Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
As some of you know, Judah and I have been dealing with some issues in our breastfeeding journey. We recently finally pinpointed the cause of the gas/pain/bad latch habits/etc that have been plaguing us. We both seem to have contracted a systemic yeast infection. Having gone through over a month of all this mess before figuring out what was wrong, I wanted to give you all a "heads up" about yeast infections-- how to recognize the early symptoms and how to treat it before you end up with all the trouble we've had. All of this info is stuff I've gleaned from internet research and talking to midwives and lactations consultants. I've included some links to the sites I found at the end of this email, in case anyone's interested.
Some interesting facts about yeast:
All humans have harmless amounts of yeast (actually a fungus) in their bodies. It tends to live in the mouth, bowels, skin, and, in women, the vagina — basically it thrives in warm, wet environments
It is only when the yeast overgrows that it becomes a problem. As pregnancy progresses, a woman is more likely to have an overgrowth of yeast. At birth a vaginal overgrowth of yeast can be transferred to the baby, and the baby can end up with thrush (an oral yeast infection).
Babies get yeast infections easily since their immune systems are not fully developed
When a woman is breastfeeding, she can get a yeast infection on her nipples and sometimes even inside her breasts.
Breast or nipple yeast is rarely a problem for the nonlactating women. However, in a breastfeeding woman, the change from a dry to a wet atmosphere can create favorable conditions for yeast overgrowth.
Diagnosing Yeast Infections:
White patches in baby's mouth: This is the most commonly known manifestation of a yeast infection. HOWEVER, not all yeast infections will include this symptom. In our case, Judah's white patches were all under his tongue and weren't visible until the infection grew up and out over his lower lip. Some babies never get the patches at all.
Nipple pain: Okay, let's talk about nipple pain. This is NOT the normal soreness of skin and tissue that goes along with "getting used to nursing", or even the more severe pain of a bad latch. We're talking intense pain here. It's been described as "glass being ground into my nipples". To me it felt like someone was sandpapering my nipples as he nursed. In addition to the surface pain, there is often a deep muscles pain--extending even into the back and shoulders. Sometimes it feels like a pulling sensation, deep in the breast tissue. Here's what really sets it apart from other nursing issues: it will hurt even when you're not nursing. You'll be walking along, minding your own business and then suddenly it feels like someone just knifed you in the breast. This kind of pain is never caused by normal nursing or even the worst of latch problems. It means a yeast infection that has spread to your milk ducts and it needs to be addressed immediately (if not sooner). Another dead giveaway is if the pain reduces throughout the feeding. Latch pain will not decrease as you nurse--it gets worse the longer the baby mangles your nipples.
Dry, shiny nipples: Basically that says it all. My nipples looked like they had vasoline spread on them and they were bright pink--not the normal brownish pink of the rest of the areola.
Open sores on nipples: This one's a bit tricky. Open sores can be caused by a Y.I. or they can also cause one in turn. If you have open sores that you know are caused by a latch problem, watch out! you might be at risk for a yeast outbreak. If you have developed open sores without dealing with a latch problem, they are probably being caused by a Y.I.
Excessive gas in mother or baby: Now we all know that babies get gas. It's a fact of life. But if you notice that you are feeling gassy as well--especially if it's mostly in the evenings and doesn't seem to change if you modify your diet to exclude gassy foods--you should suspect a yeast infection is the cause.
Baby throwing up: Again, spitting up is a fact of life for babies, but in this case we're talking major stuff. Judah threw up chunks of cheesy stuff the size of the end of my thumb! Not pretty--somewhat disturbing--definitely yeast.
Weird nursing habits in baby: A baby with a sore mouth from yeast will often not feed well, coming off and on throughout the feeding, sometimes with a clicking/ sucking sound. Judah was always fussing through feedings--pulling the nipple, shaking his head and that weird clicking noise...
