Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas trip

Well, the Christmas trip was a huge success. Claire did really well in the car sleeping most of the way there and off and on the way home. She entertained her grandparents, great aunt and uncle, cousins and greatgrandma in various ways. She had a ready laugh and smile and interacted enthusiastically with her family members.
Moby Santa
We took lots of pictures and will post some soon.

Claire got many nice gifts including a handfull of cloth books and board books, cloth and wooden toys, Christmas tree ornaments, CD's and a pink velour outfit.

It was great to get to spend some time with my cousin Heather and her son Kyle who were visiting from Boston. We got to pass on a tradition of playing a Pensylvanie Dutch card game called Dutch Blitz. Vaughn, Heather and I spent hours playing this when we were growing up, it was great to see Kyle getting into it. (Grandma gave him and Andrew their own Blitz decks.)

The day after Christmas Mark and I had a day out on the town while my parents babysat. I got a much needed haircut and we got to browse a few shops and take my grandma out for coffee.

Mark brought a box full of games and was able to play a handfull of them with various relatives. Andrew was very interested in learning new games and was quick to catch on.

It was great having lost of people around to help take care of Claire. My mom was great too, she took care of Claire in the early mornings so that Mark and I could sleep in. Claire had a couple of rough nights and one really good night. And amazingly enough last night she only woke up one time! So why was I so groggy all morning?! I got to nap around noon for about a half hour.

Monday, December 25, 2006

little Claire laughs big

big laughsCousin Heather got big laughs out of Claire by lifting her up and jiggling her, then kissing her arms.

Link to video: (click on the link to see the video.)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

we're off

I just slept a 4 hour stint and it feels great. I can't remember the last time I did so. Claire ate at 2:15 and was asleep again around 2:40 (then I pumped) and didn't wake up again till nearly 7am!

We're off on our road trip to see my folks today. Geisler is going to cat-sit. Claire's bag is packed but ours isn't. We'll see how quickly we can get packed up and on the road.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

better napping

Since I last blogged, Claire has been napping much better. She will sometimes fall asleep in her crib with no coaxing and has slept for an hour on several occasions, and on one occasion two hours. She has still had a few 30 minute naps but they haven't been the norm the past several days. This has meant naps for me tooand time to do a few chores.

New foods lately are carrots and avocado. She seems to like them ok but not as much as banana or cereal. I let her hold onto a tiny spoon and she tried to get it to her mouth a couple times and opened wide. Her aim wasn't very good, but it was an admirable attempt and shows that she wants to put the spoon in her mouth.

I laughed and laughed earlier today when I was giving her rice cereal. She recently learned to make the razz sound and to blow and was trying both these out while eating which resulted in her blowing tiny bits of cereal all over my face. Oh the adventures of feeding a babe!

Last night Claire was asleep when Mark got home so we got to have dinner together sitting at the table. It was a nice change. We have decided to work on adjusting our schedule so that Mark leaves for work and comes home earlier.

I think the herbs and additional sleep are starting to make a difference in milk production. I've only had to give formula once a day the past two days (instead of twice).

I've come to the conclusion that Claire's recent outbursts in the afternoon and evening have been hunger related. The timing has been a bit confusing because it also coincides with usual going down for a nap time, but then aften much soothing and pulling out all the going to sleep tricks she still can't get to sleep I try the bottle and she chugs it all down and wants more! Incidentally she was swaddles for the two hour nap the other day. I think that helped her to sleep longer. She was wrapped in the Miracle blanket which will still sometimes keep her contained. She is quite the escape artist when it comes to gwtting out of being swaddles in regular blankets or the kidopotamus or other swaddling wrap we have.

I got a couple more sleep sacs at the thrift store on Sunday afternoon. By the way. There is a new thrift store within walking distance (near the Rite Aid). They have lots of baby stuff and good prices.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

This week

Claire is back to half-hour naps and waking every two hours or two and a half hours at night. She also seems much more touchy the past two weeks. She will have sudden outbursts when something isn't going her way. Or in the late afternoon she gets upset a lot. I think she's tired and having difficulty falling asleep... she gets very cranky. She seems to really want to be held in the late afternoon and evening and gets mad if I put her down. She will also cry if I take away something that she wants. She seemed like she was having a hard time falling asleep the other day and had her book on her lap (in the swing)and her hat in her hands. She had been chewing on her hat after taking it off. She was fussing and I thouoght maybe the hat was distracting her from being able to sleep, so I took it away. You would've though it was the end of the world the way she screamed and turned red in the face.

The highlight of our week was visiting Jen and her new baby Katherine on Thursday. Since this involved a longish car ride, Claire got two long naps on the way to and from Irvine. We took a nice walk around UCI campus while we were there and I listened to Jeeves and Wooster on CD on the car ride. It was great meeting the baby; she is adorable and seemed very content.

Milk supply is still not meeting demand so we've been giving her two bottles of formula each day. Claire takes 8 bottles on most days. Her biggest meal ever was Thursday and she took 5.5 ounces of breaskmilk. When I pump I usually get about 3-4 ounces... more in the morning and less in the late afternoon and evening. (this is pumping every 2-3 hours around the clock with one 4.5 hour break during the night.) I had one longer break this afternoon because I went to Whole Foods and Trader Joes and hadn't pumped immediately before I left. Sadly, this did not yield a larger volume of milk.

I seem to be finally losing a little bit of weight. I've been trying to walk regulary although some days it's just a trip around the block. Other than that I haven't made much of an effort. We have a bunch of fruit in the house now, thanks to the Joneses who came over last Sunday and brought us a bag full of fruit and other healthy food.

Tummy time is going really well lately. At the suggestion of her physical therapist, I have been doing it several times per day and she is tolerating it for longer periods and even enjoying it sometimes. She especially likes to suck or gnaw on her hands in this position. The therapist was impressed with Claire's improvement since last week with the more rigorous schedule. Claire is also looking like she is just about ready to be able to roll herslef from her back onto her side. She has also been scooting around in her crib lately. I think she is enjoying boeing a little bit mobile.

I am enjoying reading about the Life of St Paisius Velichokovsky, a Russian Monk who became a revered Elder insrtucting the monks using the writings of the Fathers of the curch.

We look forward to our trip to Prescott, Arizona to visit my family and celebrate the Nativity with them. Our friend G is house-sitting and cat-sitting.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Something new everyday

Today Claire held onto her pacifier for the first time. We gave it to her during church because she was restless and she grabbed onto it and moved it back and forth on her mouth and vigorously chewed on it. She was also much more ready with her smiles today and smiled at lots of people at church.

I only have about 6 ounces of breastmilk left in the freezer and production has been low lately...maybe due to the meds I'm taking for the infection. I am not ready to resign myself to supplementing with formula yet. We did get a bunch of free formula samples from the Doctor. I finish my course of meds Tues Morning. Hopefully production will pick up.

I find it so hard finding any ballance in my life. I can't seem to do things on any kind of regular schedule (With the exception of pumping milk.) Maybe I'm trying to do to much although in my mind, it's just the bare minimum. Well. It's time for bed. More on this later.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Copy Cat

I think Claire learned a new facial expression from Sophia, Mark's friend Damien's daughter who is 12 months old. She just started pursing and sticking out her lips yesterday after seeing Sophia. She also has been sticking her tongue out a lot the past several days.

Green Clean gals came today and cleaned!!! Hurray! The house looks much better. We also had deliveries from the organic produce people and Friends also helped with dishes and laundry folding and raking the front yard.

I have a bunch of nice produce to cook up. I didn't do much today because I was pumping every 2 hours and trying to get extra rest because I had two more plugged ducts in the past 24 hours. I've quit eating foods with saturated fat for the time being. Claire was the key to unplugging the ducts on both occasions. The second problem lsted more than 12 hours and I was relieved that I was able to get Claire interested in helping me out. Once the floodgates opened she wasn't interested in nursing though. I hope she decides to nurse for full meals soon because I think this would solve the problems I've been having. I don't know how much more of this I can take and I don't know how to prevent it. It's not like I tank up on greasey burgers or other foods high in saturated fat. I have a little cheese everyday, a little Earth Balance buttery spread a little lean meat and an occasional whole fat yogurt or baked item or icecream. Claire still is uninterested in nursing most of the time and only for a minute at a time when she does.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


I got a true belly laugh from Claire this afternoon for the first time. I was holding her on my lap and smiling at her and repeating "Oh Yeah!" she thought this was hilarious. I got another laugh later in the day too. Quite fun. By the way She has really been exercizing her lungs with the squeals lately. Sometimes they are squeals of delight and other times she just seems to want to make noise.

She has graduated from random scratching to intentional itching. Her nails are still super sharp unless I keep them trimmed so that none is visible beyond where it connects to the finger.

Claire has found her ears as evidenced in part by scratching them. She gave herself abig gash inside one ear testerday before her manicure. She has a rash behind her ears and on her neck.I tried various creams and ointments on them today...hopefully we'll see improvement tomorrow. Speaking of improvement. I've been using the free sample of Baby Aveeno creme and it is working wonders. Her skin hasn't felt this smooth in weeks.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Mark Hudson Voted Best Dad
It's no wonder...
The past two nights Mark fed Claire all night long every 1.5 to 2.5 hours since I was dealing with my infection and needed to pump on a more rigid schedule. And all this without any complaints. He also taught me something last night, or rather in the wee hours of the morning. Claire wouldn't settle down and go back to sleep but was fussing. Mark sang her a lullaby (using his own words to a familiar tune) and was able to quickly soothe her and he persisted singing until she fell asleep. I've used the same tune several times today and it worked like a charm. Way to go superdad!


