mommy guilt

i experienced  a bout with mommy guilt yesterday, my first since i had to abandon all plans of a natural childbirth and have an induction ending in a c-section.   it happened when i decided to…gasp…feed my 3 month old 4 oz of formula.

let me explain.

i have been exclusively breastfeeding since she was born, and plan to nurse for as long as i can*. for the first month i was even able to pump a little extra each day so that we would have a good stockpile in the freezer for when i went back to work.  i soon found out that even though pumping an extra 3 oz per day for a month seems like a good stockpile, it dwindles down quickly when you’re having to pull from it multiple times a day.   this happened when i went back to work and was  in meetings all day.  even though i would pump when i got home, the little monkey was usually hungry enough to eat what i pumped that day.

at the end of the month, i have to be in florida for a sales meeting and will be gone for 4 days.  we quickly realized that the 45 oz of milk left in the freezer were not going to be enough to feed her while i was gone.  i resigned myself to the fact that we would probably have to supplement with formula during that week.   after doing a little research, i realized that it might be a bad idea to suddenly start her on formula that week and we were probably better off easing her into it.  so i figured that we should probably start supplementing a bottle a day and then gradually increase it until i left.  a little breastmilk per day has to be better than none, right?

i pulled out the packages of sample formula that we received and i swore i would never have to use.   i was faced with my first decision – do i use the similac sensitive formula for fussiness and gas?  or the similac advance complete nutrition?  i reached for the sensitive one and started to read the ingredients.  i quickly threw it in the trash when i read that the FIRST TWO ingredients were CORN SYRUP SOLIDS and SUCROSE SUGAR!!!  i was absolutely in shock.  i read the next package ingredients and calmed down a bit when i saw that lactose was the sugar of choice.  phew.

then my next dilemma came.  what kind of water do i use to mix it?  can it be from the fridge filter?  does it need to be boiled?  what is the fluoride concentration of denver city water?** do i need to buy special “nursery water”?

more questions arose.  how do you sterilize bottles?  is running them through the dishwasher good enough?  do i put in the powder and then the water or the other way around?  do i mix it cold and then heat it or mix it with warm water?

am i going to kill my baby if i do this wrong???

i decided to use filtered fridge water, in a bottle from the dishwasher, mixed cold and heated in a warm water bath.

jared gave her the bottle and we held our breath.  will she accept this inferior alternative?  will it agree with her system or will she be allergic?  how is this going to change her poop?  is she going to like it better and refuse breastmilk?  is she going to need therapy (or cancer drugs)  in 30 years because her mommy failed to produce enough of natures perfect food?

she drank it down just fine.  so far no adverse reaction and she happily took breastmilk at the next feeding. and i got over the guilt because i’m doing the best i can and making the best decisions based on what works in our family.  i’m still going to nurse as often as i can and pump as much as i can, but i’m not going to beat myself up over having to give her 1-2 formula bottles per day.  i’m pretty sure it’s better than not giving her enough food.

i think she’s happy.

*although i draw the line when they can start asking for the boob.  even though i know this is acceptable in many cultures and can be good for the baby, it kind of creeps me out.

**0.7 mg/l if you’re interested

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new site, new name, and why i heart amazon

yesterday i wanted to create a post about how much i love amazon.com, but when i went to blogger.com to create, the page was blank.  for 2 days.  i couldn’t access my blog at all.  so i decided to move the whole thing over to wordpress.  the name of my old blog (fluffy puffy puppy) was causing me to get too many unrelated google hits, so i decided i needed a new name.  of course my mind went blank.  i don’t know if this one will stick, so we’ll see.  i chose crunchy fluff for a few reasons.  1) i am a pretty crunchy person, as related to all things eco/green/sustainable  2) fluff is one of my favorite words – i like the way it sounds.  plus i am pretty fluffy, as are my doggies.  and the content of this site isn’t what one might call “academic”.  i kind of wanted to incorporate “rock” in there somehow, since it’s part of my name and i enjoy music, but i couldn’t make it work. ideas?  thoughts?

onto why i heart amazon.com.

