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Below are the 9 most recent journal entries recorded in McKenna Moments' LiveJournal:

Thursday, January 17th, 2008
10:36 am
[darthbecca]
nursing
I am about to become an adopt_a_mom mentor. In order to do so, it is necessary for me to write a breast feeding story, so the mods can refer potential mentees to it.

McKenna Sunshine was born on June 20, 2007. At the time that I write this, she is 3 days away from being 7 months old.

I will never forget the first latch. I was still on the hard bed thing in labor and delivery. I don't remember now, if they had stitched me yet or not. My midwives had been allowed to come into L&D (I was transferred, from my home birth as a precaution, due to my midwives feeling that I was bleeding too much) by that point, and as I held her in my arms, one of the midwives helped me guide her little mouth to my left nipple for the very first time. The latch, it was so strong. It was way stronger than I ever imagined. It didn't hurt - it wasn't that kind of feeling. It was just kind of a pressure. I don't know how to describe it.

McKenna nursed like a champ, from day one. I never had any issues getting her to latch on the left side. I struggled with the right side, and was thankful to have the LCs at the hospital for assistance. They stopped by several times after my first request for help, to insure I'd gotten nursing down on both sides.

She nursed a LOT those first couple of days. By about a day and a half postpartum, both my nipples were sore. Every time she latched, it felt like razors for about the first minute. I would literally gasp and hold my breath until the pain subsided. Then it was fine until the next time. I thought it was just from nursing being a new thing, and my breasts being tender.

Once I was home, the pain continued, and I asked some friends and some people online for advice. They all recommended that I check her latch to make sure she was latching properly. I glanced over some books that I had, and tried to balance looking at her little lips, holding her, and holding open a book to compare. That was a little tough, given that I was a new mom and had very little concept of how to hold a tiny newborn :) I noticed that her upper lip wasn't flared out like in the pictures, and I began to fix that with every feeding. I literally had to take my finger and unroll her top lip. That helped some, but the pain didn't entirely go away.

Finally, one night in that first week or two, I was up late with her on the couch, and the pain from the latch was so painful that I cried. I was frustrated. I wanted so much to nurse her, and to settle her. She was fussing and rooting and looking at me like, "Hello, what's the hold up lady?" I jumped on my laptop and did yet another search for proper latch, and I finally found a really good website. I realized her bottom lip was way too far up on my areola, and not down and below it like it should be. It was merely a matter of how I was holding her. I took a bunch of pillows, a "My Brest Friend" pillow and some blankets, and set up this great nest of nursing goodness. The pain slowly, but surely, went away.

In retrospect, I think part of the pain *was* just newness. And part of it was latch, and part of it was positioning. I can see how women with no support might give up during that first week. I am so thankful that I had more support than I ever imagined.

Nursing, for us, has been pretty smooth since that point. I have had two days where I spiked a big fever and had sharp pain in my breasts. I believe this may have been plugged ducts both times, and I was fortunate enough to have great advice and some foreknowledge about those. I took warm baths, did massages and nursed a LOT on the painful breast, and neither time turned into anything worse.

As far as nursing in public, I worried about this briefly. Some of my first nursing in public stories include a trip to a restaurant with my in-laws (who formula fed my husband), and (my very first NIP experience) sitting in a restaurant that was supposed to be 18 and up (due to ridiculous laws in Atlanta) with my newborn who obviously wasn't supposed to be there with us. I have only had one situation where someone even gave me a weird glance while nursing. That was when McKenna was a couple months old, and my husband and I were sitting in a restaurant, hanging out. A lady at the bar actually got up and left because she was so upset by my nursing McKenna. Which is amazing to me, since you definitely couldn't tell if you didn't literally stare right at us.

I feel pretty fortunate with my nursing experiences thus far. I am currently facing a couple dilemmas, including McKenna's two new teeth and her newly developed biting habit (for those of you reading this who will be nursing soon, please understand that this is not nearly as scary as it sounds. It's actually pretty easy to deal with.), parents and others expecting me to wean soon, the beginning of "solids," and working/nursing/pumping/supply questions and issues.

My biggest concern is weaning. I don't even like to think about there being a time when I will no longer have a little nursling. :)
Saturday, January 12th, 2008
3:25 am
[darthbecca]
3:30am
3:30 AM and the child thinks it's daytime. She's sitting in the living room floor, squealing at her blocks and smiling big. :) Oh well, guess it'll be one of those nights.
Friday, January 11th, 2008
9:25 am
[darthbecca]
the squeal
by Rebecca.

McKenna is 6 1/2 months old. She sometimes stays with a nanny, who keeps another child too. The other child is a little older - maybe 8 or 9 months old. The other child has this high pitched squeal.

