This weekend we have entered the wonderful world of screaming, teething baby. She's been a drool monster for weeks, but this weekend she's moved to the next stage of this process.
Yesterday we tried and tried to get her to smile for a picture, but no such luck. She stonewalled every attempt. She was fussy, but it was nothing compared to the wails we encountered today... or the beet-red gums with a white center...
Thank goodness for teething tabs and infant tylenol. Without those magic bullets Mommy would have pulled her hair out. I'm so glad that we already had those in the medicine cabinet. The Hater is finally home, and it's been so nice to hand her to him to let him do the constant walking and rocking for a little while.
She screamed bloody murder off and on throughout the church service this morning. I hope it's not a preview for next Sunday, where her baptism is on the front of the docket. Of course, knowing this now means we can give her some good stuff before hand to help her through.
She's had a tough day. Almost as tough as mine. Blessed Salvation... it's so hard to be the baby.
So our newest trick is that someone really likes to hold her weight on her legs. She's still bobbly, but it's the super fun thing that we do. Meanwhile, tummy time has gotten better, too, but she still hates it.
(And another to prove that she really does smile from time to time.)
Yesterday evening after work I was driving home and all the sudden there was bumper-to-bumper traffic where there usually is none. I thought there must have been a wreck, but when I moved up further in line you'll never believe what I saw... what had stopped traffic...
A cow had gotten out of the pasture and was standing on the wrong side of the fence, on the other side of a deep ditch. And these poor city people were stopping to gawk like a UFO had landed and an alien had stepped out and requested to meet our leader. As if the cow would hop over the ditch five feet to the road.
I laughed hard as a police car drove onto the scene with its lights flashing. I couldn't help but think about the dozen times that Dad had Sister and I out in the field, waving our arms to get the neighbor's cows back in the pasture. Or how I had to do the same thing the first time I met The Hater's family. I thought about how livestock experiences really weren't that big of a deal.
And then I decided to pull over and help fanagle the cow... and shortly after I turned on the blinker I realized I had the baby in the back seat and stopping wouldn't be the best idea. The Dorks said that with my luck someone from the paper would stop and spin it into a story about child neglect after leaving her in the car.
So I turned off the blinker and left the situation in the hands of an officer who was really approaching the cow with one hand on his gun. I looked into the back seat and promised the baby that we would have stopped if she was big enough to carry on my hip. She looked into the mirror at the sound of my voice, and then I promised her that I would do what I could to provide experiences for her to not completely be raised a city girl who would rubberneck for something as silly as a cow.
We had a genuine culinary adventure yesterday. I sent The Hater on a wild goose chase at the grocery store earlier in the week to find a jicama for us to try.
I looked up several recipes, but they all seemed to simple to be true. I ended up peeling it, grating it and mixing in a little lime juice, cilantro and splenda. We were really surprised how well it turned out. I only fixed half of it - we'll end up eating the second half in a couple of days.
The Hater's grandparents are coming to town tomorrow. Or so we've been told. We have no idea how long they'll be staying. Then his Dad and step-Mom are coming to town at the end of the week, and they'll be here for about a week. It's going to be busy around here.
Meanwhile, the baby is being a toot. Her Daddy thinks she's rotten, and sometimes I have to agree... but not this time. This time she's just tired. (So am I.)
This morning I thought I'd post an explanation as to why the pictures on here are of this baby in onesies and not dress-up clothes. This was fueled by some of the women with whom I work. When they happen to see a picture of this baby, they always chide me that she isn't wearing a headband or in a "pretty little dress". Although they have no idea that I blog, I thought I'd share my official candid response with baby's fans on Second Street:
Because she doesn't like it.
And I can hardly blame her. She was actually pitching a fit during this picture, too, but it happened to look like she was almost pleasant and not between gasps.
But we really did have to get the pictures and play dress up while she could still wear this beautiful dress that was given to her by Janice. I think we're going to try it again in a few days to see if we can get a more pleasant Kodak moment out of it before she can't wear it anymore. ... We wore this to our friend's baby's baptism yesterday. Everyone was so very complimentary of this dress and couldn't believe it was handmade. We have another smocked dress that Kathy made that we're hoping she'll be big enough to wear at her baptism next month. Mom has the smocked dresses saved that Sister and I wore when we were young, too. Watch her grow up to be prissy and want to only wear dress-up clothes!!