The Diaper Rash From Hell: Again, we're not talking about a normal diaper rash here. This might include multiple red bumps, pus-filled bumps, or a scaling pattern on the infected skin. In addition, the rash may extend along the pubic area and onto the lower part of the abdomen. Another big clue: A yeast rash tends to hang around for more than two days and doesn't respond to any traditional diaper rash treatments. It also usually shows up in the skin folds of the groin area.
Roving Pain: Another way to distinguish Y.I. pain from other nursing issues is that it may affect one breast, then move to the other--and back and forth several times. If you notice that one breast is more painful and then a few days later it's the other breast that hurts worse, it's probably a Y.I.
Okay, I'm no physician, so this is no substitute for consulting a professional (which I highly recommend--midwife preferably, so you can get info on the natural treatments), but here's what I've had recommended to me by a couple of people and a bunch of websites. I've listed things in order of severity and potency. If you catch the infection soon enough, the vinegar rinse might be enough. If the thing's been going on for a month or more (me!!), you'll have to move on to the Caprylic Acid and the Poke Root.
Vinegar Rinse: Dab a vinegar and water solution on your nipples after every feeding. I also have been putting vinegar in Judah's bath because he's broken out in yeast in all his cute little fat rolls. The vinegar changes the pH of your skin enough to kill the yeast topically.
Baking Soda paste: Same thing as the vinegar rinse--same effect on the pH
Pro-Biotic Complex (baby can take this, too)
Ask a midwife or doctor for dosage recommendations for all of the above.
In addition the following things were recommended:
Boil or bleach all bras, shirts, towels, etc (anything that touches your nipples) daily
Bra-less is best since it allows the maximum of air-flow
Swab your breasts with a vinegar and water solution after each feeding
Boil everything that comes in contact with babies mouth daily and replace all pacifiers weekly.
Sterilize the tub with bleach after each bath
Please forward this email to anyone you think might be interested.
Good luck and I hope none of you ever need this info!!
(ok, ok, I realize that this smacks of a thinly veiled attempt at compliment-snatching, but seriously, I'm in a real jam.)
Thursday, February 26, 2009
One of the problems I used to always run into was dealing with too small clothes as the kids grew out of them (at an alarming rate, I might add). I seemed to always be dealing with overflowing drawers filled with outgrown shirts, pants and pjs and the prospect of the afternoon spent sorting, washing, folding and packing away was daunting to say the least. And I could never find things afterwards when someone asked about hand-me-downs of a certain size or gender.
BUT. I have now developed a system! (yay for systems!) I store an empty Pampers box under the changing table, next to the dresser-- fits perfectly. In this box I stack the outgrown clothes when I put away the folded laundry. When the box is full, up it goes into the attic, with a label indicating the size range and season and which child the clothes came from.
Now when I need a box of hand-me-downs for a friend, or want to take some things in to consignment I know exactly where it all is and what size and gender is in each box-- no hassle! Organized clothes for the busy, organization-challenged mom!!
Soooo. In other news... I just found out about a cool thing the Blissfully Domestic e-zine (which, if you remember, I've been doing book reviews for for quite some time now, although not quite on the weekly basis I anticipated) has started recently and I'm participating in their carnival with a post regarding their suggestion of tips for organizing clothes storage. Of course, organization of clothing not being my strong point, I only have one tip. Check it out here. And go here for more good ideas and here for tons of lovely reads!!
And the cute Judah-ism of the day...
"Jusa minit, Mama. I be wight dere!"
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I'm begging here.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Of course, you might think that feeling better I'd be back to my regularly blogging self, but no. That is not the case at all. I actually may not be able to blog regularly for quite some time yet. We are now officially entering Wedding Season. Now, this year is going to be nothing like last year's Seven Weddings in Three Months situation, but still. We've got one each in March, April and May-- so far. More may be just over the horizon, who knows. I actually kind of hope not. I wouldn't mind a nice slow year :) We need some time to get our website finished and our blog up and running.
