Calgon, Take Me Away

I finally downloaded WordPress onto my phone. I’m much better at using my phone while nursing than a laptop. I lack coordination. Hopefully this will lead to more blogging.

It’s been a rough couple of weeks. Jack was hospitalized with a blood infection. The baby and I got sick. And then I got a case of mastitis.

Jack is out of the hospital and doing fine, but he’s been on a rigorous antibiotic regimen that involves mixing medication and running an IV several times a day. The worse one is the dose in the middle of the night, but the afternoon dose hasn’t been a picnic, either – usually I’m mixing the IV drugs while using my foot to bounce Dez in the bouncer. I’d run away to join the circus but I’m already there!

This case of mastitis is a bitch. After several days of trying to unclear a plugged duct in my armpit and dealing with horrid shakes and chills and dizzy spells, I called and got some antibiotics. Unfortunately Dez was not tolerating them well at all! So I did what you’re totally not supposed to do – I quit taking them a few days in. Dez is doing much better but I’m not. I now have a mass in my right breast and it hurts like hell! I assume if I keep nursing non-stop on that side it will eventually work itself out (or the breast will fall off?). In the mean time, I want to stay in bed and cry and sleep.

But! Jack has follow-up appointments. And Dez needs shots. And I return to work in a few weeks so I need to find a daycare that takes infants.

Ain’t no rest for the weary…

Kids Notes

I have had so little time to write. It sucks. I need to write. I am much happier when I have been writing.

That’s not to say that I haven’t been happy – I’ve been surprisingly free of baby blues and depression! But how long can I maintain good mental health without participating in something I know keeps me sane?

Anyhoo…here we go with a mad-dash post typed with one hand.

Notes on baby Dez

Dez is a very good baby thus far. Although he absolutely hates getting his diaper changed and wails every time. I think we owe our neighbors some wine for putting up with it. So far I’m not too sleep deprived, but I bet that will change when he wakes up to the world more. And when I go back to work (sob).

David gave Dez his first bottle last week. He took it just fine and then went back to nursing with no problems. Yay for Comotomo bottles!

I got my first smile out of the little guy yesterday when I stuck my tongue out at him. It was awesome! After 5 weeks of nothing but naps and nursing and diapers…finally some interaction!

I’ve been struggling with oversupply again. My body continues to think I should be feeding triplets. This means Dez is gaining weight like crazy and going through zillions of diapers. The cool part of oversupply is that I can pump 3.5 oz. in 5 minutes – on one side. There are lots of cons, though – green poop, gas, choking during letdown, more frequent nursing, so many diapers!!! I am managing better than last time since I know what I’m doing but it’s still frustrating. At least Dez is dealing with it much better than Jack did – maybe because it’s not quite as bad as last time.

At 9 days old, Desmond rolled from his tummy to his back…several times. And he has repeated that performance pretty much daily. He can also go from his back to his side…it’s only a matter of time before he can roll both ways. I fear the toddler years, which will likely come sooner than I would like!

It took a good 3 weeks for his umbilical stump to come off and the area still hasn’t healed so it will need to be treated with silver nitrite. The same thing happened with Jack. I don’t know what’s up with my kids’ belly buttons!

I’m slowly searching for a daycare provider to send Dez to when I return to work in December. It’s a stressful task, to say the least. I’m taking it slow so that I don’t go into a panic and decide to quit my job so that I don’t have to leave my precious baby with a stranger. I thought it’d be easier the second time around but nope! I hope we find a good one right off the bat so that we don’t have to go through everything we went through with finding good care for Jack.

Notes on Jack

Jack is a great big brother. He fetches all kinds of things for me and the baby and always tries to distract the baby during those torturous diaper changes. He’s been good at keeping himself busy when I can’t put the baby down. I’m so thankful we still have our reading and snuggle time together before he goes to sleep so that we can still connect.

He’s generally been in better health and made it to school most days this year. Just a bit over 5 months of treatment left!

We met with his new teacher and found out that he is behind where he should be for a third grader. The things the teacher has noticed are in line with what we’ve seen at home and are common learning problem areas for kids who’ve undergone chemotherapy. We asked his teacher to document anything she sees and we’re going to (again) seek an IEP evaluation – and this time we won’t back down. We’ll be in a better position to argue for the testing now that Jack has been going to school regularly and his teacher is actually noticing his difficulties.

