometime please! HAHA

  • slvrymoon says:

    Glad to hear things are going well and that you’re able to eat again. She is adorable! Congratulations to you and your family.

    Take care,

  • Anonymous says:

    from http://www.billiebutton.me

    That photo is so gloriously beautiful. I keep trying to remember what it was like with Myles so it’s not such a shock but I know it will be anyway. On day 5 after Myles was born I locked myself in the toilet after texting my mum to ask if it was normal to be scared of him. I adored him and loved every moment with him but I was also a little terrified. It wasn’t until after I said that that mum remembered how she had felt when she had us and a few days later she had a woman’s day and all of her friends had said the same thing. WHY didn’t anyone tell me then??!! I wanted to know. I’d read about the baby blues, but no one had never elaborated on what that actually meant, they had all just forgotten. Isn’t it funny how our memories work?

    It sounds like you’re doing amazingly, especially considering Zephyra’s tongue tie, which I don’t know much about but it certainly sounds challenging. My first midwife had to bottle feed her first little one in the end. She was so severely tongue tied, with a high palette and there didn’t seem to be much else they could do. She also didn’t have much of a community at that time after just moving home from overseas. She had such an empowering breech birth at home and this flawed her. I think she’s incredible for managing to continue to express for her daughter for a whole 6 months and not introduce any formula until her milk ran dry (and if she’d had the community then that she has now she would have used donated BM instead of formula). It sounds like you and your family have great support and horay on being lactation consultant too. That’s something I would love to be able to do, amongst other things.

    I really can’t wait to see the rest of the images and hope you’re enjoying your satisfyingly food filled, puke free babymoon.

  • azdesertrose says:

    As to the shit machine, at least she’s breastfed, so it doesn’t stink to high heaven? I don’t know if there’s a bright side to that one. πŸ™‚

    She’s beautiful, and your adoring public will wait for the birth story. You know we will be happy to read it whenever you get around to posting it. πŸ˜€

  • Any reason why you aren’t getting the tongue tie clipped? If it’s so bothersome and putting you on the borderline for mastitis it seems like a good reason to get it clipped.

  • bluealoe says:

    OMG YOU HAVE A BABY!!!!!!!! Who is a week old! How crazy is that?!

    I hope her breastfeeding gets easier for both of you. Would you say this time is easier or harder than with Tempest? I get the impression that even though she has a shallow latch and you have to help her out, it’s still not as stressful as with Tempest. Mostly because you feel more comfortable and more experienced. Or am I totally delusional?

    You and Zephyra are both utterly beautiful. So peaceful.

    Yay for food!!!! *hugs tight*

    • admin says:

      Tempest was definitely harder. WAY harder. Both because of the inexperience and lack of proper support. This time I have a lot more experience dealing with problems, way more support around me, and I’m overall less nervous about it because I have confidence that it’ll be fine so it doesn’t feel like it’s that big a deal.
      I mean, even things like how Curtis is so much calmer now. In the midst of the awful breastfeeding problems with Tempest he actually asked me, “Can’t you just give her a bottle?” and I absolutely flipped my shit at him. Nowadays he not only knows more about breastfeeding, but he also knows how to best support me and how to give me the right encouragement and validation without pushing me outside my comfort zone. THAT makes a huge difference too. Having an excellent support system at home is half the battle when it comes to dealing with issues like this.

  • mami_chilena says:

    I love how pink she is <3

  • skyrose says:

    You might have tried this already (or it might be mentioned in the comments — I didn’t read the whole way through), but have you tried “Laid Back Nursing” or “Biological Nurturing”? We were talking about this at the GOLD conference and at the Executive Committee meeting of the local Lactation Consultant group.

    If you haven’t heard of it, the brief version is you lay back and put baby between your breasts, and then let her go for the nipple herself. She’ll do the “bob” that you see on a lot of the ‘breast crawl’ videos (which are so awesome), and she’ll use her arms to hold herself up.
    I saw a video during one of the lectures that showed the baby getting really ticked, but they left her go and suddenly she latched. The mom hadn’t had a nursing without a LOT of pain (due to tongue tie) and the look of shock on her face was amazing. She said it felt completely different. It was so neat to watch.

    I’ve heard people say that this is awesome for babies with tongue ties since they can go *down* at the breast and get on deeper. It’s also supposed to be good for babies with reflux too.

    One of our LCs wrote a blog post about her experience with it (http://www.wplca.net/apps/blog/).

    And I just have to say (again) that OMG she is SO BEAUTIFUL! I love the picture of you two. I can’t wait to see more pictures!! Baby!!! *squee*

    • admin says:

      Yes we have done it. πŸ™‚ It’s actually kind of awesome to do. Babies are magic!

      It was recommended by the LLL, but unfortunately the result is the same. When she’s latching she’s trying hard to do it right, and everything else about the way she gets on is perfect… it’s just her tongue.