Thanks be to God, Claire and I are both feeling better today. The Dr. gave us some more samples of cremes for her dry skin. I told him about all the concerns from yesterday and he checked her out and said she seems fine today. She is napping a lot better today. I think my meds are kicking in. I feel much perkier and no more feever. The breast is still pink but the soreness is just about gone.

Monday, December 04, 2006

More prayers

Thank God Nina from church was able to take care of Claire today so I could rest. I got a prescription to deal with the infection by calling my OB. Now it seems Claire is under the weather. She had a tummy ache, gas, vomiting, loose stool and swollen lymph gland. We have an appointment to see her doctor at 1:00 pm tomorrow. The nurse advised us to give her Pedialyte in the meantime. I feel bad that she is sick but at the same time, grateful that she has stayed well up till now.

prayer request

I'm trying to ward off a case of mastitis. My breast is sore and red and I was feeling slightly feeverish so I went to bed at 7:00pm. I got up at 9 and 12 to pump and Mark is taking care of feeding Claire. Please pray that this clears up quickly.

Other news: Claire seems to come up with a new trick practifcally every day. Saturday she grabbed the spoon from me and tried to move it towards her mouth- she hit her cheek. She is definitely getting the idea. She recently discovered her knees. She ocasionally puts her hands on her knees as she lies on her back. She tried cooked carrot for the first time and seemed to enjoy it. She enjoyes riding in the snuggli carrier facing out now. Her neck control is really good and she enjoys being suported to sit up. It is fun and exciting to watch her grow and develop.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


Hurray we have someone coming to clean tomorrow. I am confident that this won't be another false start. We really need it to cut down on the accumulated dust and aleaviate my alergy symptoms.

No more progress on the nursing. She wasn't interested at all Thurs or Friday. This morning she sucked for a few seconds and pulled away.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Busy Day

Claire had visits from both her infant stimulation teacher and Physical therapist today. She slept through the first part of each appointment. The second nap was over an hour and a half long! Claire did a good job working with both of them and showing offher progress since twoweeks ago when they last saw her.

I took Claire for a walk in the stroller between visits, so I had no nap.

Claire was unusually fussy this afternoon and evening which was exhausting for me. Thankfully Beth came over this evening and took a turn with her and got her to sleep. I got to take a nice long shower.

Further progress on nursing: Claire actually got some milk this evening!! She took some by bottle and thenI burped her and put her to the breast and she immediatle latched on a began sucking. I had a bit of a plugged duct so I put a little presssure on the part that hurt snd Claire helped to relieve the pressure! She didn't stay at it for long, just a few muinutes, but I am excited about the progress.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Progress with Suckling

Thanks be to God! Claire latched on to the breast for the first time in months. She suckled for about 2 minutes on two occasions this afternoon. I am elated. I praised her profusely and she looked like she was very proud of herself. She also gummed me which was quite painful. My theory is that she is starting to get used to and interested in having various things in her mouth like cereal and spoons and banana... so she was more receptive. I used the clutch/football hold which I hadn't tried in a while (Mark suggested this). By the way, Claire seems to enyoy mashed banana too. She thinks eating solid food is great fun. She sometimes smiles and laughs during the meal.

She has been napping really well since we left for Lompoc last Wed. Thanks be to God. I was worried about this for weeks. I have been able to put her back to sleep when she wakes up after only 30 mins. I never had any luck with this in the past. I got a nice long nap this afternoon while she napped. It felt so good.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Loves cereal

Claire has developed a taste for her rice cereal. She laughed and squealed as I fed her this morning. She thinks eating cereal is great fun. I am looking forward to trying banana with her. We don't have any bananas right now...maybe we'll walk to the corner store.

Claire had 3.5 hour gaps between meals during the night. Hurray! She wokeup early and talked to herself till I got up and gave her breakfast. She was eating at 2 hour intervals most of yesterday, so I was worried she would continue that through the night.

I had another dip in milk supply yesterday but it's looking good so far today.

We woke up to the sound of rain. How lovely.

I've been struggling with alergies the past few days. My least favorite symptom is wheaziness/congested bronchials. I've had trouble sleeping because when I lay down I have a hard time breathing and have to cough to clear the airway. I need to call my doc and ask if its ok to use my inhaler while providing breastmilk. I'm hoping to have time to wash all our bedding and dust our bedroom before bed tonight. The last time this happened I used this tactic and it seemed to make a big difference.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Catch Up Blog

I'm blogging again since I hadn't written for a while.
Some highlights from our trip include Stopping off in Santa Barbara and taking a walk with Mark's dad. It was fun to see his landscaping project and great to hear that since his back operation (the week after Claire was born) he is feeling great and able to do the things he likes to do again. Wednesday evening we arrived at Mark's mom's house as she was arriving from the tea shop. We had one of Mark's favorite meals, Hamburger Stroganoff. Nanna agreed to take care of the baby during the mnight so we could get some much needed rest. Hurray! I got up pump at midnight and 3:30 because I woke up at these times. Speaking of pumping, there was always some one else to watch the baby while I pumped, so I got to read magazines and/or nap while pumping. Yay! We had a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with the addition of brussels sprouts and a twist on the sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes...they were served together both mashed with carmelized onions on top and swirled so that it was marbeled. It was delish! (My grandmother won't believe I just said that!) Friday we had second breakfast at the tea shop...quiche Lorraine. We took a walk and read and relaxed then had dessert and tea at the shop in the late afternoon. Claire fell asleep in my arms and I sat and read.

Another highlight especially for Mark was that we got to see his dad's bio diesel lab. It was quite impressive. He has a coop of about 8 people that he provides fuel for.
I need to log out cuz I have a neck ache.

Hudson Trip

We spent a very relaxing Thanksgiving in Lompoc. Claire did very well both in the car and at Nanna's house. She really seemed to enjoy the extra attention with 4 adults around to dote on her and I enjoyed having a little time to myself. With the extra relaxing/sleeping I was able to get on top of the milk production. I think I am almost caught up. Hopefully I won't have to used thawed milk everyday now because our supply is quickly dwindling. I think Claire was on a growth spurt while we were gone. On Wed. she slept almost all day and on Thursday she took 4 ounce meals all day long. Now she has really tapered off and quits after barelt finishing 3 ounces.

We also got to visit Mark's dad and his sister and family. Claire's 4 year old cousin Calan was quite taken with her. I was impressed with how much he'd grown up since we saw him a few months ago when he was still three. He is boy through and through, no hint of the toddler he was not too long ago. Cade (Almost 11) is nearly as tall as I am now, by the time he's 12 he'll have passed me up. Cole (almost 9) is not far behind him. It was fun interacting with them and we look forward to seeing them again next Saturday at our house.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Clare Can...

Claire can find her head with her hands. The result is that her forehead and sides of her head have little scratches on them. I keep trimming the bejeebers out of her nails but it is impossible to get them all short enough.

Claire now rubs her eyes when she's tired--very cute.

Grab a blanket or toy and bring it to her mouth. Mark enjoys watching her facial expression and she explores various textures.

She is also much steadier holding up her head, so she can ride in the sling facing forward now.

Hudson breakfast Tradition

We've begun a tradition of going out for breakfast on Saturday mornings: so far we've eaten outside at Fred 62 in Vermont village, outside at the Two Nine near USC and walked to our hangout the Ragazzi Room. Another destination we want to try is the Alcove in Los Feliz. This morning Claire had a nap on the way there and fell asleep again just before we reached home.

I did major floor cleaning in Claire's room yesterday which involved moving lots of stuff out so I could get at the floor. I moved out the TV tray, extra chair, fan, air purifier, diaper pail, two trash cans, baby bath tub, my foot bath, rolling cart with pump, laptop, and reading materials, bedside table, a whole jumble of cords, cables, speakers cd player tape player etc., extra seat cushion. Some of these things are finding a new home so as to make the room tidier and easier to clean. I also gave a cursory swipe at the kitchen floor and vacuumed the living room. Needless to say, I did not call Maria. I do have the number of a referral service and will try finding someone that way. I was exhausted yesterday evening. Claire had only short naps yesterday so I didn't end up napping at all and she was fussy in the late afternoon and evening so I ended up carrying her a lot. I had a backache. Mark gave me a nice massage when he got home and Beth came over and gave us a little break by taking care of Claire for a couple hours while we puttered/relaxed.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

new photos

future reader I just posted a few November photos on Flickr.

On Monday, Claire's doctor gave us some free samples of Aquaphor and suggested patting her dry after her bath and slathering it on. I did this at noon today and her skin feels much better! Hurray. She feels like a baby should instead of having leathery arms and legs. She still has a little rash under the chin and behind the knees. Her ankles are looking much better.

I put in an order to today and got free delivery with the coupon they sent. I wish Trader Joes had delivery. I think I might have some organic produce delivered after Thanksgiving. I was researching local businesses that do this and provide locally grown produce and found a few. It looks like it'll cost about $30 per shipment.

Banana leaves

From Claire's window you can see our neighbor's banana tree and for the past several days we have been watching as a new leaf unfurled. It started out as a stick jutting up into the sky and over several days gradually unwraped itself and now it is the only pristine leaf on the tree that is completely intact without shreds or tears. I feel peaceful looking out at it as Claire naps and I pump. The sun is shining through the tip of the leaf making it look like a giant lantern.

My parents did not end up visiting on Tuesday and Wed. My dad had a minor stroke so he spent Tuesday and half of Wed in the hospital. The tell tale signs were dizziness, double vision and weakness on the left side of his body. Thankfully there seem to be no lingering symptoms and he is feeling fine now. Please pray against future strokes as people who have had one are at a greater risk for having another.