This heifer is growing by leaps and bounds, and since I've been back to work for three weeks and she's been at day care, my milk supply is waning. I've got a super-duper double barrel pump at work that I use every two hours or so, and by the end of the day I have about enough to make her two bottles. The problem is that she's taking about 4 bottles during the day at day care. (And today my porker took five!!)
This past Saturday she wanted to eat about every hour. She was clustering again, which I imagine means another growth spurt is on the horizon. But it was frustrating, and even though she was making plenty of wet diapers I was worried that I wasn't producing enough to fill my poor insatiable baby.
Yesterday I called the lactation nurses for advice. After confirming that I'm drinking plenty of water and following the few rules I could remember from nursing school, they suggested I try fenugreek, an herbal supplement. The nurse told me it was about a 5o% chance that it would help increase my supply by half.
The following story is my adventure getting the herb. It's meant to be amusing because I know I walked out of the store cracking up...
So yesterday after work I went to the hippie health food store in town in search for the herb. This store had about nine aisles of vitamins and supplements; I walked around scanning bottles for about twenty minutes before I found any of the fenugreek for breast feeding. (It happened to be in the fourth and fifth aisles.) Then I caught myself staring blankly at three different brands of this stuff, realizing that I have no clue which brand I should get. I stood in line to ask the person who works in supplements if they had any brand loyalty. The assistant manager, seeing the line, came to help and said he could help me instead. When I asked him my question he first asked to see if they all had the same dose (mg), which they did. (Mind you, I had already used my astute reading comprehension to figure that one out myself, but I didn't say anything.) Then he walked me back over to the supplements (at which point I lost my place in line to talk with the guy who I should have been talking to), looked at where I'd gotten them, and told me what their prices were (as if I was somehow literate enough only to find them on teh shelf but not read the price under them). He read the prices to me and concluded that the most expensive brand must be best. He said it exactly like that too; "well, that one is the most expensive - it must be best, obviously." I thanked him for his help and decided that he was an idiot. I figured that if he didn't know the brands without having to look at the prices, it wouldn't matter which one I bought. I replaced two of the bottles back to the shelf, and went back to stand in the line of the supplement guy to ask him one last time before I purchased one (incidentally, a brand I'd at least heard of). Except by the time it was my turn in line, that same damn ass-manager took over the register and wanted to tell me about the fenugreek tea instead. I kindly told him that I was a tea snob and loyal to my own concoctions. He persisted, encouraging me to look at the teas anyway. Going throwback, I explained in my best teacher voice (and facial expression) that if I had wanted tea, I would have looked in the teas, not the supplements. Gag.
Today at work I looked up fenugreek on the Sloan-Kettering herb database. If you're not aware of that database and you're into herbal remedies, I'd strongly suggest checking it out. Anyway, I read that taking fenugreek for lactation hasn't really been proven with research yet. It's an old school remedy that hasn't been matched with science yet. (LINK to fenugreek info)
The nurses told me that if it was going to work it'd take about three days.
I was telling this story to Jane this morning. Her response was, "Please be sure to document your case study for future reference." We laughed about that and mused about how this whole year is just a big experiment anyway. We try one thing after another until we happen to find something that works.
I still want this breast feeding adventure to work, and I'm doing what I can to give this baby the best nutrition she can get for as long as I'm able. I won't feel like I've failed if this sow's milk dries up, but I know that I would always wonder if this would have worked if I'd not tried it. Maybe I should also light a candle, say a prayer, or do a rain dance to see if it'll help our odds.
On a last baby-related note, I ran into a nurse with whom I work today. I've not seen her since I've been off of maternity leave. She asked me when I was going to have the baby. That's right. She thought I was still pregnant. I pulled out a picture around my neck and asked, "You mean the baby I had 10 weeks ago??" She tried to back-paddle and say things like how thin I looked, but it was too late. She'd already had a course of foot in her mouth. Gag.