Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Breastfeeding-Bourbon Edition Volume II

Quiet early mornings in Amelie's room.

I wrote about my first experience with breastfeeding back in 2011 here. Three and a half years later and a tad more wiser I have a slightly different story this time.

I went into this the second time around with a mission to pump more, produce more and possibly nurse longer. I work from home exclusively now and not having to tote a breast pump/parts/bags/cooler uptown and pump in a shady creepy room takes a HUGE amount of stress away from the whole pumping situation.

Amelie's delivery was a tad dramatic...nothing crazy but not anywhere as near as my one, two, catch delivery of Ford. They had her try to nurse immediately and I warned them I needed a nipple shield. You need one of these if  you are not Jennifer Aniston in Friends..

She latched with the shield immediately and away we went. I STILL forgot how painful it was once they started nursing. Gut punching pain. But I knew it would shrink up that humongoous stomach of mine so I happily obliged.

I have a few issues with CMC Main and I really wanted to write a post dedicated to this but I'll add a few bullet points.

  • I have nursed before. I stated so on my paperwork and told every nurse/doctor that I came in contact with. There is no need to grill me to death about the details or quiz me like I was lying.
  • My Pediatrician allows pacifiers so for your lactation consultant to walk into MY room and snatch the pacifier I brought OUT of my daughter's mouth was absolutely UNACCEPTABLE. My Dad's jaw dropped to the floor. Completely out of line.
  • I understand you are trying to get your breast-friendly certification. That does not give you the right to harass new mothers about nursing. There was no formula offered this time, you didn't even offer a pump to get things going. The attitudes of the lactation ladies in the hospital are nothing short of drill sergeant Hitler-esque raging bitches and they almost made me NOT want to nurse as I couldn't stand them being in the room with me.
  • You no longer offer to take the baby so we can get some rest but you ALSO don't recommend we have the baby in bed with us, so get a fucking better bassinet to put them in. I didn't even have a C-section and to sit up and try to put my newborn with my T-rex arms in that plastic too high God awful bin is impossible. Get us a fucking co-sleeper if you are going to be so militant.
  • The bottom line is I AM YOUR CUSTOMER. I AM PAYING YOU FOR YOUR SERVICES. Much like a hotel I should be able to ask for a pacifier and a nap and get these things.* I feel sorry for the girls that cannot nurse or choose not to. Do you lock them in the dungeon? Do they get horrible disapproving stares? I heard you still make them try. Who are you to force these things on us?
All that being said I'm not sure if it was because she was my second baby or because she was in the room with me the whole 48 hours I was there but my milk did come in faster.

The first week home we had our appointment with Jan Ellen Brown, by far the most amazing Boob Goddess on this planet. She is affiliated with Charlotte Pediatrics and breastfeeding on her couch is more therapeutic than any massage I have ever had. She weighs the baby before and after, gives you pointers, listens to your hormonal spazzing and makes it all okay. I love her.

My supply was definitely higher than with Ford. Amelie was a good nurser (nurses on both sides) and we were right at that every 3 hours schedule. I had to deal with some cracked nipples. (Full nipple shield of blood. YOW) and the normal pain in the beginning (knives coming out of nipples) but otherwise I will say everything was easier this time. I think a lot of it is due to knowing what to expect. Knowing is half the battle right?

But fast forward to now and 2 bouts of Mastitis and SIX clogged ducts later I am struggling. I don't want to be melodramatic about this but I think it is unavoidable. Amelie is my last baby. This is my last time in my life I will breastfeed. The last time I will feel that let down, last time I can soothe a baby all with what God gave me. Corny, yes but it is the absolute truth. My Mom once told me I am a stickler for firsts and lasts, and she is right. Maybe it is the traditionalist in me, the hater of change, the emotional Pisces...I'm not sure. All I can say is Amelie is already so big to me and I am already missing that sweet newborn stage.

**Update. I went to my OBGYN to look at the most recent "crack" and he pretty much looked at me and said to stop. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise because I know I wouldn't stop on my own anytime soon. I think the girls have just had it.