The graveside service for Woody was lovely. A national guard seargent played taps and folded the the flag that was draped on his casket and presented it to Tammy. The pastor had interviewed each of the 5 children and used what they said to describe Woody's life and character. All of his children and grandchildren were present. Mark held Claire during the service and did a good job entertaining her.

Claire's eyelashes are longer than ever. I've noticed lately that her nose has grown and she is filling out all over. I think the major growth spurt she was going through is slowing down. She didn't eat nearly as much yesterday. She has this cute habit of pulling her hat down over her eyes right before a nap. When she wakes up in the morning she takes her hat off and starts scratching her head. I am having a rough time keeping her fingernails short enough so that she doesn't leave scratch marks.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

First Cereal Experience

We gave Claire some rice cereal for the first time this morning. At first she was frustrated so we gave her the bottle and then tried again. By the time she was finished with the cereal, she was grinning widely. She thinks the new oral sensation is great fun. Her mom thought this was great fun too. She actually got more in the mouth than on the bib too!

We are looking forward to seeing her Nanu and Papa this evening. They will be in town briefly for the funeral of our dear friend Art Woodman. Please pray God's comfort for his family. (Especially his daughter Thea (one of my bridesmaids) and his wife Tammy.) This was very sudden... due to a heart attack.

Woody, you were one of the most saintly men I've known. I already miss you. Your joyful attitude and warm love towards all are an inspiration.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Happy Day

I played my guitar for Claire for the first time this evening. She was watching me intently. She also watched me as I did some arm circles.

We took a trip down to Irvine today to visit my friend Jen. One reason for this was to ensure that Claire got a long nap. She got two long naps of about 2 hours each. (One on the way there and one on the way back.) She continued sleeping upon arrival on both ends of the journey. She was extra fatigued because this morning we went to the doctor and she got immunized. She is up to 10 pounds 5 oz. The Dr. gave me something for her skin problems. I got to ask the Dr. lots of questions. He suggested starting togive her a little rice cereal in the morning and evening. He commented that she seems ready since she is "violently teething" I think that's the phrase he used.

P.S. The other reason we drove down was to deliver a crib since they are expecting the "bourgeois-baby" any day now.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


I handed Claire a cloth book for the first time tonight and she seemed to know just what to do. She felt the fuzzy bee on the cover then after I opened to the first page she opened and closed it several times. After a little while her dad read her the book then she held it and looked at it and batted at it for awhile till she got sleepy. I set the book aside and she fell asleep.

This book courtesy of the Dooley's who gave us a toys-r-us giftcard. We also got her some teething toys, a sleep sac and rattle.

She was cranky today. I think this was because most of her naps were too short.

Friday, November 10, 2006


I'm feeling grumpy. I think its mostly from lack of sleep. I think Claire is on another growth spurt. Yesterday, in spite of feeding her 120-130 cc's at each feed during the day, she insisted on eating every two and a half hours and then in the evening every hour when she took a bit less. She woke me up 5 times during the night. (only 3 times with hunger) if you divide 8.5 hours into 6 chunks with time taken out for feeding Claire and expressing milk you understand why I'm tired. I'm cranky partly because Claire has had exactly two 20-25 minute naps since she woke up at 7:15 this morning. The first one was interrupted by a telemarketing call. The ringer is off in her room but the main phone is in the kitchen next to her room and I couldn't find the handset so it rang 4-5 times and woke her. The other nap she took the last 20 minutes of our walk and woke up 5 minutes after we got home. The amazing think is, that she woke up perfectly happy and seems fine with her little cat naps.

The drool rash on her chin is almost cleared up. She has bad eczema on the front of her ankles which has lasted for weeks. Her cradle cap is constant in spite of my best efforts to beat it. The skin on her arms and legs is dry and behind her knees is red and inflamed. Poor little cherub. It doesn't seem to bother her when I touch these spots. She seems to like the "butterings up" as we call them when we massage her head with oils.

She looks like she is just about to drift off in the swing as I pump and blog. Her Physical therapist arrives in 20 mins. Hmm.

To Do

1:45 Physical therapy for Claire

Sew new velcro onto diaper cover

Fold Clothes

Tummy time


Take Walk

Finish trimming Claire's nails

Don't add too many things to the "to do" list (If you put the two words to do together you get a Spanish word Todo meaning everything.)

Claire is so interested in grabbing things and attempting to bring them to her mouth or just holding onto them for several minutes. Yesterday as we walked she was in the Snuggli Carrier and was holding onto the strap. She sometimes squeals with delight and sometimes makes a noise that sounds suspisciously like a giggle.

We are still getting gifts in the mail for Claire. We got two packages this week. Thanks Nanu and Uncle Jerry. It is so much fun opening packages.

Mark and I are looking forward to having the weekend together. It was a busy week. Thankfully I don't think we have anything planned for this weekend.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

What is RSV

By the way RSV is a common respiratoy virus that most children get by age three. It usually shows up as a mild cold but it can be very serious in preemies.

"Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a virus that causes a lung infection called bronchiolitis. Babies commonly get RSV. Two out of three infants are infected with RSV during their first year of life. RSV is highly contagious. It is spread by contact with infected fluids from the nose or mouth and through droplets in the air from coughing. RSV usually occurs in the wintertime.

Some children with RSV may have pneumonia or they need oxygen. Children born prematurely or who get RSV during the first months of life are more likely to have these complications.

Toddlers and older children with RSV usually do not have serious problems. For these children, RSV is usually no worse than a bad cold."

"Synagis is a medicine that helps prevent serious lung infections caused by RSV. Synagis is an antibody that is made using DNA technology."

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Claire got her first shot of Synagis, the RSV prophalactic yesterday. We had a longer than usual wait because one of the nurses (Our neighbor Patty) is on vacation. I was a little dissapointed that we didn't get to talk to the doctor, because I have my usual arsenal of questions. We will go back on Monday for her usual well baby visit, so I guess I can wait. She is up to 9 lbs 15 oz.

I took Claire into the LAUSD office briefly after the Dr. visit. I walked since it is just 5 blocks away. It was already very hot at 10:00 am. Everyone oohed and aahed. Too bad my boss was away at a meeting.

Claire is much more deliberate with her hands now. She is able to suck on one or more fingers (usually the whole fist) and keep her hand in her mouth longer. She is rarely interested in the pacifier now. She is getting good at grabbing things. Yeterday she was grabbing some of the hanging toys and seemed to get frustrated that she couldn't put them to her mouth since they were attached and wouldn't reach. She likes grabbing our clothing and still grabs my hair every chance she gets. She seems to be enjoying tummy time more and will stay on her tummy for several minutes.

Yesterday She had her biggest meal yet at 4.3 ounces! with her increased consumption, I have been thawing milk once a day. Hopefully my production will increase to meet her demand. It has before. Claire still refuses to nurse. She will sometimes take part of the breast in her mouth and play but will not latch on.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

good nap

Claire had a two hour nap this morning and was a much happier baby today because of it. Hurray! Her feeding were either 2 to 3.5 hours apart. Last night she had a 6.5 hour stretch between feeds 7pm to 1:30 am. She ate again at 4:00 am. We are planning on feeding her before we go to bed and see if she will take her nightime feed a bit later. She did sleep in till about 7:15.

I got to nap twice today and I'm still exhasted. I guess I'm still recovering from being sick. I hope to go to bed by 8:30.

We still suspect teething is in process although she doesn't seem to be in pain, she drools a lot (Her drool rash is almost healed.) She constantly wants to have something in her mouth (Still refuses to suck at the breast though.)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Feeling better

I'm feeling much better today. I guess it wasa 24 hour flu.

We called a houskeeper the other day. I thought she was coming today...maybe she'll come next Friday...Hmm. She came once before and was very thorough. We agreed that she should come twice a month on Fridays. I forgot to nail down an exact time. I guess I'll have to call her back.

There are new photos on flikr. Some with Claire's big smile captured beautifully. (Thanks to her dad's persistance)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Mr mom

Mark stayed home today and took care of Claire because I came down with the flu during the night. He did a great job. I slept most of the day as I was feeling achy and feverish. I took something for the fever about an hour ago and I think it just kicked in.

Claire thankfully slept a 5 hour stretch last night 7pm to midnight. I got sick after that. She still doesn't nap as much as the books say she should. We've figured out one pattern... She wants to eat more frequently in the late afternoon/early evening. She seems to be tanking up for her long stint of sleep.

Kudos to Mark also for replacing our crusty worn out kitchen faucet with a nice new one last weekend.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

nap challenge

Yesterday evening I was feeling discouraged about the new schedule because Claire's naps were so short yesterday and she was fussy all afternoon and early evening. (I guess this was silly to think the new tactics were going to work just after one takes time to adjust.) This morning she woke up after a short nap crying and I was able to interact with her a while... diaper change, massage, singing and then put her back to sleep. This time she woke up happy. I was even able to change her diaper before she ate. She also had a good long early afternoon nap and is playing batting at her toys and listening to Mozart while I pump.

Speaking of pumping, it sure is easier to fit pumping in with Claire eating fewer times. It doesn't feel like so much of a chore. It's also easier now because I can usually plan to do it while she naps or plays after a meal.

We just got back from the cardiologist who did an ultrasound of her heart and an EKG and said everything is stable and there is no need to intervene for now.

