11 May 2011

do the boob.


One of our most basic needs, and one I was having a heck of a time giving my little lady. I struggled with breastfeeding from day one in the hospital. For the first week of Frankie's life I was a wreck. I was a sweaty, topless banshee. I smelled like I had hiked the entire Bruce Trail.
I was told nursing may be difficult for me as I didn't have much breast tissue - but it didn't really hit me what that meant.

What that meant was that Frankie wouldn't ever be satisfied & would be screaming to be fed - and if she wasn't screaming, she'd grumpily fall asleep - probably just to take her mind off her hunger. She would then wake up...screaming to be fed.

So I called the Lactation services of the hospital & they comforted me & told me to come in - they told me they could help me.

And boy howdy did they! Breastfeeding brings with it so! many! emotions! - and the guilt I felt about not being able to provide my kid with her only real demand broke my heart. It made me cry several times a day. The lactation consultant I got hooked up with gave me back my sanity - she told me it was OK - she patiently held my hand & guided me through all my options; and I tried them all. Herbal supplements, tube feeding, finger feeding, nipple shields, pumping, formula supplementing, prescription meds, understanding that happy mom = happy baby & coming to peace with the fact that giving my baby formula was not going to mess her up.

Now I am weaning off the prescription meds (side effects are NOT cool - I feel worse 5 weeks postpartum than I did 40 weeks pregnant!), I am pumping, I am happy to be giving Frankie about 50/50 Breast milk/formula & although I am sad to not have to go to see the Lactation consultant anymore, I am glad that Frankie & I have hammered out some kind of deal & we are able to forge ahead on our own.

How to thank someone for getting me through the toughest thing I've ever had to go through?

No, it's not a curling stone - it's a knitted boob!

I wasn't sure how it'd be received but I'm happy to report that she loved it. She more than loved it - she squealed! It was like she had always wanted a knitted breast & now she finally had one. She even said they may call upon me to make more for teaching purposes.

Have a beloved Lactation Consultant in your life? Knit them a boob!

06 May 2011

can I get a hand?

I knew having a baby would mean that I'd have to give up some of my freedoms:
The freedom to sleep in
The freedom to go out whenever I wanted
The freedom to drink as many beers as I wanted when I when out
Heck, the freedom to go to the bathroom when I needed to?

But one thing I didn't really think about is that my freedom of using my hands, my arms would be taken away by my tiny boss. And really, I'm on the clock more often than not.

It's for this reason I'd like to get an Amen for the Baby Carrier. .

I started out using the Moby. This wrap is good for around the house - but considering it's 18 feet of jersey fabric, I was having difficulty imagining going anywhere with it. Because of the length, it takes a while to put it on & get it right & I had to watch several youtube videos to get it right.

But hey, it let me make & eat breakfast!

It has it's downsides - Frances doesn't like getting in it. Part of this may be my technique, but it takes a couple of minutes for her to remember that 'Oh yeah, I like being snuggled up in here...' BUT! She does not like to be snuggled up in there for very long & when her time is up it. is. up. And oh - she usually throws up upon entering the Moby - so there's one part near the front that's gnarly & when you wash this thing, it shrinks right the heck up & takes a bit to stretch back out.
She usually falls asleep quickly, but doesn't like her head to be tucked in the pocket for support - so I find myself supporting her head with my hand a lot of the time which defeats the purpose.

It sounds like I don't like the Moby, but really - this was the gateway to freedom for me!

Today I remembered that months & months ago I made a Mei Tai carrier using the tutorial at Still Learning the Game of Life
When I made it, I kind of shoved it aside as I doubted its usefulness. It seemed big & bulky & cumbersome. I wanted to be sure it was sturdy, so I used heavy fabrics & reinforced the Hell out of it.

Frankie is going through some kind of phase where she'll fall into a deep sleep when she's on my chest, but as soon as I put her down to nap it's fusspot city. This morning I put her in the Moby & we were fine for a while, but it got hot & sweaty in there & after about 45 minutes she was screaming to get out.

On a whim I thought I'd try out the Mei Tai - to see if it really was a waste of the afternoon it took to make it.



I love it! I like it a lot more than the Moby - there's nice air flow, there's more head support (thanks to the padded headrest!) and it is way, way easier & faster to put on. It's still pretty huge, and it might be a pain to use out & about, but still....

She did not scream or throw up when I put her in there!

Just more proof that handmade is often far superior.

(that being said, I'm DYING to get my hands on a beco carrier - which I think will be great for around town & for Gord to use.....but for now? Mei Tai it is!)

01 May 2011

gonna dress you up in handknits.

Hello from babyland!

Things seem to be hitting some kind of sort-of-rhythm. That 'rhythm' is eat, sleep, poop - but hey, I'll take it! At least 'sleep' seems to be a bigger part of the equation than it was that first week & a half.

I've even found a way to squeeze some knitting into my days. It is so nice to fit in some *me* time since our world suddenly is so All About Baby.
Still though, my me time seems still to find a way to be All About Baby.

Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket.
Handspun my parents brought home from Scotland - I had about 1 yard left over. A very close call!
Nothing to say about this pattern that hasn't been said before. Fun to knit & fun to watch form.

'Cardigan Raglan' from La Droguerie's Tous le Bebes
Misti Alpaca Solids.
This pattern was *very* cryptic - or should I say 'cryptique'? I got it from a french book - so there were some educated guesses to be made, but I think I got it right & it fits like a glove. I started this 2 days before I went into labour & had one sleeve left to do. I finally found the time to finish it up last night. At the rate she's eating & therefore growing, this won't fit for long so it's a good thing I got it done.

Gord & I have had to blend our rooms together; My sewing room + his music studio stuff = WHOAH! That's a lot of stuff crammed into a tiny room! My main focus now is for real to use what I got & to finish off lingering projects.

Next up on my naptime knitting?

Yes! A sweater...for ME!