Not long ago, I was telling Troy how the squeal was horrifying! He laughed and said, "McKenna will start to copy her..."

Then two days ago, as I was trying hard to concentrate on making some Indian food for the first time, McKenna started the squeal. At first it was kind of cute. Then it went on and on, and got louder and somehow more high pitched. I kept looking at her and saying, "McKenna, please! You are hurting my ears!" I ended up with a headache, and she ended up with a huge smile on her face.

Troy says it's my noise, because she doesn't do it much when I'm not around. Oh yippee :)

She's so cute you have to love her anyway though ;)
Friday, January 4th, 2008
10:19 pm
[darthbecca]
teething
by Rebecca

While at work today, as I was getting ready to leave, Marilyn (another mom with whom I work and share a nanny) came and told me that our nanny had called to say McKenna had been crying for two hours. I rushed over to M's house to McKenna. By the time I got there, she wasn't crying any more, but she was obviously very happy to see me. As I held her, she squirmed about some, and grabbed at her right ear. The nanny told me that she'd been doing that a lot today, and that she thought McKenna had an earache. I sniffed her ear (because often you can smell an ear infection), and felt her for a fever. She had no smell to her ears, and no fever. The nanny verified the no fever, as she'd just taken Mac's temperature a few minutes before I'd arrived. Then, I had a feeling like I should check her gums.

Sure enough, there was a spiky part on her lower gum, just right of center. Her very first tooth had cut through. That's why she was crying like she was in pain.

:) :) :)

I brought her home and snuggled her up, and gave her some Hylands teething drops. She snoozed for a while, and has been really cuddly all afternoon. I hope the pain is gone for her, now that the tooth is through.
Sunday, November 18th, 2007
11:47 am
[darthbecca]
height and weight
by Rebecca.

I weighed and measured McKenna this morning. She is 20 lbs. and 28 inches long. She was 20.5 inches at birth, and nearly 9 lbs. She will be 5 months old in 2 days.

My mom stays with Mac a lot while I go to work. On Friday, she stayed with her. Mac has a jumparoo, and it has these little keyboard keys on it that make music happen when they're pressed. Mom put McKenna's hand on one and pressed it. A few minutes later, McKenna did it on her own. It's really neat to watch her learn.
Monday, November 12th, 2007
5:02 pm
[darthbecca]
sitting
by Rebecca.

Mac is sitting up a lot on her own. She needs help getting to the sitting up position, but she stays there for a long time now. She keeps wanting to try to sit up, to practice her new skill.

She's been asleep all day long today. She always tends to sleep more the day after there being a bunch of new people around. We had people around last night, so there was a lot of activity and she didn't get to bed until two hours late. She got up at her regular time though. Maybe she's sleeping and processing her new sitting skill :)
Sunday, November 11th, 2007
12:03 pm
[darthbecca]
sitting up, tongue chewing, EC, pets, baby wearing
by Rebecca.

McKenna has been sitting up next to me for several minutes. She is leaning on my leg just a little bit, but when she falls backwards, she sets herself back up with no help from me. She's not falling forward at all!

She has begun chewing a lot. It looks like she's chewing her tongue, but I think maybe she's hitting her gums together or something. Still no teeth.

EC has been going really well. I've only had one poop diaper that I've missed in the past 10 days or so. Troy's only had one also, so we're doing really well with the poop. We're still learning about the pee. I'd say we're 30-50% on that every day.

McKenna has been taking a real interest in the animals in the house. She absolutely squeals for the dog (Thistle), and has a great time grabbing at the cats' fur and pulling. The cats are *mostly* patient.

She has really been enjoying outward facing baby wearing. I do still put her inward-facing sometimes though, as she tends to be a bit more settled that way. I think it's probably a little more comfortable.

As for me- I may be on the verge of some mastitis in my right breast. I have shooting pains when she nurses. :(
Saturday, November 3rd, 2007
1:12 am
[darthbecca]
EC update, diapering, sleeping habits
by Rebecca

EC:

Today, I feel pretty successful as far as EC is concerned. I think we probably had nearly 50% catches. I'm 1/1 with poop catches for the day. I feel pretty okay with the idea of still using some disposables with her, because, I'm checking them all the time, and changing her at the first sign of pee, just like I would with a cloth diaper. I am still a little lazy sometimes, like when I want a nap. I do get a little tired of running her to the little BB (Baby Bjorn) potty all the time. Since I don't know her signs yet, I take her based on when an adult might need to go: upon waking in the morning, after a nap, after eating, and then periodically during the day. She seems to have begun to make some noises for a while before peeing, although I'm not *positive* it's a sign or if it's just that she's in kind of a noisy phase. She does seem to be holding it more often until she can get to the potty. Troy changed her this morning before going to work, and then she was dry all the way until we left for lunch at 11:15. She stayed dry while finishing sleeping, and then I had a couple catches before we left. I was so proud to tell him she was in the same diaper he'd put on her that morning.