Last night wasn't as good as the previous one. In addition to Claire being up to eat at 12:30 am she was also awake from 1:45 to 2:45 (fussy) and 5:15 to 6:15 making little noises.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Jen's perspective

Yesterday was one of the longest and most difficult days of parenting yet! Saturday night I only slept about an hour and a half and that wasn't 90 mins in row. In the middle of the night after Claire had already woken up several times, I started reading the Babywise book that Mark mentioned in the last blog entry. I spent the rests of the night tossing and turning thinking about what I read and comparing it to other things I'd read and our experiences and trying not to think about it and go back to sleep...then I would just drift off and Claire would awaken wanting attention. Sunday I was a mess. We decised to skip church. I tried several time to take a nap. I slept about an hour in the morning and 45 mins in the afternoon. The other two times I tried to take naps I was just too upset to fall asleep. (This rivals the day we found out about Claire's brain bleed for the worst day of motherhood.)

Thankfully I had the sense to go to bed early. And with help from Jeeves and Wooster on CD I was able to fall asleep without hashing out sleeping/feeding issues anymore.

The Babywise book helped me to make an important connection. The connection between daytime feeding and nightime sleep. I foolishly let Claire get on a two hour schedule then on an even more frequent snacking schedule because I thought that would facilitate getting her off the bottle completely and onto the breast. (I tried doing cup feeding and syringe feeding and failed at both. I thought giving her smaller amounts this way more frequently might be do-able.) It turns out Claire was so tired and stressed that she couldn't tolerate attempting to feed in this way. She began waking every two hours at night which made her more tired. She was able to take some long naps the past two weeks during skin to skin. Anyway, I think the best advise in the Babywise book is that:

1. Baby isn't always crying because of hunger even if it seems near a usual mealtime (Just about anytime is near a mealtime when meals are only 2 hours from the beginning of one meal to the beginning of the next.)

2. Most babies need an hour and a half of naptime between daytime meals. I've had a hard time figuring out the whole napping thing. Sometimes I have been concerned that Claire wasn't napping enough but I didn't know what to do about it. Many times she would fall asleep on her own and sleep fine. Other times she wouldn't sleep at all between meals. Other tiems she would only sleep for 20-30 mins. The Key is to let her have awake time between the meal and the nap. Many times in the mornings especially, I would be tired, so if she fell asleep at breakfast I would imediately put her down and go back to bed. One thing I don't jive with from the book is putting them down for a nap and letting them cry for as much as 35 mins till they "learn the skill of going to sleep on their own." That seems harsh. I am okay with letting her whimper for 5 mins or so but then I'd rather intervene by rubbing her belly and helping her to relax instead of letting the crying escalate into an absolute fit so that she would only stop from exhaustion. By the way, when we put her down at night after her evening meal and late evening meal she is able to go to sleep on her own without crying so their supposition that babies need to cry themselves to sleep seems bunk.

3. A flexible 3 hour schedule seems to work well. A 3 month old does not need to eat every 2 hours and it only takes a bit of soothing and coaxing to extend the time between meals well as feeding her more at each meal.

Today I feel like a new woman. During the ten hours between when I went to bed and when I gave Claire breakfast I slept 8 hours!! Hurray.

wow, 5 hours between night-time feeds!

We tried a new feed/sleep schedule this weekend, and things are looking quite promising. Claire only woke up 3 times last night instead of the usual 6. Big improvement! Somehow earlier this month, we had drifted into a non-sustainable snack/nap/snack mode with only 1.5 to 2 hours between feedings. After 2 weeks of that, us 2 parents were haggard and desperate for a change. Sometimes we feel silly that we need to be told every little thing to do with the baby, but as they say, "babies don't come with instruction manuals."

We are now trying some of the BabyWise ideas, from a book given to us before Claire was born, but sitting on the shelf until a few days ago. It says that babies need sustained sleep just as much as their parents. We are combining concepts from another book called the No Cry Sleep Solution. Hooray for sleep! Gracias a Dios! (Mark wrote this.)

Friday, October 27, 2006

9 pounds 9 oz

I stopped by the pediatrician the other day to have Claire weighed. She's still gaining nearly an ounce per day.
She loves putting things in her mouth. Thankfully this interest is beginning to apply to the breast as well. She had it in her mouth briefly both yesterday and today without fussing. I was begining to get fainthearted, but it looks like there may be hope. I'm doing skin to skin every morning for a couple hours and using the sling when it works out with our schedule. Unfortunately, it is tough to get sling time in the afternoon and early evening between feeding her and expressing milk.

Monday, October 23, 2006

smiles plus

wide smile Claire has been smiling so much lately. It really melts me when she bestows one on me. I get them mostly in the morning right after she wakes up. Need to capture a picture soon. Her smile is unexpectedly wide and jolly; shaking the "petite and delicate" perception of her for the unwary.

I wore myself out this weekend by running sound for a conference at church during the day, and fixing my Mac laptop by night. Not to mention a few hours wiled away hacking at SecondLife.

My brain is always churning with numerous projects. One idea is to tear down the old termite-ridden backhouse/garage, and replace it with a shipping container for storage.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Whew continued

It was so nice to be sitting back against a wedge pillow in bed with Claire resting against me on the new nursing pillow from my mom, and to see Claire sleeping soundly. I read my most recent Everyday Food magazine that just came in the mail ths week. The same magazine inspired me to cook a lot of squash recently.

I think Claire might be starting teething. This afternoon and evening she had some fits of irritability and she had been drooling and gnawing on everything in the way, she is able to bring things up to her mouth. She even tries to put my finger in her mouth once she grabs it. This may also explain why she hasn't been napping very long lately. I guess today was catch-up day.

I am determined to focus on skin-to-skin, sling time and general closeness with Claire this week. No getting distracted with chores or other tasks. It is very silly, but I keep getting distracted. I really wanted to focus on nursing while my mom was here, but I was hyperactive because I had the opportunity to do some organizing and some sewing that I couldn't easily do without help around here. Then Claire started refusing the breast... My original intention when we brought Claire home was to continue with Kangaroo care. Unfortunately, I had a hard time selecting a sling and my homemade wrap was difficult to get Claire into and out of. Then the sling I ordered online was too big and I had to return it which meant another week delay. Meanwhile I was not used to carrying her since I was always sitting with her in the hospital. I was uncomfortable carying her around the house at first and had to use both hands. Finally I just expected that she would to continue to cling to me and fall asleep like she did in the hospital which was not the case. She became more active and it became less comfortable to try to hold her against me with her moving around the whole time. All this has meant that I lost sight of my original intention and have only done Kangaroo care sporadically. I hope I don't have unrealistic expectations after such a positive experience today.


A good day today.
Claire has not been nappping as much as we thought she should the past couple of weeks.
A few days ago she had several long naps and today she slept off and on till 2pm with brief intermissions for eats. T what do I attribute this? Holding Claire skin to skin and in the sling. It was my intention to do this as much as possible when I left the hospital. Well I've been actually doing it lately and it is great. This morning I took about 20 minutes to collect everything I would need on the bed...only I forgot the phone and a snack. I held Claire fromabout 9:30 to 12:15 the first 40 minutes or so were challenging because she was quite energetic and it is to super comfortable when she moves around a lot. Eventually she fell asleep and slept for several hours. Every now and then she would stir and I would offer her the breast and/or bottle. She had a couple short snacks from the bottle and went back to sleep. Then we got up and she ate while I pumped. Then I put her in the sling and we went for a long walk which she slept through.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Claire Can...

Last time I wanted to write more about what I've been trying and what the game plan is for coaxing Claire to nurse. Basically it is to give her plenty of opportunities to interact with the breasts by holding her skin to skin and offering the breast any time she seems at all interested. I also have been trying taking her into the bathtub with me. She is usually willing to interact with the breast but not to latch on. She sometimes gets frustrated after just a few minutes of playing other times she seems to enjoy it for a while

Claire is getting more and more interactive. She smiles more and more frequently and in response to us. She like to have her belly rubbed while she is on the changing table. She make lots of different sounds and sometimes she seems to be answering as we are talking to her. She likes to look at books aswe read to her. She looking at a variety of toys and sometimes tries to grab them. Today she grabbed inchy's feet during tummy time. She is able to bring her hands together and to her mouth and spends a good dealof time sucking on her fingers or fist. She is less interested in the pacifier. She is getting more control of her head but still needs support. She can track a toy as you move itaround in front of her.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

She's baffled the experts

Wendy, the new LC came over and tried to work with Claire at the breast. Claire was uncooperative, belligerant and very unhappy. We came to the conclusion that if she goes to breast it will have to be on her terms and in her timing. Please pray that God will give her a desire to breastfeed and me patience to nurture her and continue pumping milk. It is really frustrating because I think the pumping sometimes gets in the way of the nurturing. I was just about to go for a walk but then I realised that it's been nearly 4 hours since I pumped and I've had some painful plugged ducts lately so I have to pump before we can go. Much of the time I spend pumping I'd rather spend holding Claire.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A Bad Day

Yesterday was very difficult. I only got 3 hours of sleep the previous night and was feeling all stressed out about nursing. During the night Claire had many small meals, every hour and a half to two hours. This started the previous evening. She seems to be back on her normal schedule now. I'm not sure what the issue was. Maybe it was juat a growth spurt. I read some articles on the La Leche League website and talked to a LLL leader on the phone, as well as made an appt with a new LC, Wendy.

Monday, October 16, 2006


I think I need assertiveness training. Or at least I need to act instead of freeze up.
I've been thinking about the whole nursing issue again. I can't help but wonder (even though I know it does no good) I wonder if I had taken that nurse's advise at the UCLA Westwood hospital and let Claire do non-nutritive sucking everyday if she would be nursing now. I think it got interrupted because Claire had distended intestines (aka bowel loops) shortly after she began to recieve milk. Then it was hard working with a different nurse nearly everyday. In retrospect I wonder why the lactation consultant there didn't work with us. I talked to her a couple of times about milk supply issues. Why is this taking so long? Why is the LC I went to so unhelpful? I'm grieving because I want so badly to be able to nurse Claire and seems like we are further away than ever. I want to be able to nurse without equipment or paraphernalia.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


I'm blogging and pumping in the computer room since the DSL connection died again.