  • they carry practically everything under the sun and nearly all products have comprehensive reviews
  • their prices are generally the cheapest
  • amazon mom is free to join and you get discounts and one month of free prime shipping for every $25 you spend in the baby store
  • free shipping on returns
  • easy access to past orders
  • “add to wish list” button

all of these things have made me a pretty loyal amazon customer, but the icing on the cake happened yesterday.  i was trying to return a $12 baby bottle that we didn’t need.  i went through the whole return process and when i hit submit, this little window popped up that said:

“Keep this item and receive a refund! It’s on us! As a valued customer, you don’t need to return this item to get a refund.”

WHAT?!?  have you ever, EVER, heard of another company doing something like this?  i sure haven’t.  it’s probably because of some business decision due to the cost of shipping, but how brilliant of them to word it as a valued customer benefit.

well played amazon.com – for $12, you have created a customer for life!


thrifty finds 1-15-12

my local savers was having 50% off for the holiday this weekend, so i ventured down there to look at baby clothes.  $57 later I left with:

6 pairs of jeans for charlotte (gap, old navy, childrens place)
3 pairs of jeans for mommy (old navy, levi)
2 sweatshirts and a sweater for charlotte

 

3 onesies
2 pairs PJs and one skirt
shoes for mommy
3 sweaters for mommy
And the outfit she’s wearing today!

adjusting

i am now a full time working mom with a house husband. except i work from home, so this is a more difficult task than i thought it would be. when i was working from home before the baby, i had a pretty good routine. i could work at my kitchen table to whatever background noise i wanted – tv (rarely, but sometimes), music, or silence. if i needed to take a little break, i would throw in a load of laundry or unload the dishwasher or vacuum the endless tufts of pet hair. then when i was on maternity leave, instead of taking care of my clients, i was taking care of charlotte. and i would basically do chores around the house in the same way.

since our house is so cramped cozy, i don’t have a place where i can shut the door and work. thus i am subjected to whatever background noise jared has, which is usually the tv or the baby crying. of course this lends itself to distraction.

another thing i’m adjusting to is losing control over the way the house looks. while i love that jared is making a good effort to keep it clean, the way he does things is not the way i would and it’s hard for me to accept. for example, i would rather the whole house look picked up, rather than the kitchen spotless and the bedroom a disaster. however, jared would rather have one area appear perfect and close the door to the other areas. another example, i’m ok with having a folded dishtowel, blender, or neat stack of bills on the kitchen counter, while jared wants absolutely nothing there. i keep telling myself to just let him do things his way because it’s his job now but that is SO hard.

if i was gone all day, i think i could handle it better. but since i’m home, i am watching how he’s doing things and notice all the differences. how much longer it takes him to do something. putting something away in the wrong place. ignoring the dryer when it buzzes. taking too many tv breaks. it is a herculean effort for me to bite my tongue and focus on work.

i do have an office space in a building that i use occasionally and i have been spending more time there. but i don’t like that as much either. it’s nice to take a 10 minute break and snuggle with charlotte, and it’s better for me to be home every 3-4 hours so i can feed her and we don’t go through my extra milk supply too quickly.

i know that it’s silly to complain about these things because i’m sure most people would LOVE to be able to work from home and have their husband do the housework. i just need to adjust my thinking and let myself let things go and i’m sure i will be much happier.


birth plan?!?! bwhahahhaa!

our little daughter is finally here!  charlotte was born on 11-02-2011 at 5:24pm.  7lb 10oz, 20 3/4″  isn’t she precious?

she is such a good baby, which is nice since her birth did not go quite as planned.

on 11-1, i went to my regular doctors appointment.  my blood pressure was high and i had protein in my urine.  they sent me straight to L&D to be monitored because of preeclampsia.   when my blood pressure refused to go down, they suggested induction. i refused at first, and then was basically told that i didn’t really have a choice, due to the risk of organ failure, seizure, and death.  at 4:30pm, they gave me misoprostol, a drug that helps ripen the cervix.  i got another dose at 8:30, and then the contractions started.  they weren’t too bad, but they definitely kept me awake all night.   the next morning, i was only 2 cm dilated and so they decided to start the pitocin.

unfortunately, pitocin makes your contractions incredibly strong and painful – your body doesn’t have a chance to gradually get used to them.  because of this, i decided i needed an epidural.  unfortunately, i am one of those rare people that doesn’t respond to epidurals, which i figured out after getting 2 of them.   at this point, i’m in extreme pain with no pain relief and i feel the urge to push.  it’s more than an urge – it’s an involuntary reaction.  oh and did i mention that she’s posterior, so i’m having back labor?  so i’m pushing and there’s no progress.  apparently she’s stuck up there – every time she moves forward a little, she slips back in.  the nurse tries to reposition her, but nothing is working.  then they doubled my dose of pitocin to try to make the contractions even stronger.  after 2 hours of pushing, i couldn’t take it anymore.  i begged the doctor to shut off the pitocin and told them i was ready for a c-section. 

