Sunday, December 30, 2007

I got Yoav back to sleep without nursing

I got Yoav back to sleep without nursing!!! He woke up, I went in, he started pulling down my shirt and
I held his hand and said, "Let's cuddle." and I put both arms around
and held him close for a few minutes and he fell asleep. Then when I
tried to get up, he woke up and said he wanted to nurse and that time
I didn't even have to say anything b/c he was almost asleep - I just
held him again with both arms in a bear hug and stayed that way until
he was completely asleep!!!

Yea!!! Jeremy and I were just talking about it and he thinks it makes
more sense that it would work with me cuddling than w/ Jeremy doing the
cuddling (which we've tried and generally just makes Yoav
upset/frustrated) since it's primarily my attention that he is
worried about maintaining with the recent birth of Elie. Jeremy rarely
partakes in Elie's care while Yoav is awake since, during those times,
he focuses on playing w/ Yoav. But I, on the other hand, am always
equally caring for both kids when I'm alone with them and and spend
most of my time with the newborn when Jeremy is home...

Monday, December 24, 2007

yoav says "all reary" for "all the way". like "pull the blanket all
reary on me."

yoav has been pretty much exclusively nursing since elie was born.
today he ate a banana and a few bites of toast w/ honey which is a
good day for him especially since it's only 3pm.

i got angry at him this morning when he was trying to wake up a
sleeping elie. first i tried to explain the benefits of baby sleep.
then when he continued, i yelled "stop it yoav!!!" i felt bad and
hugged him and immediately apologized. he always looks so scared/sad
when i yell at him, i rarely say more than stop it. wish i could
avoid that too, but lately, i've said it a few times. i rarely, if ever, said it before. now, though sometimes when he's squeezing elie, i can't find any other words. i'm re-reading aldort ("raising
our children, raising ourselves" and am hoping it will give me some

Saturday, December 15, 2007

yoav / nursing

more problems in paradise here :) elie didn't get back to his
birthweight in one week (appt was yesterday) so now my parents are
upset that i'm tandeming - they say they're worried about elie and i need to stop nursing yoav.

for now, i've assigned yoav a breast and elie gets both but mostly
the other one or if yoav drinks a little out of his and i think there
could be some hindmilk ready to go and elie is awake i'll try to pop
him on (if yoav isn't watching so he doesn't know elie gets both). i
don't think it matters and i think the only reason elie didn't get
back to birth weight is that he actually dropped more than 10% in the
first two days which is a period when most moms don't get their milk
in anyway. cara and ped said that's prob just b/c he was early for
some reason and neither were worried about that drop.. so the fact is
he's gained 9 oz since last friday to yesterday which is more than

jer actually took a quick work trip for two days that he
wasn't planning to do when i was supposed to be preg, but since my
parents are here, he went. so he's back midnight tonight and we'll
talk tomorrow about all this..

my parents took turns playing w yoav yesterday for about three hours
straight before dinner and he had a great meal (for him) - was
demanding more spinach, ate a bunch of avocado, little bit of turkey
meat and some bread. the problem is just me - when he sees me, he
wants to nurse. so i want to try to get jeremy to just play w/ him a
lot and have food around so he can offer food a lot while they're
playing to try to get yoav somewhat back to eating regular food.

Friday, December 14, 2007


Today I said to Yoav that we need to send a card to Aaron for his
birthday coming up. Yoav said, "Aaron's card had a dog on it. And he
colored the whale."

He was talking about the birthday card Aaron sent to Yoav. Not that
it was so long ago, but I certainly don't remember details about every
birthday card! I checked later and he was right.

Friday, December 7, 2007


milk started coming in thurs morning - was able to squirt it out but
was still pretty thick.

had much more by late thurs and was engorged when i woke on fri
morning but the two kids fixed the problem very quickly.


Yoav asked on Wed morning if the baby was out and said there was more milk. By mid Wednesday, I think my milk was a mix of colostrum and regular milk, because I was able to squirt a little out. The milk fully came in by mid Thurs and I was totally full by Thursday evening. Yoav was a bit rough the first day - not intentionally, but he squeezed body parts harder than I was comfortable with. I called Y in a panic and she gave me some great advice - to use all positive language - things like, "The baby really likes it when you hold his hand like this or do this/that." And to try to involve Yoav in holding/touching the baby while the baby is awake and we're all relaxed. She also said to try to focus touches to hands/feet, where no major damage can be done and the baby will cry before anything gets broken :) So we've been doing that and today there was only one nervous moment. This morning when they were tandem nursing, Yoav was actually stroking Elie's hand and then held his hand a bit. Yoav has been nursing A LOT - like a few hours today. The hardest thing is he's still switching frequently from side to side even though there's tons of milk. I'm hoping Yoav will reduce nursing over the next days/weeks when the novelty of tandem nursing and all the new milk wear off and when he hopefully gets more comfortable w/ Elie and doesn't feel the need to be close to me so much (although so far I haven't seen an increase in clinginess except the nursing, but my MIL is here so Yoav has gotten a lot of attention).