He’s been struggling with his friendships at school. He is so upset when his best friend doesn’t want to play with him and says other kids don’t understand the imagination games he likes to play. I wish I knew how to help him. I had similar issues as a kid but I don’t remember being quite so upset by it. Jack is just so sensitive.

I’ve been very surprised that lately he’s talking more about cancer, too. He found a game in the app store that is all about destroying cancer cells and he loves it! He’s also been drawing blood cells and he found a plush cancer cell on amazon. It’s a little unnerving that he is suddenly so focused on it, but I also think it’s good that he is talking about it. Maybe therapy has helped?

 

Alright, I’d better post this before it self-destructs. More soon, I hope.

Greek Gods of Yogurt

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I wrote this post while participating in a blog tour conducted by Clever Girls on behalf of Dannon. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program but my opinions are my own.

For more information and recipe ideas, visit www.oikosyogurt.com or www.Facebook.com/oikos. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

By the time Jack’s dad and I split in 2008, I was underweight due to stress, depression, and a certain 2 year old stealing half my food (much tastier when it’s on Mama’s plate!). Not only that, but I was still breastfeeding Jack, which had the weight melting off of me. I didn’t have time or energy to keep up with my nutritional needs and before I knew it I was wearing size 0 pants for the first time in my life (LIFE, PEOPLE!). I was losing my curves and absolutely not happy about it.

David and I started dating in the fall that year and one of our favorite things to do together was eat. Just about every time we got together, we went out to dinner or he cooked for me with LOADS of butter or cream. Between that and eating lunch together daily, plus weaning Jack at 2 1/2 years old, I gained 30 lbs…and was steadily climbing. I am a small person and most would say PFFT, but none of my clothes fit me anymore and my BMI tipped to overweight.  30 lbs on a small frame like mine is a lot.

That was when I joined Weight Watchers. I wanted to get to a healthy weight somewhere between under- and over-weight, and I did it in a decent amount of time. I took a break from it for awhile when life got busy, but I’m back at it (albeit only via the online tool). With WW I can pretty much eat the foods I like, but I need to watch portions. Rather than eating cupcakes every day (which, yes, I absolutely was doing for a while – hey, they are half off between 2-3pm at work!) I now only indulge a few times a month. (I suppose I could find a diet cupcake but that is just BUNK.  Or, if I really wanted a cupcake that badly, I could, like, do exercise, but it’s not THAT important to me.)

So cream and butter aren’t in my diet much anymore except in small portions and in yogurt form. I had a thing for maple yogurt with cream on the top but that had to go.  I turned to Greek-style yogurt, which was slightly better points-wise, but had a hard time finding a nonfat type that I actually liked (NF Greek yogurt tends to be a bit sour, in my opinion). I then got the opportunity to try this nonfat Oikos Greek yogurt and I marched down to my grocery store to grab some.

Lucky for me, the Oikos yogurts were on sale 4 for $5. Woot! I was bummed they didn’t have honey flavor (my fave Greek yogurt variety), but I got peach, blueberry, raspberry, and cherry (the fruit on the bottom type). I promptly went home and ate the raspberry one and it was absolutely frickin’ delicious. It wasn’t sour like the other NF Greek yogurts I’ve tried, thank goodness! Also unlike other nonfat yogurts, the yogurt wasn’t thin and runny. I was a happy camper.

I popped into the WW tool online, plugged in the nutrition facts and found out that the Oikos yogurt is the same number of points as the nonfat stuff I’d been eating. SCORE!  (If you’re on WW, typical Greek yogurt is about 7 points and Oikos is 3 – even some of the FF yogurts out there are 4!)  So, uh, NO DUH I’d recommend it. Healthy, yummy snack for the win!

Two important pieces of info you will surely want to know:

  1. Dannon® Oikos® Plain and Fruit on the Bottom contains 0% fat, while the Dannon® Oikos® traditional blended varieties contains about 3% fat. Both are an excellent source of protein, twice that of most regular lowfat yogurts.
  2. Dannon® Oikos® 0% varieties contain active yogurt cultures and range from 80 calories (Plain) to 130 calories (Fruit on the Bottom) per 5.3 oz. cup.

Oh and another tidbit that I found interesting – Oikos is actually owned by Stonyfield Farms, makers of the little yogurts (one of the few that can be found in organic) I prefer to give my kid.  If it’s related to organic, that’s almost like it IS organic, right?  (Did you know if you have a carrot cupcake, it totally counts toward your veggies for the day?  😉  You’re welcome.)