      • skyrose says:

        Yes, babies are so awesome! Almost makes me want another one. Almost πŸ˜‰

        Darn! I was hoping that might help in the meantime! Well, I hope they are able to clip or something to help her (and you!) out. It’s so frustrating not being able to do anything.

        Recently I was looking over the medical records for my youngest (5 1/2) for a recent dr’s appt we had to screen him for Tourette Syndrome (which was confirmed along with a half dozen other things). I noticed one of the doctors diagnosed him with a tongue tie at birth, then later another doctor said that the reason he had reflux was due to his tongue tie. I don’t remember them telling me this at all, and this was before I became interested (fascinated?) in lactation and wanted to be an IBCLC, so I pretty much knew nothing about it.

        Now I’m a bit annoyed that I didn’t know this from the start. Maybe I could have gotten it snipped/done exercises so he wouldn’t have had to be on Prevacid for almost a year. (Though I did find out that the Prevacid Solu-tabs could be crushed up, then put on your finger and into Baby’s mouth. BEST way to get medicine into a pissed off infant!!)

    • i_luv_hipp0s says:

      I wish I had known about that when my daughter was born. She had a terrible latch and I was in so much pain I gave up after 2 weeks. She’s 18 months now and I really regret my decision. πŸ™ sad panda is sad

  • That is such a beautiful picture, you look like an earth goddess and Zephyra is a stunningly pretty baby (also, such long little fingers!!) I don’t know anyone who got newborn portraits done for their baby, what a fantastic idea…I love baby pictures, it’s so much fun to see what people looked like when they were brand new, sometimes you can so CLEARLY see them in the new baby face and sometimes there’s no way you’d ever connect the baby and the adult/child. I was so sad to find out my boyfriend’s parents took ZERO pictures of him as a little baby. πŸ™ He said he was born super fuzzy too, covered head-to-toe in baby-fur, and I bet that was so cute…sigh.

    • admin says:

      I love baby/newborn pictures for the same reason. πŸ™‚

      That’s sad about your BF! I’d be distraught; I love love love looking at baby pictures of my friends and loved ones. It’s like an obsession. Your BF sounds like my brother as a baby. He was so hairy at birth, even a big line of black hair down his spine! Hell, he’s STILL that hairy…

      • Aww, fuzzy babies! My boyfriend is just average hairy now but has really soft downy fur on his earlobes…he’d probably be super excited about me posting that on the internet…but I think it’s THE cutest thing ever!! Like baby bunnies in earlobe form! πŸ˜› That’s how I imagine him as a baby, kinda baby bunny earlobe-ish haha. I love the details of baby fuzz and skin and wrinkly feet that you have in your newborn/baby photography, I hope you’re still doing photography when I have kids because I definitely want to have pictures like that of them! Your kids are super lucky to have a mom who can document childhood memories like that.

        Also, your info on the tongue-tie thing explains so much about a friend of mine’s experience trying to breastfeed her son as a baby! I know he has a really short tongue with the frenulum connecting all the way at the tip so he couldn’t really stick his tongue out, and she commented on how her aunt or something has a tongue like that. She didn’t think anything of it and her baby had pretty bad projectile vomiting and a hard time gaining weight until she eventually put him on formula at around 4 months old. πŸ™ We were still in high school, she was only 18 and not very educated/supported about breastfeeding and the pediatricians in that area are…um…not breastfeeding friendly (I had another friend who gave up breastfeeding after two or three days because the doctor told her that her boobs were “too big” to breastfeed…wtf?) She said her doctor told her that her son had a dairy allergy or something, but he was on a formula with dairy and it didn’t bother him so…that was a crock of shit, and then she said her breastmilk probably just wasn’t good enough because it was kinda clearish, argh. I don’t think anyone even thought to check his latch/tongue tie or anything, but I bet that had a lot to do with it!

  • veinsexplode says:

    I don’t know you..but I’m so thrilled for you and your family.
    This photo is beautiful! You really earned this baby!

  • knottyrye says:

    zao is 2 weeks old and i have yet to finish her birth story…it really is amazing how much time they take up! also – i didn’t have a newborn photog session booked because i figured i take newborn photos, i’ll be able to do my own…yeah, right. between exhaustion and recovery and nursing and changing shitty diapers and washing diapers and trying to hang out with haye and attempting to make dinner once in awhile the days kind of just flew by and then on the 10th day when we tried to take a few in the pouch i got so fucking frustrated and she shit everywhere and i just said fuck it. screw the newborn photos. we have tons of photos of her that are good. i’m trying not to care about it. *sigh*

    • admin says:

      Two weeks old isn’t too late for newborn photos! I’ve done newborn portraits up to five weeks. πŸ™‚

      And yes, it is HARD to take your own unless your child is miracle robot baby from Mars that sleeps 22 hours a day. I’m a photographer and deal with new babies all the time, and I cannot juggle my own AND taking photos of her. I’ve tried three times now.