once that decision was made, things happened rather quickly and charlotte was born an hour later.  while i was incredibly disappointed that the birth didn’t go as planned, i made peace with it and was glad that the medical intervention was available since i needed it.

luckily, i have recovered quickly from the surgery.  i think it is because i had the placenta encapsulated and have been taking them daily.  nursing has been very easy, which is a relief because i thought i would have problems.  i’ve also already lost all the baby weight (50 pounds in one week!! most of it was water retention), so that’s been nice to not have to worry about.

and most importantly, charlotte is very healthy and the most perfect baby ever!!  🙂


the finish line is in sight

on monday i will be 37 weeks pregnant.  that is considered FULL TERM, which means that i could technically have a baby a week from now.  it still blows my mind, even though i’ve had 9 months to prepare.

the pregnancy has been ok for me.  the first 17 weeks were rough because i was SO sick all the time.  then when i hit the 2nd trimester, i started to feel better but had to contend with nasty seasonal allergies and sinus infections.  july and august were actually pretty good – i had energy and no adverse symptoms.  but ever since then i have just been more and more uncomfortable.  i’m have a LOT of swelling in my hands, feet, and calves.  the swelling in my hands, combined with carpal tunnel, has made 4 fingers on each hand completely numb.  it gets worse at night and in the morning i can’t even make a fist.  then they loosen up a bit during the day, but i still have no feeling.   add that to the fact that my belly is now huge, and the simplest things have become crazy hard to do.  like putting on socks and shoes.  getting off the couch.  picking things up from the floor. 

j and i took a 6 week natural childbirth class that has really helped prepare us, and has lessened my anxiety about birth quite a bit.  i’m actually looking forward to it – because i know that once i get through it i will finally be able to hold my baby!  i’ve started to not tell people i’m planning a natural, unmedicated birth because they look at me like i have 3 heads and start asking me why i don’t believe in modern medicine.    it is too much to ask for people to respect your decision?  I don’t get all over their case for being induced or getting an epidural, because i believe that each woman has to do what is right for them.  it would be nice if others would extend that same courtesy..


1st anniversary weekend

to celebrate our first wedding anniversary, jared and i decided to take a trip to san diego.  we chose san diego for several reasons.  #1) we had $300 american airlines vouchers from when we gave up our seats for our honeymoon last year, and the only direct flight for <$300 from denver on american airlines was to los angeles.  #2) we wanted to go somewhere warm and we have good friends in san diego.

it was a good decision.  however, it turns out that jared and i cannot travel anywhere without scores of drama related to the trip.  like when we went to napa for a friends wedding and experienced the following:
*a flat tire
*a broken GPS which resulted in calling the hotel for directions from san francisco and trying to get there in rush hour
*a fall that led to a *very* swollen and sprained ankle
*a cell phone left in the rental car on the way home

although so many things went wrong, that trip to napa was very fun and we had a blast!

this trip was similar.
it started out thursday night.  our flight was at 7:30.  jared got home from work and we left to take the dogs to our friends around 4:45.  then we had to drop off jareds homework assignment and we headed to the airport around 5:30.  we hit very heavy traffic and when we got to the parking lot, we were in a hurry to get on the shuttle.  i left my phone in the car and they had to send another shuttle to bring it to me.  by the time i get my phone, we had about 1 hour until our flight left.  we head to security, but that security checkpoint is closed.  we have to go to the one clear on the other side of the airport, which of course has a long line.  it takes us 35 minutes to get through security.  we rush to the gate and have a few minutes to spare before they start boarding.  phew.

right before take off, i turn to jared and ask “you locked the door, right?”.  he couldn’t answer me.. normally, i would have just assumed that everything was fine, but for SOME REASON i decided to text my friend stacey who lives close to us and have her go double check.  we were taking off, but i had this urge to text her right then and not when we got to LA.   once we landed, i had a text from her “call me when you land, it’s important”.

