Saturday, December 26, 2009

Nip check

Ok, time for a nip update! (YAY!)

Still haven't seen my doctor. Things got a bit better, but now they're getting painful again. And it's a different pain. A deeper pain. One that makes me think that yeast is at work here. So, the plan is to see my dr Tuesday morning. (I can wait 3 more days, right?) and get a prescription for diflucan, an antifungal, as well as for the All Purpose Nipple Ointment. Plus, I'll pick up some Gentian Violet. Between those 3 things, and the probiotic and garlic supplements I'm taking along with not eating any sugar (you hear me, missy - NOT eating sugar) and things should be back under control within a few weeks. The pain should be cleared up within a week, the yeast will take a bit longer to be beaten into submission.

Now my nips have been discussed, lets move on to a funner subject. Christmas! We had a good one. The boys were excited - Elliot had. to. play. with. each. gift. after. it. was. unwrapped. And Felix wasn't really interested in unwrapping, but he would get fixated on certain gifts for 10-15 minutes (like a little whisk!) So things went rather slow.

Decorating, 2 weeks before Santa came

Christmas morning

His very own whisk!

D-E-V-O-N.... that says Elliot!!!!!! He knows how to spell his name, but when presents are involved, book-learnin' goes out the window!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Bad case of Cinnamon Lung

Yesterday the boys and I got crafty. A friend was telling me about the cinnamon applesauce ornaments she made with her son and it seemed like a fun thing to try. And then the night before we'd planned to make them, I stumbled up on *a blog* where it was laid out in great detail. Talk about meant to be - I was doubly convinced this was the thing to do!

*The above mentioned blog post has since been archived and I can't find it anymore. The recipe is this: equal parts cinnamon and applesauce, depending on how much you want to make. Start small - half a cup of each. Mix together until a dough forms. (Add more cinnamon if the dough is too wet. Increase amounts based on how many ornaments you want to make.) Roll out, cut out shapes. Dry in a low oven. Don't forget to punch a hole in them for hanging! 

It was fun. Elliot had a great time. We both choked on the clouds of cinnamon that wafted up, no matter how carefully I tried to angle or cover things. We're still waiting on the ornaments to harden. I put them in the oven on 150 for a good 8 hours, then left them in the cooling oven while I went to bed (nervous about leaving it on overnight) then gave them another hour on low this morning and then they stayed in the oven all day today. They are stiff, but not as hard as I expected. Not sure if this is the normal property or if next time we need to adjust quantities.

Oh, and to go with the cinnamon lung, I had a wicked cinnamon headache. The house smelled so good, but after a while it started to get to me. But I think it was worth it. Hopefully these ornaments will be salvageable. I'd like to tie some of them to presents. Several of them broke (hammers and saws make very flimsy shapes!) So I think we'll set up a crumble basket to fill each room with scent. Ahhhh, holidays!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Diaper free, baby!

In early November, we jumped right into a potty training intervention for Elliot. Straight to big boy undies, too. He wasn't balking at the idea, but he wasn't showing much interest, either. By the end of day 1, we'd caught 5 pees and lost 1 on the couch. Day 2 he went to daycare, but there were 2 accidents before we got out of the house that morning and 2 more while at daycare. Day 3 was pretty good - but he was in a pull-up due to errands and a new babysitter. Day 4 was another daycare day and there were 4 accidents. And an elusive poop on the toilet! Poor boy had been holding it since day 1 and was pretty sore.

By day 5, he was starting to tell us when he needed to go pee. And then he pretty much became a bladder master - during awake hours, that is. He's still in a diaper at night and a pull-up at nap time.

Catching a poop is another issue entirely. There will be days where it seems that every 10 minutes he's frantically saying he needs to poop and we race to the potty or toilet and he sits there and tenses up and sucks in for anywhere from 10 seconds to 20 minutes and nothing comes out. And he'll do this for daaaaays until he has an "accident" in his underwear. And then he slyly says "Ohhhh, we missed it." Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

It's a work in progress - there's been much work and much progress. And it can only improve with age. I hope!

In which I talk about my nipples*

*Forewarned is forearmed, right?



It hurts so badly when I nurse.

Felix (currently 16 months) started cutting molars back in September, and shortly afterwards nursing started to get painful. I just assumed it was due to his highly increased nursing frequency and a clenched latch. I tried to ignore it, figuring it would go away once my body adjusted to the increase in nursing or when he cut the teeth or or or or... but the pain got worse and worse.

I started wondering about yeast, but I don't see any sign of thrush in Felix's mouth. For the past month, I haven't had any sugars - I expected that if the pain were yeast related, it would have started to dissipate once I stopped all sugars/yeast/etc from my diet. But yeast seems to be a big winner when I talk with my mama friends about the pain I'm experiencing. The fact that the pain seems to be more limited to my nipples rather than within the breast tells me it's latch related, not yeast. Or maybe it started as yeast and then turned extra nasty. Or the bad latch caused cracking which let in the yeast. Or it could be both. Or something else. Or a mysterious and random assortment of 9865413248624 different things and the kitchen sink.

I switched birth control pills (from Micronor to Alesse) in early October, so perhaps the different hormones are also contributing to whatever is causing the pain. (Pregnancy did cross my mind, but all the tests I've taken have been negative. Phew!) I understand the pill could have affected my milk supply, causing him to work hard to get nourishment, so that's another possible factor. I had problems with Raynaud's Syndrome after Elliot was born 3 years ago, but didn't have it with Felix. The pain feels similar, but is longer lasting. And sharper.

