Monday, July 27, 2009

some thoughts on vaccinations

I'm going to try and label posts in this category from now on. I thought some people might be interested as I work through what vaccinations to give Grace and when she should receive them.

More vaccines are offered as standard in the US than in the UK, which means an even greater load on a developing immune system.

We've already turned down the Hepatitis B Vaccine, given it's a disease transmitted by dirty needles, unprotected sex etc. it hardly seems necessary to give it to a baby.

Whilst the older children aren't in school and Grace is exclusively breastfed and not in any daycare, she's at very low risk for any kind of disease, which buys us a little more time to make our decisions. Sausage Boy reacted to his first vaccines and he was a similar gestation to Grace, Banana Girl didn't react at all, but she was older (both gestationally and when we finally made it in to get them done) and significantly bigger, according to her red book, she was 12 and a half pounds when she got her vaccines, Grace weighed 9lb today. Sausage Boy was a little under 9 pounds by the looks of things, I don't know how much can be attributed to age or weight, but either way, for Grace things seem to only just be coming together, so we're not taking the risk of a set back now and will wait until she's bigger and older.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

ow, tailbone

I first injured my tailbone when Banana Girl was born, amongst everything else, it was a minor trouble and went unnoticed for a while until one specific symptom was pinpointed to it.

Last year, when I flew to England for a wedding, I set it off again, but I can't remember what helped it most, time was certainly a factor as there was bruising that needed to heal, but it was also out of line.

Now it seems to have come back with a vengeance, but I haven't a clue what set it off, I suspect it's a rather more general case of previous injury, weakened pelvic floor and abdomen. I suppose I can't even be 100% sure it really originates with my tailbone as there are slight differences in symptoms to previously, for example, I don't have a problem with sitting, other than on a hard floor which wouldn't be comfortable anyway, but getting up from sitting is painful. Climbing stairs are also particularly bothersome.

It seems to be getting worse not better, so simply giving it time to heal from the unknown doesn't really make sense, but I'm not sure where to turn.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Books everywhere!

We've taken advantage of the presence of my parents to do a fairly major house project. We've barely bought any more furniture since we moved here, but our house is about twice the size of our house in England. That doesn't equate to all that much extra wall space, particularly with fitted cupboards and less rooms. The one place that things looked a bit sparse and didn't really meet our needs very well was the living room. The TV was sat on an old coffee table and we had toys stacked up in boxes around it.

We've now moved a bookshelf and cabinet out of that room and replaced it with a wall of bookshelves with cupboards on the lower half and a TV unit in the middle. My parents have headed off to Victoria for the weekend and my task is to try and restore some sort of order to our books, which obviously had to be taken off the bookshelves to move them and some were in boxes anyway.

I've been attempting to put our fiction books into alphabetical order. I thought they would fit on 6 shelves and they do right now, but I rather suspect that another half shelf worth will emerge as I sort through other books. I've now got to figure out which shelf to use as the 7th whilst maintaining some kind of logic in what shelf is used for what.

Sorting out our nonfiction books will be rather more of a challenge, we have a lot of Christian books, which will all stay together, but we have a fairly wide assortment of other topics, so it could be "fun" figuring out how to group them.

Right now, I'm having a well deserved sit down!

This is also the first day that I've had significant time with all three children and no other adults, though as Grace fell asleep in my arms nearly 3 hours ago and then was quite happy to be put down, I'm having a fairly easy ride.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Some musings

I read somewhere you shouldn't use words like musings in blog posts, but I think it was all to do with attracting readers and that's not necessarily my aim, I doubt that my battles with depression and other chronic medical things are particularly interesting, even to people who know me.

Thankfully my mood has been better the past couple of weeks, hard to tell whether it's increasing my dose of the short term mood booster that also helps me sleep, or whether it's increasing the dose of SSRI two weeks ago. The short term mood booster, Seroquel is not a great drug for long term use, though in other mental illnesses, sometimes that is necessary and the risks are worth taking. Weight gain is a common side effect, which is not good for me as I don't deal very well with being a little bigger than I would like. I don't dare step on the scales to find out how much overweight I am, I also don't really dare restrict my diet as how much I eat and what I eat seems to impact on milk production and whilst Grace is doing loads better, she does still seem to need things to be as easy as possible.

I also notice that my mood is strongly linked to my tiredness levels, Grace didn't do well overnight last night, so Andrew had to bring her to me at 6am and I didn't get back to sleep as she she fed on an off then for quite a while. Andrew generally seems to need less sleep than me, but getting up in the night for a baby is tiring for anyone and he has to work and of course I feel guilty over letting him do this for me.

I notice I haven't posted any photos for a while, to be honest I haven't taken any for a while either. Thankfully for the last week my parents have been snapping away, so there won't be a long blank in Grace's early life. I'll try and get their photos onto my computer, though I'm not sure how easy that will be if they've wiped their memory cards as they've put them on to their laptop.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Things are looking up

I haven't updated for a while as my parents have been here.

Today we took Grace to a specialist in posterior tongue tie, it seems that she does still have some tongue tie that we could clip, but with discussion about how she has improved in the past week, the doctor's advice was not to clip today.

Apparently whether or not a baby has a tongue tie is determined at about 12 weeks of pregnancy, all babies have them until that point and then they recede. Spending another 25 weeks in the womb with a tongue tie can then have a huge impact on the development of their jaw, cheeks etc and how they use them, so having a tongue tie clipped is only then the beginning of a journey of learning how to use everything properly. Grace's improvements over the last week suggest she's well on the way and may not need further intervention.