Claire has been home for eleven weeks. She is smiling a lot now which is really gratifying. She loves to lay on the changing table and interact with whomever is changing her. But the past few days she has had some fairly lengthy fits of unhappiness. It is sometimes hard to figure out what it wrong.

We had two wonderful weeks with my mom AKA Nanu. Claire really seemed to enjoy interacting with her and it was great to have an extra pair of hands around here. Nanu and Claire had fun reading books together, playing during tummy time, early morning breakfasts, playing after diaper changes etc. I am really grateful for her time with us and am sad that she is gone again. Mom was great at keeping all my pumping equipment and bottles washed and ready to go, she kept up with the laundry and dishes and a hundred other things. We look forward to our next visit.

I'm still struggling to get Claire back to the breast. I want to follow advice from the Dr. Sears premature baby book regarding wearing her in the sling for several hours each day and putting her skin to skin but Claire hasn't been cooperative. I haven't yet met with a new LC. I will call tomorrow.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

back online

The mac laptop is back online if only temporarily.
It is hard for me to spend any time in the den where the desktop computer is...thus the lapse in blogging.

I went to the dentist Tues. afternoon and was pleasantly surprised by a good report. I used to brush multiple times per day before Claire came into my life. I've managed to keep up with daily flossing and using the electric toothbrush sporadically... I think that's what saved me.

Claire is still on a nursing strike. She will act like she is getting ready to nurse and then as soon as the breast goes in her mouth she cries. Sometimes she cries after just a few minutes of licking. And this is at times when she is happy between meals. I've been putting her skin to skin everyday to encourage her to become freindly with the breast again. She will usually lick it and play around for a few minutes then she gets upset. When I remove her from the breast, she calms down. She used to take comfort in the breast and suck for a while and fall asleep. She used to suckle while a bottle was heating during the night. Now she rejects the breast every time it is offered. I'm really bummed out about this turn of events. I went to the lactation consultant on Monday and didn't find her to be very helpful. I think I'm going to have a different LC come to the house. I've been reading articles on the La Leche League website. I tried taking her into the bathtub which started out well but then she got spooked and we had to cut the bathtime short. This was really disappointing because both the La Lehe articles and the LC suggested doing this to help her relax and be interested in nursing.

After several false starts with house cleaners we found someone to come. She will come on Monday for the first time. Hopefully it will work out and she can come regularly.

My mom has been a tremendous support the past two weeks. On Saturday she leaves us. It is amazing that even with help I was unable to squeeze in things like a visit to the YMCA or back exercizes or exercize video.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

new pics, and a movie

ClairePoster6bgetting tired
Pics on Flickr as usual.

You can watch the movie on YouTube here. It is a retrospective of Claire's first 130 days set to music, plus some footage shot this morning.

More Good news

Thanks be to God. All the doctors and therapists that interact with Claire have said that she is developing normally. We are thrilled and relieved. We are thankful for the prayers of friends and family. I sometimes call Claire my miracle baby :).

The ocupational therapist came today to evaluate Claire. She said that Claire doesn't need any occupational therapy since she has good muscle tone and sucking skills. The therapist said she doesn't show any signs of having a brain bleed and seems normal. It was fun watching Claire interact with her as she showed Claire a bright rattle toy and Claire tracked the toy side to side and up and down. She also observed Claire eating (at the breast with the shield and with the bottle) and suggested various things. She felt Claire's suck and said that she has the skills and should be able to breastfeed. (HURRAY!) I need to keep her awake at the breast and entice her to persist in getting started until the milk starts flowing. She suggestred pulling Claire closer and working with the lactation consultant in order to wean Claire off the nipple shield.

Claire has been really impatient for her feeds the past several days. When I tried to put her to the breast without the shield for the therapist she screamed. When I use the SNS she gets mad if the milk flow slows down. Claire usually will take the breast while a bottle is heating up but starting in the wee hours of the morning she wouldn't. She didn't take the breast at all today.

At some point in the last couple weeks she started getting fussy during burping sessions... now she starts screaming and arching and throwing a fit when we take the bottle out of her mouth to burp her. I've been letting her have more than an ounce at a time and burping her when she's a little more satisfied but then she usually has some spit up.

Today I tried several times to put her to the breast with and without the nipple sheild and she did the same screaming fit complete with tears and turning red as soon as I put the breast to her mouth. This was very frustrating and saddening. I don't know why she was acting this way. I made an appointment to see the lactation consultant on Monday afternoon.

I wrote this 9:30 Friday evening and was unable to post it till now due to flaky internet connection.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I spent a bunch of time yesterday and the day before putting things away, sorting through mail and other paperwork, paying bills etc. The house is looking much better.

I had a nice cuddle session with Claire. She was nursing off and on and napping off and on. Her naps today have been pretty brief. She had a fitful night last night. Hopefully tonight she will resume her usual habbit of sleeping well for the first half of the night.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Our wireless internet connection has been flaky the past few days. That is why I haven't blogged. We went to the neurologist today and she said that Claire looks great and that there is no sign of her brain bleed in Claire's behavior/ abilities. What a relief. She said there is no hydrocephalous based on the CAT scan that was done a couple of weeks ago. The blood has started to metabolise. She said that it should be totally cleared away by Claire's first birthday. She wants to see Claire again in 4 months.

I tried to publish photos to Flickr from the laptop but I couldn't get online due to the above mentioned connectivity problems...hopefully soon.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Busy Weekend

We had fun visiting with family at my brother's house on Friday. Claire seemed a little overwhelmed with a house full of people and didn't nap very much. She napped much better on Saturday at home while my mom and grandma visited us. In the evening Mark picked up his Dad at the train station and now I'm doing last minute pumping before we leave for Church.

Friday, September 29, 2006


Claire will be Chrismated on Sunday. We are excited that my family and Mark's dad will be in town for the event.

It is about 5:20 as I write this and I've been up for over an hour. I went to bed later than I should've.

The housecleaner I called Monday wasn't able to come this week. I am obsessed with this wacky idea that I should clear away clutter and get organized and put things away before they come to clean. There is a lot of this sort of thing that needs to be done and at the rate I'm going, it could take a month or so. Maybe I'll be able to make progress while my mom is here.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Check out Flickr Photos

I posted photos from the weekend on Flicker. I think y'all will enjoy them.


It is so exciting to see how much Claire has grown. She has grown out of most of her preemie clothes. She has just about grown out of the cute pink pants suit from Uncle Jerry which was solong on her a few weeks ago when she wore it. Today she is wearing a different panstuit for the first time. It covers her feet, but that is good since it is still cool this morning. I was just looking at a photo of Nanu holding Claire in the hospital and it amazes me that she was so tiny. I am eager to have her weighed. I keep forgetting to measure her length. maybe today.

Borders Express

Claire and I went to the Borders Express near us. It was my first time going there and I was impressed with the selection considering the small size of the store. Unfortunately, Claire was not impressed and I forgot her after selecting a few books for her cousin Andrew's birthday present, I set them down and went back to the car to get the pacifier. On the way Claire fell asleep in the sling so the passifier became unnecessary. I thought about changing her diaper while at the car but opted not to. Ten minutes later when I patted Claire's bum, I wished I had. Moisture from the diaper has soaked through to the sling. UGH! Oh well. I forgot I was trying something experimental. I had used a small cloth diaper inside the gdiapers cover. The cloth diaper was not absorbant enough for the length of time I had it on her. Oops.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Weekend Away

We took Claire on her first weekend adventure away from home. Mark had his 20 year High School reunion in Oxnard so we met Claire's Nanna and Papa at the hotel. They babysat while we went to the party. The highlight of the trip was spending Sunday with Mom and Martin toodling around the historic district.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

she's not always happy

But she's always cute (to me). Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 21, 2006

More Photos

I just uploaded more photos to Flickr. This includes two from today. Claire seemed to enjoy tummy time a lot more today and stayed there for about 10 minutes. The other photo from today is the after bath photo. I'm getting better at this bath thing. I was quicker today. Her skin seemed ultra dry afterwards so I slathered her with Eucerin.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


We have recieved a number of lovely handmade gifts for Claire. As someone who enjoys making gifts for my loved ones, I really appreciate the time and effort and creativity that has gone into each one. I was thinking about this after snuggling with Claire under an Afghan that one of Nanna Pennie's customers made for Claire. The first handmade gift she recieved was a flannel patchwork quilt from Nanu. She enjoyed looking up at this in the NICU where it covered her isolette to block the glare of florescent lights. Now we use it for tummy time.
We also recieved a beautiful baby/lap quilt from her great-grandmother which matches the quilt we have on our queen sized bed. This is currently at the foot of the twin bed in the nursery. We received another beautiful afghan from a dear friend of the family in New Mexico. You may have noticed some hand knit hats in recent pictures on Flickr which a friend in Washington made. Claire wears these all the time now. Claire also recieved a hand knit sweater from one of Nanna's friend's in Lompoc. It shouldn't be long before she has grown into it.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

About Claire

Claire is growing blond fuzz on the top of her head. Her eyelashes are growing longer. She enjoys swinging and looking at her mirror. She has been batting at her toys which hang above her bouncy seat. She will only tolerate tummy time for a few minutes at a time. She hasn't had any painful gas episodes for a few days but still sleeps fitfully for the second half of the night regularly. (I think this is gas related.)