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Elie's Birth Story

My contractions started at 12:30AM on Tuesday, Dec. 4. I had luckily gone to sleep at a semi-reasonable time (around 10:00PM) and woke up to the contractions. I assumed they were Braxton Hicks contractions since it was 3 weeks before my due date. I got up and did some email and after about 1.5 hours of contractions, I finally pulled out my Dr. Sears Pregnancy book to see the difference between Braxton Hicks and real contractions. Braxton Hicks contractions are irregular and pain/tightness only in front. I was feeling some pain in the back and had been writing down times and the contractions were coming about every 5 minutes, about 30 seconds in length (I think - I can't find that piece of paper). But the book also says it's normal to have contractions a few weeks early and they can come and go. So I got back in bed, but couldn't sleep, came back out to the living room for a while and finally woke Jeremy at about 4AM. Yoav woke up at the same time from the noise...

We took some measurements and the contractions were about 4 mins apart lasting for about 45 seconds. We decided to call our midwife (Cara Muhlhahn) who agreed that it could be the real thing or they could subside soon and to call her with any changes.

At 8AMish, the contractions were still 4ish mins apart and 50ish mins in length. We called Cara back to let her know and also my doula (Sarah Pancake) so they'd know not to go to far away :) I also called Ben Watz, who I rented the pool from, and asked if he could come today with the pool. He said he'd be by around noon. Yea!! I had some
whole wheat toast and honey for breakfast.

I was really stressed at this point because it was 3 weeks before my due date and Jeremy was really busy at work and had plans to travel this weekend for one day. Plus I didn't have my pool yet for the waterbirth of my dreams! ;)

Jeremy went to work to reorganize his schedule and get done as much as he could.

Sarah decided to come at around 12PM when the contractions were getting more painful and I'd had several over a minute in length. Ben came soon after and set up the pool.

Yoav (3yo) was doing fine during all this but Sarah thought that the labor would move faster if we could get Jeremy home to play with Yoav because he was needing me to do things for him, and didn't necessarily want to wait out a contraction... So Jeremy came home at about 2PM and mostly played with Yoav for the next few hours.

Contractions were getting more intense and Cara came after her last well-visit of the day, at about 4PM.

Soon after Cara came, the pain started to become significantly more intense. Sarah helped me manage it with deep moaning (which somehow helped A LOT) and she has amazing hands - she put pressure on my lower back during the contractions which also helped a lot in easing the pain. I could barely make it through contractions without her or
Cara to do this for me - I'd yell out for help if no one was around for the moment ;)

I also was really fortunate that I had make chicken soup on Sunday so I ate some of the broth during the labor. It was a perfect labor food! I was drinking Pellegrino.

I spent these few hours in the pool. It helped so much in easing the pain.

We actually had a little fire around this time. Jamie gave me a candle to burn that had been burned by a few other homebirth moms during labor. I put it on an empty table hours earlier, but by now the table had a bunch of birthing supplies and the candle got knocked over and caught a towel on fire! We got the fire out quickly and relit the candle (seemed like it would be bad luck to leave it out) and put it in a safer place.

Yoav was (somewhat surprisingly) not nervous at all seeing me in pain. We had talked a lot during pregnancy about how it was going to hurt to have the baby. He even did the groaning with me some :) He came in the pool (to play) with a bunch of his tub toys.

Yoav ate some dinner and was very very tired from waking up so early (a little before 7PM). Yoav agreed to go in the mei tei for a walk with Jeremy, but once he was in, he said he didn't want to go and was crying and said he wanted to play. Jeremy made the mistake of taking him out, but he was so overtired, he was frustrated and crying on and
off anyway. It was distracting me and I told Sarah to tell Jeremy that he should just stick Yoav in the mei tei and walk in the hallways with a hat over Yoav's head to block the light. He was crying at home because he was tired so I just wanted him to get out and go to sleep!!

It actually took Jeremy about 20 minutes to get Yoav to sleep. Yoav made Jeremy walk from floor to floor going to "Big Ducky"'s house but he finally passed out and Jeremy came back and put him into bed.

I finally got out of the tub because Cara said it might help speed up contractions/labor if I walked around some and changed position. I was dehydrated by now, so Jeremy went out to get some juice and Cara made me drink some between contractions. I was feeling nauseous, though, during the contractions and the juice made it worse so I could only bear to drink a few sips, but Cara said it was enough.

I was listening to music called "Music to be Born By" from Jamie which I found to be really soothing, but when the contractions became really painful, I decided to turn it off so I could just turn inward and focus on the pain management.

When the pain got really intense, I found that the best position was to hang from Jeremy's neck and squat (with Sarah applying pressure to my lower back). I also tried some sitting on the toilet but I found that pretty unbearable. It had really gotten unbelievably painful for me. I really couldn't believe how painful it was (I had a C-section with Yoav). Cara told me to think of the Aztec sculptures of women in labor and just let it all loose. I think I came pretty close :)

By about 11PM, I was fully dilated. Cara gave me some encouragement and said the baby could be out very soon. This gave me a boost of energy (I was on 2 hours of sleep through all this and was getting physically very tired). I was imagining holding the baby and did my best focused pushing in the pool as I felt the need.