I have several profoundly interesting posts rattling around in my head, but none are finished gestating yet, so I'll have to come back later to post them.
See you then!
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Anyhoo. I've been ministered to greatly by several posts on one of my favorite blogs in the midst of all this. Or perhaps I should say I've been convicted greatly. Both, really. Convicted of my lack of faith and ministered to by the admonition to have faith that God really is in control-- not me, and that's a good thing.
I don't know why God wants me to be sick and in pain right now, but He sees a greater good for me in this than if I were happy, healthy and in a fine fettle right now. (And when I say He "wants me" to be sick, I don't mean in the sense that He's up in heaven rubbing His fingers gleefully over it. I mean it in the same sense I "want" Sofi to learn how to overcome her shyness make friends by being in situations where she feels shy and uncertain.) Probably because if I were happy, healthy and in a fine fettle, I'd be less likely to be hanging onto Him with desperate fingers and more likely to be pushing full steam ahead in my own directions.
When I look back over my life, the times that I have seen the greatest Spiritual Maturation occur are those where I have been severely tested and have turned to the Lord for comfort. I remember specifically telling a friend at one time of my habit of offering my suffering up as a sacrifice and praise offering. Jen's examination of this idea is truly inspired. I wish I had written it myself. And while it may seem trivial to compare our month-long bout with the flu to things like childbirth, loss of a child or death, my point is-- suffering, of any kind, can have a sanctifying effect in the life of the believer, if viewed correctly.
But I digress. I highly recommend that you check out those few posts. Jen is an amazingly perceptive and wise woman and I am frequently sent to my knees by her observations about our Faith and Motherhood and lots of other things.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Here are some places you can go instead, while I sit and quietly and patiently hack up both lungs.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
In particular, a suhweet arrangement between the ultimate in classy lady's clothing and my local RW that ensures that each season the Entire Season Line of the previous year (well, I'm sure there a few exceptions) is available for me. To Purchase. At Absurdly Low Prices. I'm pretty sure God set this up just for me.
I have this weakness for pretty clothes. Always have. But I've also always had this competing cumpulsion to Not Spend Money. See the dilemma? And when I say "pretty clothes", I'm talking about stuff that's usually priced well above knock-your-socks-off. So I pretty much just go with Goodwill, or the consignment store and the occassional Walmart season clearance. Or I should say "went". But since we moved to H-burg, seven years ago, I have been living in the proverbial clover. Shopping Clover. I straight up love this place.
For example. A 100% silk, Anne Taylor blouse in antique white, with delicious covered buttons (no longer on their site, or I'd show it to you) on the front and vintage style 3/4 length sleeves-- regular price $65. I paid $0.95. Yep. Totally not kidding. I would not kid about something like this. This is pretty typical to the type of bargains I find there on a regular basis. Another example. A pair of Lord and Taylor sandals, (don't know the regular price on these) $7. I could go on.
And so now the woman who buys brown bananas because they're $0.25 cheaper per pound can wear items like these. Guilt-free!!
Thank you, Lord. I really appreciate it.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
In the last week or so, at least three people, maybe more, have tagged me on Facebook for that "25 Random Things" thingy that's going around. I really don't like Facebook, but I do like friends, so in the interest of promoting friendship and participating in friendly things I will do my 25 Random Things here on my blog instead. Then I can participate and still semi-boycott Facebook.
25 Random Things about Me:
1) I wore glasses from 12th grade up until Sofi was born. Who knew pregnancy could improve your vision?
2) I collect little boxes. Really. For putting things in. I have like, maybe fifty?
3) I also collect teacups
4) I am addicted to blog reading-- you may have already known that.
5) I have a phobia about talking on the phone. I really hate it. There are only four or five people that I can comfortable chat with on the phone. Which is why so many of you never hear from me. Now you know...