    • Anonymous says:

      from billie_button

      I did the same thing when Myles was born and also because we had low funds but somehow my camera found it’s way into auto and I didn’t get anything really nice. I was exhausted and had him either feeding, awake or asleep on me the whole time, so the photos I did get are mostly awkwardly positioned close ups while I propped him up on my knees. I am so sad I didn’t get any really special ones so this time I’m trying to book a newborn session. Isn’t it always the way with babies? We have all these plans and then they come along and throw them all out of the window! I hope you get some delicious ones soon, or have someone to come and help you do them πŸ™‚ and I also hope you’re having a lovely babymoon.

  • eliza261 says:

    oh my god your photo is amazing!..
    glad to read that she is doing well! and you are able to enjoy food again!

  • She’s SO stunning. I see both Tempest and Jericho in her in this picture.

    I really hope you get her feeding issues figured out and that the rest gets figured out too! Your boobies need to heal! πŸ˜‰

    Frenulum, that’s the piece under the tongue that connects the tongue to the lower jaw, right? So instead of hers just being tight and needing clipped, she doesn’t have one at all so her tongue has no movement from her jaw?

    • admin says:

      Lateral (?) or posterior tie is when the tongue tied at the back or tied down at the center, so like it’s set too low down and has limited muscle movement… at least I think that’s how it was explained to me on the phone. Don’t quote me on that.
      Anyway, that appears to be the type she has. 1 or 2 is a short frenulum that just sort of holds the end of the tongue down and clipping it can make it better (that’s the kind I had, and my mom had, and possibly Tempest as well).
      She can move her tongue around, just not a lot. The mobility is really poor, like she can barely lift it up and can’t stick it out. During breastfeeding, a proper latch involves the tongue covering the bottom gumline and pushing out the lower lip and hers isn’t long enough (or mobile enough) to do that. So what happens is during a suck her tongue attempts to move forward and can’t, she breaks suction and makes a loud, “CLACK” noise as it snaps back in her mouth. Repeat, repeat, repeat. That clack noise is kind of like getting your nipple flicked, so it results in soreness and blistering, and also doesn’t provide the right kind of stimulation to the breast so over time it can effect supply levels.

      • OH! Okay. That makes perfect sense. And there’s no way to fix the clacking sound without getting her tongue and jaw looked at because that would be an improper latch as well and lead to more issues down the line?

        • admin says:

          We continue to work on it every day, every time she feeds, but to be honest no matter how hard I try to latch her (with assistance from LLL and the midwife, et all) we can’t get her to stop clacking. That noise is due to shallow latch, and that comes with the tongue tie. :-/

          • I gotcha. I’m filing this allll away, because like I told my mom, if I haven’t met mister right by 35, I’m doing it myself and I can’t wait to have a little squirmy warm one to nurse.

            • admin says:

              I should add.. many cases (I’d risk saying most cases) of tongue tie can be overcome with exercises and time. You can help baby stretch out their tongue over time, and work with latching and the majority of moms and babies can overcome it and/or learn to work around it, particularly as they get older and their mouth gets larger. That said, there are cases that are bad enough to require surgery to release the tongue, either by clipping (type one or two) or full blown mouth surgery (for posterior or lateral). The rule is that if it’s really causing a serious problem, it should be fixed rather than ignored (obviously)… but unfortunately for most doctors, “Success in breastfeeding” is not a good enough reason. πŸ™

            • admin says:

              PS. Here’s a little article that has a great image showing the difference between a normal latch and a tongue tied latch: http://www.knowabouthealth.com/snip-tongue-tie-to-aid-breastfeeding-in-infants/3867/

      • fallingwthu says:

        That is my daughter, with out surgery we worked at it, and she’s never ever lost weight, and has gained the right amount for each time we do a check up. My baby is 10 months old, and weighs 19.8lbs plus, she eats really well, can choke a little because she can’t clear her mouth out all the way…
        my daughter’s doctor won’t clip her tongue because he thinks it’s better to do the exercises. and it would be more than just clipping, it would involve in actual surgery.

        Some nights I would sit up with my baby and cry because like you’ve written if you hold her wrong or just move the baby too soon she’d projectile vomit all over the place. then I had to start it all over again. Now she can latch on without any issues, and she doesn’t do the clicking anymore. Apparently a soother helps her suck? I was told it was ok with a tongue tied baby. (note she doesn’t use one now as she threw it away and I never replaced it)

        beautiful photo can’t wait to see the rest.

        • fallingwthu says:

          I forgot to add, I also expressed milk so we could introduce a bottle early on. It is so much easier to heat bottled breast milk and hold her up, so she wouldn’t projectile vomit all over place.

  • niftybabe313 says:

    Yay baby! Also yay eating food that stays in your stomach! That pic is gorgeous, I can’t wait to see the rest of the set

  • ppplmgwiw says:

    You have a baby! WTF? She’s crazy-cute, and that photo is beautiful.

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