Unfortunately, as it turns out, the baby was slightly posterior AND my water hadn't broken (which we didn't know for sure, as I was leaking fluids and we weren't sure if it was pee or amniotic fluid). My cervix was also partially covering the birth canal. After about an hour of pushing, Cara could see that the amniotic sac was fully intact and was in front of the baby, so she wanted me to push the sac out rather than break it. I was pushing on the toilet at this point and put one leg on Cara and one leg on Sarah and with Jeremy sitting in front of me also, the three of them gave words of encouragement ("You can do it - it's almost out!" and such - and though I don't
believe in praise for Yoav, it was very helpful in labor for me LOL). So suddenly with a huge push, the sac came out and broke all over Jeremy, Sarah and Cara. They all were laughing and thought it was great to watch and Sarah even got it on tape. Jeremy kept saying how cool it was. None of this was helpful to poor me, who still had to get the baby out!!!!!! So I yelled at them all (mostly Jeremy) to stop talking about it!!

It was another hour before I got the baby out. I made the most progress getting the baby to move down by hanging onto Jeremy neck and pushing as hard as I could during contractions. Cara kindly told me that I could just wait it out and eventually gravity would bring the baby out, or, if I wanted him to come out sooner, I could push as hard
as possible through the contractions :) In Cara's movie ("The Business of Being Born"), she talks about how labor is like being between a rock and a hard place - you don't want to be pregnant forever, but you don't want to feel the pain of pushing... I kept saying, "I just want the baby to be out!" and "I just want to hold him!" Hearing myself saying these gave me motivation and inspiration to push through the contractions rather than yell during the contractions.

Once the baby finally crowned, Cara asked if I wanted to get in the pool. I said no, I just wanted to get him out but she advised using the pool because I had said prior to this moment that I wanted a waterbirth and also she said it would help to reduce strain to the perineum. So I was put in the tub and pushed as hard as I could for the next few contractions and finally pushed the baby out (he was born at 1:36AM on Wed, 12/5)!!!!!!!

It was an AMAZING feeling to be on the other side with the baby in my arms. I stayed in the pool to push the placenta out (took about 20 minutes) and then Jeremy cut the cord. I stayed in the pool for a while after this holding the baby and relaxing. The baby was completely coated in vernix and could only open one eye. He opened the eye, though, and was looking at me. He didn't want to nurse yet, though.

Yoav woke up soon after the placenta came out and was desperately wanting to nurse. Sarah and Cara both said I shouldn't nurse him yet because I was so exhausted. Jeremy kept Yoav semi-calm. I eventually got out of the pool and Jeremy held the baby (with Yoav - Sarah actually got some really really sweet video of Yoav's first moments with the baby). I took a shower and then Cara checked me - I had slight tearing so she put a few stitches in. She used some local anesthesia and I also drank a little wine to help with the pain. I did some meditation through this to help keep myself still. Then Cara weighed the baby (7lbs 2 oz) and measured him (20 inches, head circ 36 cm) and handed him to me to nurse. I couldn't believe how easily he nursed for the first time! It was like my breast was a magnet! He latched right on with a beautiful fish-lipped latch! At that point, Jeremy brought Yoav in and they tandem nursed for the first time and both fell asleep :) Sarah brought me some soup and water to drink before going to sleep.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


yoav says about for b/c

i want a banana about i'm hungry

Saturday, December 1, 2007

tonight, yoav actually fell asleep not on the breast. he was nursing and singing/talking and nursed some and then rolled over and was singing and fell asleep! i think it's happened before, but this was a fairly high singing to nursing ratio for the whole falling asleep session. not sure how to duplicate it, but it's a good sign :)

at whole foods, we were waiting for the bathroom and yoav said he didn't want to wait. he mostly complained about waiting while we were still in line outside the bathroom. then once we got to the door of the bathroom, he slipped inside and played some w/ the paper towel holder. then when someone opened a stall, he ran into the stall. i picked him up and said we had to wait our turn, but the woman in front of the line said we could just go - i looked hesitantly at the others in line and got a few nods so i thanked them and we used the bathroom. yoav actually had to poop so it took awhile. he's been much more comfortable w/ pottying lately - he was fine just sitting on toilet paper on the toilet.

jer's traveling and yoav cried a lot in the morning for him. said he wants to play w/ aba and eat applesauce w/ him.

on the bus home from whole foods, yoav said he's still going to be nursing when he's jesse's age, but not when he's aba's age. then he started talking about when he's a daddy, he's going to go to china by car and then bus and then taxi. he asked if i'd miss him and i said yes. he made a sad face but said he had to go alone. he said it was for work that he'd have to go, just like aba.