Posterior tongue tie is also linked to reflux, which Grace suffers from, she started on Zantac last week, which does seem to help, worsening reflux would be another reason to get the remaining tie snipped.

We are about to set about on a major rearrangement of furniture and stuff, my dad and Andrew went to Ikea last night to purchase some new furniture to increase amount of storage, particularly for books in our living room. It's going to be a big job to build it all and do all the necessary moving.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


We went to Woodland Park Zoo today, as did very many other people! However, even though the car parks were full, the level of business inside wasn't too bad, there were lots of people around, but generally at an exhibit if there wasn't space to be right at the fence initially, it would only be a couple of minutes.

We'd planned it as a trip with friends who have a 7 month old, I wasn't sure quite how he'd react to it, I remember taking Sausage Boy to a place with small animals when he was about 10 months and him being quite fascinated by the tortoises and rabbits. You don't get so close to larger animals though, so I don't think he noticed he was anywhere special!

I'm moderately sore after walking around, then sitting in the car, but compared to being pregnant or during recovery from Banana Girl's birth it was nothing. I'm pretty pleased with how my hip is, as before I got pregnant, it wasn't really as good as I'd hoped for the time after surgery, but it got better through the first 6 months or so of pregnancy and didn't worsen significantly after that.

I also felt some pain around my incision, apparently because of the type of stitches used internally, I should expect to feel some pulling pain inside upto around 6 months.

Moodwise this is possibly the best day since the birth, I'm crossing my fingers it stays that way as I have noticed a tendancy to have a lower mood day following a physically tiring day.

I got an email yesterday reminding me that it's normal for breastfed babies to feed more in warm weather. Grace is the opposite to this and sleeps, so I'm expecting poor weight gain when we next weigh her, she actually slept through the night last night, babies that only weigh eight and a bit pounds are too small to sleep through the night, so if she does it again we'll have to start setting an alarm, which will be a pain.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


The scales tell us that Grace got 3.8oz at her last feed, which is pretty good, though it did take her about 45 minutes and plenty of breast compressions.

We got back in touch with the OT we saw two weeks ago and now have the name of a doctor who is an expert in tongue ties, we'll make an appointment and wait and see what happens, hopefully there will be something that she can deal with, if not I don't know where we turn next.

I've really been struggling with anxiety surrounding breastfeeding, this seems to have coincided with the medication change. I was struggling with anxiety before I started on zoloft and after a couple of weeks it really seemed to make a difference. My theory is that having lost the anti anxiety effect of zoloft that my physiologically tendancy to anxiety right now has settled on something that even if everything was perfect from a mental health perspective would still likely be a cause of stress, but has then gone beyond a normal response to a challenging situation.

We see the psychiatrist again tomorrow, so I'll definitely be talking about this, I hope she can suggest something that might help. I have also been told about a Christian counselling organisation that has a clinic fairly locally, I've put calling them on my to do list for tomorrow.

Monday, July 6, 2009

wobbly bits

Dancing went pretty good. However it's so noticeable that even without a prolonged period of inactivity that I really need to gain muscle strength in my feet and legs, I felt fairly wobbly in my high heels.

We rented a scale and found that Grace took 3.2oz from me aroun 7pm. She was then ready for another feed before I got back so she'd had 2oz from a syringe, then managed 2oz from me at about 9.45pm. She doesn't feed frequently enough for that volume to be sufficient, but it's hard to feed her more frequently if she's happy sleeping as she doesn't want to wake up!

we have scales

We are now the proud renters of medela baby scales!

The lactation consultant advises us to supplement Grace by bottle not by syringe, paranoid parents that we are, we're not convinced of this and are rather concerned that this will be the final nail in the coffin of her feeding at the breast.

To dance or not to dance

It's waltz class at 8pm tonight, I have to decide whether to go or not. It's another rock and a hard place thing - I need to exercise to lose weight and get trim and toned, but dancing is in a studio with mirrors, which will depress me. I also feel the need to dress nice and put on makeup, which I haven't done in months. So I can't decide whether to go or not.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

medication sending me crazy

I'm at the point of really wondering what on earth this medication is doing do me, I feel like I've gone loopy. However stopping medication was something I did last time and it really didn't work out well. Stuck between a rock and a hard place I guess.

Friday, July 3, 2009

poor weight gain

We decided to weigh Grace today, as tomorrow is a holiday. Unfortunately she's only put on an ounce in 6 days, she now weighs 8lb2oz. We thought things were improving and have been having her feed from me completely in the daytime, following her cues as to whether or not she appeared satisfied, meaning she only got supplements in the evening, then her overnight feeds were completely via syringe, then back to me in the morning.

This is definitely not an issue with my milk supply, I've been continuing to pump to give her a head start with my breasts being nice and full when she comes to feed.

We know what we need to do in the short term, which is to at least offer a supplement after every feed, even if she appears not to need it. This isn't easy as it requires Andrew to do it as she won't take it from me. But this doesn't give us a solution, it doesn't take us anywhere nearer to getting her fully breastfed.

So much for breastfeeding being cheaper than formula, we've spent way more this last 6 weeks than it would have cost to give her formula and the costs look set to continue as we have to extend the breastpump rental and we're being advised to rent scales, so we can measure intake at each feed and try and get a better idea of what is going on.