I got in my car and burst into tears and called two friends who I knew would tell me what I needed to hear. They were both 100% correct. The two points they each made:
1. I need to get out of my own head sometimes. I am so focused on not having this 1:1 time with Amelie anymore and never nursing again that I am missing out on new things we can do together.
2. (and this one really hit the mark) Amelie is my happy place. Right now in my life she is the one thing that doesn't hurt my feelings, doesn't cause me pain, doesn't add extra stress, doesn't get in time-out, doesn't talk back, doesn't insinuate that I need to lose weight. She is just a beautiful smiling baby girl. And that is okay. for now.

To any breastfeeding mommies out there, here's to you! And don't try to diet too much right now. Enjoy it. Drink lots of water, have some wine. Take naps. Because it is over before you know it.

Emotional K

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Alzheimer's Funnies....

Laughter is the best medicine so I thought I would give y'all a little giggle from a few comments made by my mother the past few days:

1. Mom: I'm bigger than you.
    Me: No you are not, what do you weigh?
    Mom: Fuck if I know

2. Me: Why is there a pound of jewelry in your purse?
    Mom: You never know when you need to look pretty.

3. Me: What is on your face?
    Mom: Well I guess not what I was supposed to put on it. (It was deodorant. I guess it kind of looks like foundation?)

4. Me: What do you want for Mother's Day?
    Mom: We can buy something today and you can just wrap it since I'll forget.

5. Mom: Where is you know who. You know. That person you like. 
    Me: Max?
    Mom: No, the person you really like. (BAHAHAHAHA)

6. Mom: Hi little girl you are so adorable 
    Me: Mom, that's not my baby. (In the daycare pick up room)

7. Mom: I LOVE this place. This place is the best. I love coming here. Has the menu changed?
    (This was McAlisters and I have never taken her there before)

8. (At the hospital after Amelie was born)
    Mom to nurse: We are so excited to see what color she will be. 
    Me (embarrassed): I promise I'm not sleeping around with the United Nations, my husband is Brazilian so she is curious about what her skin color will be.

9. Mom: Where is Daddy?
     Me: Arizona for meetings
    Mom: No, your house's Daddy. 
    Me: Max? At work
    Mom: Okay, any other Daddies I should know about?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Total SHIFT Show

There are already buzzfeed articles making fun of the whole Lilly for Target debacle and that is fine and dandy but I just wanted to voice my opinion on the matter:

There was a well hyped advertising campaign. Thousands of women...hundreds of thousands of women and girls got excited for this launch. I have never shopped a Jane Doe for Target launch so I had no idea what to expect. Lilly knew. Target knew. They knew that they were offering $30 famous shift dresses to an explosive crowd of preppy women that crash the Lilly website EVERY time there is a sale. EVERY TIME. Kathee you are full of SHIFTY SHIT:

Meanwhile, Target's chief merchandising and supply chain officer Kathee Tesija took to Target's blog to explain what went down with the launch, saying that they didn't expect all the product to sell out so quickly. 

Didn't expect it to sell out so quickly? You didn't enforce limits you assholes!!!! The fact that they let people swipe entire sections of clothes/homegoods/accessories is ridiculous. Oh, you want to buy 30 pairs of flip flops? Sure! No problem! Survival of the fittest right? 

WRONG. I have a dear friend who has one incredible daughter. This little girl makes bracelets, babysits, works in the yard, etc....all to earn extra money. Sometimes she donates it to charity. She has donated to my Alzheimer's walk. She is a true Rockbrook Girl. 

Lilly is a little out of her price range so she was thrilled about this collaboration. She planned, saved, earmarked and got up every hour starting at midnight trying to purchase.

She didn't even get to buy nail polish. The leaked links on the Target app that allowed most of the online inventory to clear out along with the black Friday-esque crowds of ebay psychos clearing out whole lines of goods left her with tears.

Lilly Pulitzer who came about the pattern after running her own juice stand is probably rolling over in her grave.

Shame on you Target and  shame on you Lilly. You knew what would happen and didn't plan whatsoever. You knew people would be so bummed they didn't get anything so you decided to launch your summer collection the VERY NEXT DAY. Oh and that free gift with purchase you offered for two days? You can stick that Lilly covered keychain where the Florida sun doesn't shine. And now seeing that Lilly is in the friends & family sale at SAKS....well all of it makes me feel like an idiotic consumer in this crazy selfish world.

And major SHAME on you ebayers. 

I lucked out that my babysitter in Asheville grabbed a few things for my daughter, and that a facebook friend through a site for selling baby things found me a dress to match. But I almost don't want to wear it because I'm ashamed I even took a small part in the frenzy.