Of course, in the car and over lunch she peed, but that's okay. I didn't potty her during that time at all.

We definitely still have the thing where I'll potty her for a few minutes and she will either go or she won't, but then just minutes later, she'll pee in the diaper. I don't know if that's just timing, or what. Regardless, we're doing quite well to just have been doing this for a week.

Diapering:

I just bought 24 used fitted cloth diapers for my diaper stash. They're mediums, and I am hoping that with the addition of these, and then with the purchase of a couple medium-sized covers, we'll go cloth full-time, finally. I try to keep her in cloth a lot while I'm here, but I keep getting peed on, and that gets annoying. I'm doing at least one load of just diapers per day still, not counting today. Today doesn't count, as she was in disposables all day, and we were out of the house for a long time. Anyway, I'm pleased about the cloth, and I think it's the right choice. I'm pleased that we aren't spending a giant amount of money on this, and that everything I just bought, I can loan to Sarah if she needs them, or to Issa when she does.

Sleeping:

Troy and I decided to let McKenna make her own schedules, if she was going to do so. She seems to prefer to be asleep by around 10 or 10:30. The later it gets after that, the less happy she is. Her little eyes get droopy and kind of sad looking. So, I try to shoot to have her at least some place where I can nurse her and hold her so she can sleep by that time. If she gets woken up after that, that's less good too, because sometimes she wakes up and decides it is play time, and it can be a little hard to get her to settle down again. Not too hard, that sounds much harder than it really is. The kid is amazing when it comes to night time sleep. Mostly all it takes is putting her in the bed and nursing her, and she's out. Tonight is the first time I've really done that and left her in there while I'm up typing. I may be doing that a bit more once I'm working, although I have to remember to sleep sometimes too, and I so love sleeping next to my sweet, dreaming kidlet.

McKenna currently doesn't take very long naps during the day. Usually if she does nap, it's for an hour or less. That's not so much on a schedule, although more often than not, the nap happens in the late afternoon, around 4 or 5. She usually sleeps until 10 or 11 in the morning, but if she doesn't, she often naps after she's been up and nursed. Those naps are really short.

Current Mood: sleepy
Monday, October 29th, 2007
2:46 pm
[darthbecca]
EC beginnings, first sickness
by Rebecca

On Saturday, Troy, McKenna and I went to a reunion day with our midwives and their clients. While there, we met a couple of EC parents. I sat with them for a long time, and asked them lots of questions about EC. One set of parents had used EC since birth, while the other set started at one month. They both raved about it. I watched them use EC while they were there, and neither of their kids wore diapers except to travel to and from places and occasionally at stores or places where they couldn't get to a potty quickly.

After speaking with them for a while, Troy and I decided to give it a try. Originally, we had intended to use only cloth diapers with McKenna, but that idea slipped as all the new stuff that comes with being a parent began to happen.

We came home Saturday evening, and began using EC. We had no idea what McKenna's pre-pooping or peeing signs were. The advice we were given was that we should leave her naked so we could watch for the signs. We did that for a while, and watched her like hawks. We had a couple successful pees in the bathroom sink. We had a couple misses, and ended up with damp legs or towels.

Sunday, we had a whole bunch of misses, including two giant poop diapers. You basically HAVE to use cloth when doing the EC thing, if you aren't going to have the baby naked all the time. That way, she can react quickly to the wetness or poop, because she can actually *feel* it (unlike with disposables, which wicks away the wetness quickly), and because YOU can feel it quickly too.

I had never really dealt with a real poopy cloth diaper. Yuck. I understand now why I didn't readily switch to cloth. It's just so much easier to toss the pile of poop mess than to scrape, rinse and wash the cloth diapers.

It looks like I'll be doing a load of cloth laundry daily for a while, until we get the EC thing down. We've had a couple hits today and many misses. Hopefully as time progresses, the hits will increase quickly. I will admit it's quite frustrating right now, because I end up getting peed on a lot. I am going through as many clothes as she is diapers.

----------------------------------------------
sickness

McKenna has her first cold. She's been sneezing for a couple of days, and definitely has a snotty nose. We've been sucking out her nose with the mechanical nose sucker thing, probably 5-6 times a day. She has no fever, but she's started pulling at her right ear. I read online last night that this could be related to teething. I'm going to keep an eye on her over the next day or two to see what happens. I am also going to try the breastmilk in the ear thing.
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