6) I love jokes. Dumb middle school jokes, even. If you tell me a joke, I practically guarantee I'll laugh. J has this one about a dead bird that cracked me up when we were dating and I still laugh silently inside when I remember it.
7) This has gotten me in trouble many times over the years when hearing jokes of questionable subject matter in the company of certain people. Because..
8) I really have a hard time stopping laughing once I get started. I laugh so loud in movies I embarrass myself. And whomever I am with. The laughing and also...
9) I get waaay too "into" the movies I watch. And I'm super loud. I'm the annoying person in the theatre that keeps gasping and asking "What did he just say?" and "Oooo, this is scary..." In the first Spiderman movie, in the scene where the spider lands on Peter Parker's shoulder? I screamed right out loud when it bit him. Full volume. I'm sure there are still people out there talking about that...
10) I've seen the first of the Ring Trilogy movies four times. And watched most of it with commentaries on at least once. I am a fanatic.
11) I've also read all of Tolkein's other works (including letters and papers wherever I could get ahold of them), although I've never learned to speak Elvish, so Josh still has one up on me.
12) I've never, ever considered naming our children after any of the characters in the Trilogy. I promise. Really. J, on the other hand....
13) I love to play Starcraft. J got me addicted in college and is my dealer. He's reeeeeally good. I'm moderately good.
14) I wrote my final high school term paper on Charles Dickens and now I can't stand the man. It's true what they say, familiarity does breed contempt. At least when it comes to wordy Victorian authors.
15) I've read both volumes of Norton's English Lit in their entirety. I know. Overkill. I was CLEP-ing out of Eng 101 and was convinced that I needed to read Every Page in order to pass.
16) The single most valuable thing we own, besides our house, is my violin. It's worth more than our car. Either car. In a few years, it may be worth more than both cars put together.
17) The one thing that cracks me up more than anything else in the world is word humor. Like, pig latin. Or Wixing up Merds. (go ahead, go ahead, say it out loud. you know you want too!) They're called Spoonerisms, after a Reverend Gentleman of the same name who was famous for them. It's actually a family trait-- this fascination with witty wordplay. When we were kids we used to to it all de thime. I mean, do it all the time. It used to drive my mother absolutely batty. She ended up charging us a quarter every time she heard us wix up merds-- purely out of self-defence. (* is cracking up at how funny "wixing up merds" sound in my head*)
18) Apparently I have a really hard time thinking up 25 things about myself.
19) I raised rabbits as a middle schooler. We ended up butchering and eating them. I was glad to see them go, and enjoyed the rabbit stew with gusto. I don't know what that says about the normalcy (or lack thereof) of my childhood developement. I don't think I want to know.
20) I love foot rubs.
21) I have a secret dream of winning this online photography contest one day. I've submitted, but never won. I'll probably just keep trying.
22) I have a secret dream of one day seeing my actual published work on a library shelf. I've written about ten children's picture books and submitted them to dozens of publishers, dozens of times, but never got anywhere. I will probably also keep on trying with this one.
23) I usually give up much more easily than that. On pretty much everything. Some might call it "lack of perserverence". I prefer to think of it as the shotgun approach to life. If you try enough different things, you're bound to succeed in a few.
24) I'm married to a man who believes in a Class A #1 sniper (or whatever the proper term would be) approach to life. Believe it or not, these two do actually work fairly well together.
This was way harder to do than I thought, so I'm not gonna perpetuate the burden by tagging anyone. BUT. If it looks like fun to you and you wanna try it, be my guest. Consider yourself tagged. Especially you, Sue, and you, Laurie. What can I say? I'm curious. :D
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Sofi, at age two, had to clean off each step up to the slide before stepping on it, all the while muttering under her breath "dirrrrty, dirrrty!".
Judah, at nineteen months, finds it neccessary to pick all the fuzzballs off my sweater, all the while muttering under his breath, "Yuuucky, yuuucky!"
Just doing my part to pass on the family crazy.