You piss me off again Lilly and it's full on team VINEYARD VINES for this girl. Their summer stuff is cuter this year anyways.

End rant.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

An Update on Mom

Since I began blogging about  my Mother's Alzheimer's diagnosis I have met several people (real and through the internet) that have come to me for advice about their own struggles with the disease. I am by no means an expert but if I can help anyone with resources, advice or just be someone that will listen (or a shoulder to cry on) then hopefully life will be a little bit easier on them. I worry sometimes that I might share too much about mom's personal story but with my Dad's encouragement I believe that knowledge is the best weapon we have against this disease.

When my daughter was born my parents made it there 20 minutes after the was delivered. They had hopes of being there for delivery but things progressed a little too fast. Mom loves to look at her and coo at her. She keeps calling her a "he" and can't remember her name but she does like to look at her. We can't let Mom hold her because the arthritis in her hands is so bad and for safety reasons it is just not a good idea. Here she is holding her briefly on the day she was born.

We had a better Christmas than I expected. We had our entire family in town and while I was nervous that would make her stressed out she really enjoys my niece and nephew since they are old enough to interact (and listen) to her. My son is still a little too young (and wild) and seems to exasperate her and since she can't hold Amelie or can't help put her pacifier back in...etc, well it seems my kids in general stress her out. That being said Christmas was wonderful. 

Christmas Day 2014

We all left Asheville the day after Christmas and Mom and Dad went to an early afternoon party for a friend. When they came home Mom had experienced a pretty typical sundowning episode (Mad at my father, goes to her room and shuts the door). My father went outside to walk the dog and when he came back inside Mom was face down in a puddle of blood at the bottom of the steps and unresponsive. Dad called 911 and Mom was taken to the ER in an ambulance. She had a subdural hematoma and a concussion and of course absolutely no recollection of how she fell. Most people try to break their falls and she didn't have any broken bones in her arms so we can't figure it out. We have since taken away all of her heels (she had on low kitten heels) but still can't figure out what happened.

Since the fall it seems like she has declined even faster. She has started to shuffle her feet a little and is having a hard time feeding herself. The feeding issue could be her hands and the arthritis but she also looks at her fork sometimes and gives up and uses her hands. She doesn't remember most people's names but says "your husband", "the kids"...etc. She does somehow still remember all the words to her favorite songs and that Days of Our Lives comes on after lunch.

Our next step is to get Mom into daycare. She isn't going to do this willingly so we are trying to work with the facility to let her know she will be there as a volunteer helper. (a cruel but necessary trick) The irony of all this is my mom used to work in long-term care so helping seniors is truly her passion. She was actually on a team that opened the first memory care facility in North Carolina.

We are now in Stage 6, Severe Cognitive Decline. Sometimes I get glimpses of my mother. When I was sick on my last trip home she laid in bed with me and kept telling me to just take deep breaths. That has always been her trick to cure anything. She does still have moments of being BB, but they are few and far between. Below are the traits of Stage 6. There are a few that don't apply to her but for the most part this is where we are. 

Severe cognitive decline
(Moderately severe or mid-stage Alzheimer's disease)
Memory continues to worsen, personality changes may take place and individuals need extensive help with daily activities. At this stage, individuals may:
  • Lose awareness of recent experiences as well as of their surroundings
  • Remember their own name but have difficulty with their personal history
  • Distinguish familiar and unfamiliar faces but have trouble remembering the name of a spouse or caregiver
  • Need help dressing properly and may, without supervision, make mistakes such as putting pajamas over daytime clothes or shoes on the wrong feet
  • Experience major changes in sleep patterns — sleeping during the day and becoming restless at night
  • Need help dressing properly and may, without supervision, make mistakes such as putting pajamas over daytime clothes or shoes on the wrong feet
  • Experience major changes in sleep patterns — sleeping during the day and becoming restless at night
  • Need help handling details of toileting (for example, flushing the toilet, wiping or disposing of tissue properly)
  • Have increasingly frequent trouble controlling their bladder or bowels
  • Experience major personality and behavioral changes, including suspiciousness and delusions (such as believing that their caregiver is an impostor)or compulsive, repetitive behavior like hand-wringing or tissue shredding
  • Tend to wander or become lost
There are only 7 Stages of Alzheimer's.