Claire nursed for an hour at the breast this evening (with nipple shield and without the supplementer). While I am very happy about it, I am mystified as to how she could then take 3 oz (a full feed) by bottle immediately following. I know she was drawing milk because occasionally I would feel a trickle on my side. Why is she letting some milk escape? How much is she getting? Why is she not getting enough to satisfy her during an hour of sucking? Itseemed like she really was sucking most of the time and not resting or playing. I hope the opccupational therapist can shed some light on things.

Monday, September 18, 2006

4 hours

Claire actually slept for 4 hours in a row! I slept for 3.75 hours in a row! Please let this be a trend.
I was remarking to Mark that it seemed like Claire didn't do as much daytime napping as I guess she was exta tired.

When I started feeding her at 3:00 am she passed a lot of gas but it didn't seem to bother her. She took 80cc from Dr. Brown's bottle and burped twice. I held her upright for 20 mins and put her to bed. So far I haven't heard a peep.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Oh yeah

My mom reminded me that I never blogged about getting the CAT Scan. It was interesting. We drove out to UCLA early one morning and went to the basement where a technician lead us into a small room with a machine that looked like a big metal doughnut. I fed Claire a bottle while the technician did the scan so Claire would lie still. It was done in about 5 minutes or so.

I'm very excited that my parents and grandma are coming out from Arizona at the end of the month. My mom will stay for about two weeks to help us. Hurray! I'm hoping that with help from the OT and assistance from my mom we can get this breastfeeding thing underway. Claire still can't get all her necessary nutrition from the breast even with the suplemental nurser. I'm feeling very bored with pumping.

Friday, September 15, 2006


Claire finally got her bath today after many days of postponement. After I wrapped her up and put her down for a nap, I realized I forgot to clean her ears.

The last couple days she has had a fluctuating appetite. Some meals she'll take 3oz and other meals only one oz.

She is more interested in looking at and batting at her toys now. She seems to like the mirrors. I tried to buy a rattle for her at Rite Aid but they didn't have a traditioanl rattle. I wanted something small that she can easily hold onto. She continues to practice grabbing things including my glasses.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


I forgot to mention there are new photos on Flickr...

This has been a tiring week. I can't wait for weekend. Today the service coordinator from Lanternman Regional Center came and we made a plan for Claire including assessments by occupational and physical therapists (OT & PT) and weekly visits from someone who will provide developmental stimulation and show us activities to do with Claire. I also found out that they will fund 16 hours a month of "respite" aka babysitting. Hurray! This can either be someone we know or someone reffered through an agency. We doon't have a regular babysitter yet...we really need one though. Markos and I need to have some time to ourselves once a week.

Gas is one reason that I am particularly tired. Claire wakes up with it in the night most nights. This afternoon she had a particularly painful episode which began just before the Lanternman woman came. I pumped her legs rubbed her tummy and she expelled gas several times...fell asleep and awoke 40 mins later with more gas. Dr.Brown bottles were recommended to me on two occasions for gas so I bought 2 this evening. ( I stalled Mark's Trooper more than a dozen times... forgot the e-brake.)

Claire will only let me nap for about a half an hour at a time these days. If she's in the sling or being held she'll sleep for hours.

I forgot to mention also Claire is now 21 inches long and weighs 7 lbs 10 oz. She acquired a new habbit...she cries when we pause a feeding to burp her. One way to console her through the burpings is to let her suck on my thumb. She has been very reluctant to burp lately even though we persist patting and rubbing for 20 minutes sometimes. The Dr suggested Mylicon drops. We got some yesterday. Not sure how effective they are.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Dr Visits

We went to the cardiologist on Tues and the Pediatrician today. Both said she is doing great. Heart surgery will probably be at 18 months or 2 yrs old.

Our good friend Beth just returned from Greece and stayed with us last night. It was great to catch up in the wee hours of the night. She also was kind enough to do two early AM feedings for us since her schedule is off from returning from Europe. She also did a big load of dishes after breakfast!

I bought anti-gas drops for Claire to see if that helps her to sleep better without having hour long gas episodes during the night. We also bought the "Miracle Blanket". We used it last night for the first time and Claire stayed swaddled! Hurray.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


In spite of a rough night we had a good day. We practiced nursing 4 or 5 times with and without the SNS. Each time is seemed to get easier. We took a field trip to Echo Park and I walked around the lake with Claire in the Kangaroo Pouch. I took photos of the Lotus. (This is something I like to do each year when they are in bloom.) An artist who was there painting took our picture. After the park I switched to Mark's sling (In order to work diffrent back muscles) and walked to the Downbeat cafe and got a decaf mocha over ice. Yum!

Tonight has been a much better night. I went to bed at 9:30. Pumped when Claire woke up at 11, then slept till 2:30. I only remember hearing her and Mark stir once in that time. Simce I put Claire down to pump I haven't hear her stir. With any luck, I'll be asleep again by 4am.

Monday, September 11, 2006

more of the same

Clsire slept until I was done pumping. I got in bed at 3:53 and Claire started making noise and moving around sometime before 4. At 4:24 I asked Mark to take over. at around 4:30 I went to sleep. Whew!
Now it is naptime for both of us:)

Worse than typical night feeding

2:05 I finally rouse myself after several minutes of Claire's chirrupings and pick her up and go into the nursery...the night light isn't on, the mobile is blocking the bouncy seat where I would normally put her down, she is already fussing. I carry her into the kitchen and grab a bottle of breastmilk from the fridge and stick it in the milkwarmer. One-handed, I push the button and knock the whole thing over and water goes everywhere. I fumble to get a paper towel (still one-handed) while Claire is crying more loudly in my ear. There is no pacifier in sight. I grab a cup and refill the warmer and get the milk started. I go sit in the rocker and reach for the nipple shield which I also had just looked for on the drying rack in the kitchen. With no night light on I can't find it. I get Claire to latch onto the breast and she quiets down for 5 mins or so while the milk heats. I get up and change her diaper...the crying starts again. This time there is a pacifier within reach...she won't keep it in her mouth and keeps crying and moving making it difficult to do the diaper change. I turn on the night light and give up on getting the second snap fastened (good news is she has practically grown out of this onsie.) I take Claire and grab the bottle out of the warmer and exchange the lid for a nipple (one-handed). Finally we sit down and I put the bottle in her mouth and the crying ceases. I tuck a bib under her chin and she chugs milk loudly. I'm thirsty, but can't find the water bottle I set out last night. I tip the bottle down so she won't chug so fast. (They call this a slow flow nipple??) She eats and poops. I burp her. She finishes the bottle. I try for 10-15 minutes to get another burp. I'm still thirsty. I put her on an incline on the bed to change her. I re-swaddle her. Whew no spit up. I sit back down and she spits up. I rock her to sleep. Just as I'm about to get up to put her in bed she wakes up and I do it again. Finally at 3:10 I put her in bed. I hold her for a couple of minutes. When I let go she makes a clearing-the-throat type noise (This is her typical night noise.) I watch her and she settles down and stops kicking. I go get a snack and my pump parts; I hear her making a few noises, I start pumping and hear nothing more from her. 3:48 I'm done and can get back to bed.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

mid-weekend stroll

The three of us walked to the Post Office after lunch, then to Ragazzi Room which is the nearest coffee shop. By coffee shop, I mean a place with old wood floors and a brick wall and makes lattes and mochas and chai and frappachinos. It is about a mile away from our house, and we've walked there the previous 2 Saturday's no problem. After we got home, I realized how much longer it was to go to the Post Office and Ragazzi on the same trip. Jen & I are both out of shape, so the extra exercize is good. Claire was well-behaved the entire time. She mostly slept, then we fed her a bottle at Ragazzi. Then Jen needed to go home to pump, so I carried Claire. Our practice has been to keep Claire upright for 20 minutes after every feeding to prevent gastro-reflux. It works pretty well, and the few times we forget, she usually spits up. But carrying her while walking is more work, so I am all the more tired from the long walk and carrying her. In a few weeks she will be big enough to sit upright in the stroller, but for now, she lays in the car seat strapped to the stroller. Since the two parts are not the same brand, they don't fit in such a way that the car seat can sit upright.

After feeding and changing Claire's diapers, Jen & I pondered our evening. Neither of us had the strength to go to the grocery store, so Jen made dinner while I held the baby. The fridge gets emptier every day, and the shopping list gets longer. Maybe I'll submit an order to next time Claire is sleeping on my lap. Glad my lap is big enough for both her and the computer at the same time, otherwise I might be a bit bored sometimes while rocking her to sleep.

Less computing at home might encourage me to get more reading done. As it is, I finished a William Gibson novel yesterday. Another one is arriving in the mail via next week. Today I started another novel, but it is off to a slow start. I'll give it a little more time before panning it, so I won't name it yet. It might be better for my career if I would read technical work-related books at home, but I've never been that career-minded, so usually end up just using those kind of books as look-up references at work.

When I rode the bus to work, I read more. I miss the bus; partly for the reading time, and partly for the walks to and from the bus stop.

49 ounces gained

In 47 days (As of Wed.) Claire gained 49 ounces. She came home at 74 ounces and is now 123 ounces. That beats the one ounce a day recommendation for growth (just slightly).

I gave her a bath on the kitchen table on Thursday. This was easier on my back than kneeling over the tub. Mark wants to help with a bath tommorrow.

Claire's eyelashes have become visible in the last week or so although you still can't see any eyebrows.

On Thursday night Claire slept a record 4.5 hours in a row. I guess she was extra tired from the new SNS feedings.