I've been using an organic Nipple Butter by Earth Mama Angel Baby for the last few days and I can see a small difference for the better, I *think* - the calloused looking spots on my nips have softened and started to come off. BUT it's leaving cracks and bleeding (oh joy!) - not sure if that's being uncovered by or created by the sloughing off of the hard skin. I'm still experiencing a lot of sensitivity - clothing rubbing on me is painful, but the pain upon nursing is *slightly* improved. It's not the same toe-curling-glass-being-shoved-into-me sensation as before.

I emailed Dr. Jack Newman, breastfeeding guru, and he gave me a bit of advice, but nothing that seemed really pertinent to my situation. I initially contacted him because all research I've done says his All Purpose Nipple Ointment is the best thing ever for sore nipples, whether the problem is yeast related or not. I went to the compounding pharmacy near me and they were familiar with the ointment but said I needed a prescription. Instead of schlepping the kids with me to the doctor, someone suggested I email Dr. Newman for the prescription. He sent it to me (lightening fast, I might add!) but cautioned that it probably would be useless since he's not licensed to practice here. But he suggested I get my doctor to co-sign the prescription to save time. So that's my next plan of attack. But at this point, it looks like I won't be able to get an appointment with my doctor until, hmmmm, maybe this weekend?? I'll have to call again tomorrow.

I've found that Felix has a better (ie: deeper) latch when he's hungry vs comfort nursing. I've played with different positions and latches but never get relief the same way twice. Over the last few nights, I've stopped going to him for night time feeds - Jay has been spending the night in Felix's room. So I'm getting a good 10 hour stretch in which I can heal (and sleep - who'da thunk it?!) We nurse (both sides) in the morning and before bed, and then he comfort/snack nurses on one side before his nap and then again in the late afternoon. Nursing 4x per day is better than the 8+ we were doing recently, and it's giving me relief. Just not fast enough.

Since the skin is currently broken & bleeding & stinging, I'm sure that if a yeast infection isn't the cause, that a bacterial infection is now (or soon to be) an issue. What fun! Until I get that ointment, I'm going to continue with the Nipple Butter I have, expressed milk and lots of air time... and work on deeper latches, I guess. I've contacted my local La Leche League leaders and we're working though some ideas, too.

ETA 12/17/09: this morning I pumped instead of nursing on the worst side, and behold - it didn't hurt!!!! Now if only pumping were as quick & brainless as nursing.

So, all in all, this is a big whiny post about my poor nipples. Aren't you glad you found it?! Maybe I should complain about something more global... like, um... I don't know. I don't keep up with current events. I should do that, too. Something else to put away for a RainyDay.

Friday, December 4, 2009

This way lies danger!

I spent the day tackling some Christmas baking. Chocolate brown sugar fudge. Skor squares. Milk chocolate almond bark. White chocolate candy cane bark. Mmmmmmm. Delish, right? Nope. I'm not allowed to eat ANY of it. And not just because it's promised to various sweet exchanges and as gifts. *sigh* For a variety of health reasons, 2.5 weeks ago I started the Candida Diet. Now, this isn't a 'diet' in the weight loss meaning of the word. It's a way of life, a dramatic altering of the way one eats for a set amount of time. In the past, I've done 2, 4 and 6 week stints. This time, my naturopathic doctor says I need to avoid sugar, dairy, wheat, gluten & yeast for 6 months. Oh what fun! But I know it's necessary and I'm already feeling the change in my body. I know it's working and that's the encouragement I need to keep going.

So, here, please let me live vicariously through photographs. These are today's goodies!

Bubbling fudge

6 lbs - 1 large pan, 5 mini

Skor Squares - made with Ritz Crackers, condensed milk, skor bits & frosting - YUM!

Chocolate almond bark

Candy cane bark

Then, I nearly got my boys seriously hurt. We came home after daycare tonight and I parked the double jogger in front of the steps and put the brake on, like always. I grabbed all our stuff and ran up the stairs to unlock the door and disengage the alarm. I heard Elliot yell "Mama, mama!" and called back to him that I was coming (without looking). I tossed our stuff in the hall and then turned around to go get the boys. They weren't there.

I heard Elliot yelling for me again as I flew out the door. He sounded panicked. I couldn't see them at first, then I did - they were on the other side of the street, flipped up backwards, handlebar on the ground. They'd hit the curb and narrowly missed crashing into a parked car. Thank god there wasn't any traffic. I didn't even check for cars as I flew across the street to them. Elliot was yelling, Felix was crying, but they were both strapped in so hadn't gotten hurt, only jostled and scared.

I asked Elliot what happened and he said that Felix was bouncing again. Felix has taken to throwing his body weight back and forth in strollers lately - something he does allllllll the time in the high chair that drives Jay and I crazy. I guess his bouncing today dislodged the brake. It's a dodgy brake, but I didn't think it was that bad.

I was so scared. The boys were fine, but my mind keeps going to the 'what if' scenarios. Sooooo, lesson learned: park stroller sideways or take the boys out with me.

Man, I need chocolate and wine. But wahhhhhhhhhhh I can't have any!!!!!
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