By the way, for you breastfeeding moms out there, yogurt contains probiotics, which ward off thrush (if you haven’t gotten it, that is).

I have partnered with Dannon to help promote the Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt Series. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program, which includes writing about the promotion and product; however, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

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If only this post was about bread

This post is going to be about yeast.  I know this is not a fun topic.  I have a few pregnant friends and that has brought the topic to the forefront of my mind recently.  I would hazard a guess that most of you have dealt with yeast and will do so again in your life.  It’s possible that you’ve had thrush while breastfeeding or took antibiotics for a bladder infection and then ended up with a yeast infection…  I sadly know more than I ever wanted to about yeast and so I thought I’d share.  Not the yeast of course, but the knowledge about how to destroy it.  😛

When I was pregnant with Jack I tested positive for Group B Strep, which meant I had to take antibiotics during labor.  Even worse, since my induction lasted two days, I received several doses of the antibiotics.  This effectively destroyed all the bacteria in my body, including the GOOD bacteria that prevents yeast overgrowth.  So when I started breastfeeding and things didn’t go so well with latching and my skin was compromised with cracks, the yeasty bastards attacked me and I ended up with thrush…which was surprisingly hard to treat and lasted for months!  This is not uncommon among new moms.

So, here are some tips for avoiding and eliminating all those yeasty bastards and ending your suffering as quickly and effectively as possible…

  • Cut out the sugar and dairy products – yeast feeds on it and you will have a harder time getting rid of a yeast infection if you are ingesting sugar and/or dairy.  Don’t forget about hidden sugar and dairy (lactose, fructose, sucrose, whey).
  • Stay dry – change pads frequently and make sure the affected area is getting enough air.  Don’t wear stifling fabrics (cotton is nice and breathable) and make sure your pads are adequately wicking away moisture from your skin.  If you have reusable pads, get rid of them until the yeast is gone.
  • Take probiotic supplements.  This one is a biggie, especially if you will be taking antibiotics; probiotics will restore good bacteria to your system.  I’ve heard some women say that these don’t work for them but that may be because some supplements contain sugar or dairy (lactose, sucrose, etc.) in the ingredients or the dosage is incorrect.  (This can be the problem with yogurt.)  If you have a yeast infection, ensure that your dose is at least 10 billion cells and take it 2-3 times a day.  Otherwise a “maintenance” dose is 1-3 billion cultures per day.
  • Other helpful supplements include garlic tablets and grapefruit seed extract.  I do not have direct experience with these.
  • Make sure you wash your laundry on HOT and don’t reuse towels between washings – this includes hand towels.  If you are a mom dealing with thrush, BOIL any pump parts, baby cups, pacifiers and bottles.
  • Wash your hands! (But not with anti-bacterial soap.)
  • Vinegar washes are helpful as yeast hates acidity.  When I had thrush I would use a vinegar wash after every nursing, then allow my skin to air dry before treating it with an antifungal cream (i.e. Monistat).

Also, a note for those of you who are prescribed nystatin – IT SUCKS.  Yeast has become highly resistant to nystatin and more times than not, it’s ineffective in treating yeast infections.

If you’d like to do some more reading and not just take my experience/word for it, go forth!  These are some great resources:

Dr. Jack Newman’s Candida Protocol

Breastfeeding Essentials – Could We Have Thrush?

Kellymom.com’s Thrush Articles and Resources

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Truthiness Day 2: Heels Digging In

Day 02 → Something you love about yourself.

I love how stubborn I am.

One time my step-dad tried to make me eat some food that I didn’t want to eat.  I said I’d rather sit there and stare at it all day instead of eat it.  I sat there until it was dark outside, never touching the food, until it was dumped.  My step-dad was a piece of crap and I won that battle.

My stubbornness has served me well.  I resisted peer pressure when offered various amounts of drugs in high school.  It’s gotten me through a pitocin-induced labor without pain meds.  Despite the insane number of issues I had breastfeeding, I succeeded for over two years in nursing Jack because I stubbornly refused to quit.  I’ve resisted many of the unhealthy patterns that have plagued my family and made changes in my life rather than accepting the crap I was taught.

Sure, sometimes my stubbornness seems to lead me astray.  I stayed in a doomed marriage for over 9 years because of my refusal to give up.  With that said, I got Jack out of it and I learned a lot about myself in the process.  I am where I am today because I am stubborn and because no matter how many times something gets in my way, I will persist.

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