She did a lot of napping on our laps Friday. (Mark took the day off to go with me to the cardiologist but the appointment had to be changed to Tuesday.) It was nice to have an extra day at home together.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Claire Trivia

Claire has two birthmarks, one on the back of her neck called a "stork bite" and the other is on her cheek just under her right eye and looks like a little red scratch. The doc says they will both fade away in the next two years.

Claire weighed in at 7 lbs 4oz Yesterday!! We did some calculations, and that works out to gaining exactly 1 ounce per day since she came home on July 21st.

Her favorite food is fresh breastmilk...not previously frozen. We have so much frozen milk on hand from when she was in the hospital that we are donating a big box to the nearest Mothers' Milk Bank.

She likes books with big bold pictures with high contrast. (We read The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle yesterday.)

She has a little bit of eczema/dry skin the problem is mosly cleared up but her arms are still a bit rough and flaky.

She enjoys baths and head massages.

She falls asleep on car rides.

She likes long afternoon naps in the sling.

Supplemental nursing system is a container filled with milk hung around my neck with a tiny tube attached. This tube I insert in the nipple shield and it delivers more milk so that when Claire sucks she gets milk with every suck so that she gets used to breastfeeding. It went well two times yesterday. This morning it was a little rocky and I forgot to burp her halfway so she spit up at the end. Oops. I gotta run to the La Leche meeting. I'm going to be late but I had to feed Claire and pump.


Claire fed at three hour intervals all night. 11:30. 2:30 and 5:30. Hurray.

I met with the lactation consultant yesterday and decided to buy a supplemental nursing system, more on this later. I'm going back to bed.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Today I found out there is another LaLeche meeting this Thursday morning. I bought yet another sling which will hopefully be better for Kangaroo care and nursing.

I took a three hour nap on the couch this evening and am pumping right now. I'm looking forward to more sleep.

Claire had a few 3 hour stints between meals again. This usually happens in the afternoon when she takes more milk per feed. I try to give her two and a half ounces earlier in the day, but she refuses to take more than 2 ounces. In the late afternoon she'll take 3-4 ounces! We also had a three hour stint last; thankfully this is becoming more common.

Monday, September 04, 2006


Saturday night I got a record breaking 8.5 hours of sleep. I went to bed around 8pm to do it. It was so nice going to church well rested.

We had someone come and clean our house Saturday. She thouroughly cleaned the bathroom, baby's room and our bedroom dusting everything including all the books on our bookshelf. I wanted this done because both Claire and I have been sneezing. these three rooms took 4 hours and 85 dollars and the kitchen is still a disaster.

The past few days I've spent a little bit of time thinking about the first two months of Claire's life. I am so grateful to my mom for her time with us. She gave us so much support and encouragement during both of her stints with us. It would've been impossible without her. I'm so glad she was with us the day we found out about Claire's brain bleed I am also glad for Luke amd Tiffany's support that day...they happened to take us out to lunch that day right after we had met with the doctor.
Sometimes when I think back to my time spent in the NICU I am sad that I didn't communicate better with the nurses. It was so hard dealing with so many different caregivers and I was depressed...I just didn't have the energy to explain my desires and ask for what I wanted. I felt like everything was out of my control. On a few occasions I was denied the opportunity to do Kangaroo care. This was extremely painful for me. I also felt bound by their schedule. The 4 hour touch time...then three hour feeding schedule made our lives more difficult in some ways. If I could only hold her during and right after a feed and she had to learn to take all her feeds by bottle where was there room to teach her how to breastfeed? I would always hold her skin to skin when she was already well satisfied after a feed so she wasn't inclined to go to the breast, she was inclined to sleep, plus I felt like I would have to ask permission from the nurse if I wanted to try to put her to the breast and this was difficult for me. Also I was under the misaprehension that Claire would learn to breastfeed in a couple of weeks at the most when she got home and had more opportunities. Neither the lactation consultant, Ocupational therapist nor nurses educaterd me about transitioning Claire to the breast. They showed me how to get her latched on and stimulate her jaw to encourage swallowing. I had read in teh kangaroo care book that most babies who receive kangaroo care go home breastfeeding so I guess I was just waiting for this to magically happen.

Can DO: lick. She starts some feeds by licking several times. She likes to try things in her mouth especially the edge of her shirt while we are dressing her, the esge of her bib while we burp her. She is also salivating much more than she ever did and sometimes blows tiny bubbles. She also makes a cute sighing/singing sound after sneezing which I adore.

Can Do 2

Mark and I were brainstorming yesterday about things to add to Claire's Can do list.

She can:
Sometimes suck on her thumb, finger, fist or forearm when they manage to find her mouth.

Grab things. Her new favorite is grabbing onto dad's shirt. Yesterday she grabbed a toy rattle that was dangling near her.

Look at things that are further away and sustain her glance. She is interested in looking at things behind us while we burp her.

Drink a bottle using rhythmic sucking which makes the process go much faster.

Sleep for 2.5-3 hours at a stretch between some feedings. (Hurray.)

Eat 3 ounces at a time more than once in an evening. (Saturday evening she had 100mls for three feeds in a row then slept for 3 hours!)

Friday, September 01, 2006


I had a lovely visit yesterday with Adriana and Janice from church. It was so nice to have good company, help folding laundry, food for dinner (and extras for today and tomorrow), and a little break from holding the baby.
visit 3visit 1
I have an appointment next Wednesday with a lactation consultant. (She knows Claire and I from the hospital.) Today I did some strategizing and figured out that I can detect when Claire is starting to get hungry, pump one breast briefly to get the milk flowing and then put on the nipple shield and try to nurse. I did this three times today with success during one feeding. She lost some milk out of the side of her mouth though and her sleave was all wet. Hmmm.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


I feel conflicted about what to do much of the time. It is hard to decide what to do... should I continue to hold Claire in the sling since she is sleeping soundly? Should I take her out and put her down, risking awakening her in order to express milk since I feel the need to pump?
At other times of day it's should I lay down and try to sleep since Claire is sleeping or should I grab a bite to eat and wash bottles so they'll be ready for the next feed?
Do I have enough time to toast this bagel and bring it in to the nursery before Claire needs to start feeding?

Should I blog while I pump or read or just relax?

Sometimes I end up holding Claire while I pump... this is challenging if she is fussy or squirming (which is usually why I pick her up.) And has resulted in spilt milk on a couple of occasions.

I feel discouraged about nursing after reading about "nipple confusion" at He recommends banishing the bottle. For us this is nearly impossible. We tried on day. Feeding a child who eats every two hours through the day and night using a syringe or cup is just not feasible...not if you want to have any time and energy for trying to teach her to nurse, pumping milk, eating and sleeping.

an inconvenient outlet

As a native Southern-Californian, I am often reminded of our good fortune weather-wise.
Most recently in this article exposé on air-conditioning by William Saletan. I love his irony:

"We saw Al Gore's movie, An Inconvenient Truth. Walking out of the air-conditioned theater, we agonized over what we could do to fight global warming. The conversation ended when we realized that our most useful contribution would be to cancel the renovation."

Claire's nursery does have a small window-unit air-conditioner I must admit. She came home in July when temperatures were in the 90's, so A/C in that room was a treat for a week or two. I've mentioned my proclivity for gadgets before, so here is a rundown of the various devices plugged into Claire's room:
North Wall:
  • air-conditioner
  • boom box
  • reading light
  • breast pump
  • extension cord leading to...
    East wall:
  • bedside light
  • laptop charger
    South wall:
  • cordless phone charger
  • nightlight
  • baby-wipes warmer
    West wall:
  • fan
  • clock
  • air-purifier

    You'll notice that averages over 3 items plugged into it each outlet, therefore requiring those ugly power-splitter hanging out of them. I shudder to remember that this room only had one outlet in it when we first moved into the house 3 years ago.

    The one consolation to my eco-ego is that I figure living in Southern California with the nice weather makes me a lower net consumer of energy than my Oklahoma relatives who run air-conditioning several months out of the year, and heating the remainder.

  • Saturday, August 26, 2006

    from the well of exhaustion

    Advice for parents-to-be: (From Mark)
    1. Pace yourself on the caffeine--you'll need it more after the baby comes home.
    2. Learn to dance now--there won't be time later, and the baby will enjoy dancing. Though I must say that the style that calms her the most is when I do something more like a "silly walk" than smooth ballroom.
    3. Get a good digital camera and practice transferring the photos. And a color printer and some photo paper. Ideally, get a combo that can print without the "computer as middleman." I say this because you won't have time to get regular film developed and printed, plus people like pics along with the blog entries.
      balancing bottle trick

    Other tips:
    • try to live near a drugstore, because you will often run out of key supplies at inopportune times.
    • learn to cook breakfast one-handed...handy skill for just about every house-hold chore.
    • get wireless networking and a laptop if you ever hope to use the computer after the baby comes home. Either that or combine the den and the nursery.
    • network with friends who will be willing to come by and help out after the baby arrives.
    • devise strategies for staying healthy under stress--this experience is something like a camping trip: have plenty of water bottles and healthy snacks on hand, as well as warm clothes for wee-hour feeds.
    • get your address-list and/or mailing-label situation straightened up ASAP, so you can send out baby announcements--and it also makes thank-you cards easier.
    • get the remodeling done early--in case the baby comes early

    Friday, August 25, 2006

    Can Do

    I tried to put Claire in the sling so we could both have a nap but she wasn't having any of it... turns out she has gas. Then I tried putting her down in our room to nap . She slept off and on and I barely dozed for a few moments. Oh well. Maybe later

    Things Claire can do. She can grab things. Her specialty is grabbing my hair when I forget to out it up. Thankfully she doesn't pull. She can roll from her tummy to her side. When she is on her tummy, she can move her head from one side to the other. She has become interested in faces. She seems to like to look at whoever is holding her. She makes random smiles... Usually when drifting off to sleep.