i called her and found out that our front door was WIDE OPEN.  apparently, in the rush to get out of the house and round the dogs up into the car, jared had forgotten to go back and SHUT THE DOOR.  i had a pit in my stomach as i asked her if everything had looked ok.  to my relief, she said that it didn’t look like we had been robbed and she turned on a light and deadbolted the door for us.  thank god for friends like her.

after landing in LA and going through a seemingly endless amount of shuttles, we finally get to the rental car place.   then after missing a turn and driving through south central LA, we finally get to our hotel, which was paid for with hotel points.  it was nice and we crashed.

the next day was fairly uneventful, disaster wise.  we enjoyed a nice drive down the pacific coast highway, chilled on a beach for an hour or so, and finally made it down to our friends house in san diego.

saturday, our friends took us sightseeing in la jolla.  we were at the la jolla cove, walking on the rocks and looking at the tide pools.   my first mistake was that i was wearing my chucks, which don’t have a lot of traction, so even though i was being super careful, i stepped on a slimy patch on the rock and lost my balance.  everything went into slow motion.  my butt hit the rock and i thought i was safe.. but then i slowly slid backwards into the tide pool.  i knew it was coming and there was nothing i could do except moan “nooooooooo!” as i was going in.    this was quite entertaining for jared and my friends, as you can imagine.  i got up, soaking wet, and had no choice but to see the humor in the situation and laugh with everyone else.

saturday night we checked into our super fancy hotel (our splurge because the rest of the trip was so cheap).  it didn’t disappoint.  if you are ever in san diego and want to drop $300 a night on a hotel, i highly recommend the Hotel Solamar in the gaslamp district. we got one of the spa rooms and it was amazing.  for dinner we decided that we wanted to take advantage of being near the water and nothing sounded better than a big bucket of crab legs.   the hotel clerk recommend this place called the crab hut, about 6 blocks from our hotel.  while walking there, my sandals that i hadn’t properly broken in yet for the summer, start cutting me so bad that i can barely walk.  i had to stop in the cvs and buy the only pair of flip flops that didn’t rub on the cuts – and they were men’s.  we get to the crab hut, but we can’t get in, because there has been a shooting next door at the marriot and everything is taped off with crime scene tape. 

so we get directions to another seafood place, which is about 8 blocks in the opposite direction.  this place turns out to be more of a fast food fish place where everything is fried.  not really our idea of a nice romantic anniversary dinner.  we then remember that jared’s mom suggested a place called “Anthony’s Fish Grotto”, which is right on the water.  she raved about it and said it was the best seafood she’s ever had.  we look it up on google and it has a good rating, so we decide to check it out.  we should have paid more attention to the look the hotel front desk clerk gave us when we mentioned it. 

we drive to anthony’s and walk inside. the whole way there i was reading some of the reviews on yelp and it sounded like the atmosphere was not going to be quite what we were looking for.  it was going to be another blue parrot*.  when we’re going to our table, jared was focused on the great view of the water from the restaurant.  i was focused on the crowded, noisy dining room filled with tourists, families, and fried food – and the decor that hasn’t been updated since 1984.  we sit down, and look at the menu.  NOTHING looks good and the prices seem pretty expensive for atmosphere and type of food.  we order water and look at the menu some more.  i look up at jared with pleading eyes.. and i ask him if we can leave.  we hightail it out of there, even though by this time it’s 8pm and we are starving and tired.

we head back to our hotel and walk to this place we had noticed earlier.  it was called lou & mickey’s and it was a steakhouse/seafood place with a great atmosphere and prices similar to what we would have paid at anthony’s.   this ends up to be a very good decision.  we have a private table and are able to enjoy a very nice meal and good conversation, which is how a 1st anniversary dinner should be.

it is now sunday and i’m typing this while jared is still sleeping.  today is our last day – our flight is at 8:30 tonight.  we plan to spend the rest of the morning in san diego and then drive up to LA and check out hollywood and some tourist things before we leave.  hopefully it will be fun, but uneventful.. although knowing us, i’m sure something funny will happen that will give us another good story.. which is pretty much the way things always go with our relationship and marriage.  and i don’t think i’d have it any other way. 

*when jared and i first started dating, he would RAVE about this italian restaurant called the blue parrot.  he took me there on a date, and i was less than impressed.  the atmosphere was like a cafeteria in a nursing home and the food wasn’t that good (although it wasn’t horrible).  it was then when jared started understanding the importance of ambiance and atmosphere when dining out for a special occasion.