    Thursday, August 24, 2006


    I got out of bed to pump milk 50 mins ago. I've spent 5 minutes pumping and 45 minutes trying to get Claire swaddled, settled and sleeping. (The receiving blankets in the hospital were much better for swaddling. They were bigger and heavier. The ones we have Claire can easily squirm out of in about two minutes no matter how snugly we think she is wrapped.) The trick was to put her in the swaddler jammies the Herneys got for her and nurse her to sleep...then she woke up 5 mins later and took about 5cc from a bottle and is still sleeping.

    However, I did get some good sleep between 11 and 2 and last nightI slept from 9pm to 1am on the couch and sporadically after that. So I felt quite well rested.

    We went to see the pediatric neurologist. She did a cursory evaluation of Claire and ordered a CAT Scan. She asked me some questions about Claire's behavior and evaluated to see if Claire could track her face as she moved from side to side. She also checked reflexes and response to sound. All of these were normal for Claire's age. She mentioned some milestones to look for in the next couple of months and talked about what they were looking for with the CAT scan. There are two main concerns that the area of the brain that had the bleed may be malformed and that the protiens from the bleed may block the regular flow of cerebro spinal fluid... in which case a shunt may need to be installed. (Please pray that this is will not be necessary.)

    Tuesday, August 22, 2006


    I think my longest stretch of sleep last night was an hour and a half! Claire was so noisy all night long. I would rock her to sleep and put her down and she would be quiet but a few minutes later would wake up and make her grunting and gurgling noises and occasionally call out. I would soothe her again and again. I tried ignoring her noises and hoping she would fall asleep. Eventually she would sleep for 45 mins or so until the next meal.

    Right now she is wide awake and I am exhausted!

    Hopefully she will get used to sleeping in her new bed soon.

    Monday, August 21, 2006

    Church and News

    Yesterday we took Claire to church for the first time. It was good to be back. I hadn't been to church since May! Claire was content and everyone was happy to see her and welcome me back. It was great catching up with people I hadn't a chance to see since before the birth.

    On the way home we bought a stroller and today I just took it for a test drive to the pocket park around the corner. It works great. Claire fell asleep so she is sitting in it till I finish pumping.

    This morning was nice. After Mark left around 8:30 I rotated between three activities: feeding Claire, napping and expressing milk. Finally around 11:00 I got up for the day.

    Not much progress with nursing. The past two days were pretty busy so Claire hasn't had much practice. We've made several attempts today with no interest shown on Claire's part in spite of me "priming the pump" beforehand.

    The bedside co-sleeper is working out well. I am getting used to sleeping through her sleeping noises and waking to comfort her when she's awake.

    She is wearing a new outfit that Mark's uncle Jerry and Pat sent. It is a tiny bit too big but looks cute on her nonetheless.

    We had extended Kangaroo time this morning and Claire slept on my chest for over an hour and a half. I read a Helene Hanff book that my mom sent to me recently. (thanks mom. I'm really enjoying Underfoot in Show Business .)

    Sunday, August 20, 2006

    Sling in "action"

    We bought this sling online and like it a lot. We have taken several walks with it also. More convenient than the one pictured earlier.

    Another convenience item is pictured in the background: a warmer for the baby-wipes. I never would have predicted myself as a consumer of such devices, but now that I am waking up in the middle of the night, I am eager to try anything that promises to make the chore easier and get me back into bed and to sleep sooner.
    sling in 'action'

    Saturday, August 19, 2006


    We had the best nursing session yet this afternoon. We got home after taking a walk with her in the sling and I hadn't expressed any milk for several hours she was hungry and started sucking vigoursly when given the oportunity to nurse.

    I hope this is the begining of a trend. It sure would be nice if she could nurse in bed at night. So I could catch a few more Z's... currently I get up, give her the bottle, burp her, hold her upright for a while to prevent reflux, then express milk. I do this twice during the night and it takes about and hour and a half. I'm lucky when I can do it in just an hour. (Mark also gets up a couple times during the night and early morning, but he can be done in less than an hour)

    We bought a "Co-sleeper" bed for Claire that attaches to the side of our bed so that Claire can be close to us. (As per Dr. Sears' suggestion in the Premature Baby Book . Last night was our first time using it. It is going to take some adjusting to. The first part of the night she was quiet and calm and sleeping deeply, but rest of the night she had frequent bouts of activity and made little noises. The great thing Dr. Sears suggests is that being close to her will help us tune in to her "cues" and distinguish what her various noises might mean.

    Reunion 20 HHS

    The Hueneme High Class of 1986 20 year reunion will be September 23 at Casa Sirena Hotel in Oxnard. I probably should have posted something about this sooner, since the tickets need to be purchased by next week. Ping me if you need info. Or rather ping Nancy {Roman) Lee. Hoping to see my friend Andy K, and others there.

    Update: I reluctently joined to check on the reunion info there. I say reluctently because I canceled years ago due to the bombardment of spam that seemed to issue from that place. Unfortunately, it seems they still persist in their money-grubbing ways, at least judging from the over-use of ads on their site. For instance, even though my profile clearly indicates that I am married, one of the site's most prominent ads is for on-line dating. Shouldn't technology make advertising more tailored? Speaking of technology, their site is actually not very useful or usable. Advice to concentrate first on building value into your product and enhancing the user community, then, and only then, gradually add in appropriatly targeted advertising.


    Well the transition to life at home without help from mom has proven challenging. I was exhausted and depressed by the time Mark came home from work yesterday and Claire was fussing and I was stressed. She hadn't slept much all evening and was fussy. I had a good long cry when Mark came home and I talked to him about how I felt and why and we figured out some solutions like encouraging more visitors, having Mark drive instead of take the bus so that his commute time is reduced, wear Claire in the sling for more hours of the day and taking a break sometimes.

    When I woke up for the 3 am feed I was already feeling better and Claire and I had a great day today.

    We got a nice break tonight. It is our fifth wedding anniversary and we went to an expensive downtown restaurant called Engine Co. No. 28. The food was delicious the service was great and the company was top notch. Our good friend Beth Hupp stayed with Claire while we went out.

    Wednesday, August 16, 2006

    Bath etc.

    I gave Claire a bath today. She fussed a little bit but overall she seemed to enjoy it. She smells so nice. I used Dove soap as per the pediatrician's recommendation. And I used Eucerin creme on the eczema that has appeared on her eyebrow area. I did this two days running and it seems to be clearing up.

    I tried nursing several times using the shield but Claire wasn't very interested.

    I took several short naps today. I guess the night feedings are catching up with me. Last night I was looking at the log and remembering that when she came home she only woke up every 4 hours now she wakes up every 2 hours...Ocassionally she will sleep for a three hour stint at night.

    We have finally got back into doing Kangaroo care and it has been really nice. The skin to skin time has become my favorite time of day. She is so soft and sweet. Yesterday when I held her skin to skin she immediately started moving around and rooting so I helped her get into nursing position.

    I have a whole list of activities that I'd like to do each day with Claire. I keep thinking I'll write them down...
    1. Kangaroo Care
    2. wear the sling
    3. take a walk
    4. get a little sunshine for vitamin D (Dr. Beesley's orders)
    5. four nursing sessions with shield
    6. Speak Spanish
    7. read a book
    8. tummy time to build upper body strength

    I bought Dr. Sears' book on preemature babies and am really enjoying it. I wish I would've had it two months ago.

    Monday, August 14, 2006


    I got to speak with a lactation consultant from the hospital today and she gave me a game plan for the week and her cell phone number so I can call her back on Friday. I'm supposed to use the silicon shield for nursing 4 times each day during times when Claire is alert and happy. She discouraged me from using the supplemental nursing system that I was interested in trying because preemies have negative associations with tubes from their NICU experience. Also she said the SNS is a lot of work to use and a pain to keep clean and in her 20 years of being a lactation consultant and nurse she has only had a handful of women who used it successfully.

    I was using the shield for a while but had a hard time keeping it on. It is hard for me to stick with any one strategy because it is so hard to tell is any of them work at all. She also encouraged me to express some milk before having Claire latch on to make it easier for her to get started.

    I love the sling. Claire seems really happy and comfortable in it and usually falls asleep pretty soon upon entry. I'm getting better at putting her in and taking her out which is a bit tricky with an infant who needs neck support.

    We have enjoyed comments on the blog from Claire's grandparents. :)

    The Home health nurse will come one last time tomorrow to assess Claire and weigh her. I'm sure she's over 6 lbs now. Yay!

    Saturday, August 12, 2006

    random musings

    It sure is hard to find time for things like blogging, teeth brushing, showering, exercize etc. when you have a newborn! Some of these things have just become easier to find time for now that our Kangaroo Pouch sling arrived in the mail. (It arrived in yesterday's mail but I thought it hadn't come since I checked the mail around 3pm and I brought in the previous day's mail.) Mark brought in yesterday's mail about 9pm and the baby was fussy...It turns out she needed to poop...the whole process took about an hour of so and I was exhausted from my first day at home with Claire on my own. My parents left in the morning to go back home and Mark went to work.
    The day went well until evening. I enjoyed visits with two friends from work and attempted to take two naps... both of which were cut short with feedings for Claire :) During the day yesterday she was eating about every two hours. During the night last night she lasted 3-4 hours and I got some solid sleep. Yay!

    Haven't had any more good nursing sessions since Wednesday. Claire won't stay latched on and pulls away or she falls asleep right after we start. I think it helps if I can express a little milk before we get started but it is hard to time this. Must persevere.