Friday, July 13, 2012

Mullet.

I know you all have been dying to know whether baby Maggie arrived with a mullet, as promised. Yes. Yes, she did. And it is rockin'!

Rockin' mullet.

It makes her look a little like David Bowie, huh? It will be interesting to see whether it sticks around. Joe's baby hair fell out and he was bald as a cue-ball for a while before his hair grew back lighter and curlier. I expect Maggie's hair will follow the same plan, but you never can tell!

Ring sling.


And here I am, looking like a happy but disheveled new mom on a hot day.

We've been home a few days now, and things are going well. My milk is coming in and Maggie is almost back to her birth weight. Joe is a little crazed and attention-starved, but seems to love his little sister and talks constantly about how she's "pretty, and cute, and pretty cute."

The only bummer is that nursing this baby really hurts. From the first time she latched on, I felt like something was seriously not right with her latch (which looked fine, by the way). I saw a lactation consultant yesterday, and it seems Maggie has a tongue tie, lip tie, and high palate? I had little knowledge of these things, but the gist is that these conditions can make breastfeeding excruciatingly painful. I managed to get through labor and birth without any drugs, but I'm wishing I had a little morphine to help me through feeding sessions right now! I have an appointment with an ENT on Tuesday to see about getting her tongue tie snipped, which should improve matters some (the lip tie doesn't usually cause pain, and there is no fix for a high palate except time). Until then, I am gritting my teeth and soldiering through. It's good that I have already breastfed one child well into toddlerhood; at least I know it won't be like this forever. (And if this were my first baby, I might have thought/feared that this much pain was normal?! Ouch.)

What is that ring sling I'm wearing, you ask? Why yes, it is the craptastic sling that I made a while back. I had planned to rip out some of the stitching and redo it before the baby came, but she surprised me with her early delivery. It's ugly, but it functions well - I love how adjustable it is compared to a pouch style sling.
 
I was a little embarrassed yesterday when the lactation consultant said, "Wow, your sling is really interesting! I've never seen anything like it!" Uh ...

And, here's a photo where you can see her cute little squashy newborn face.

Hanging out on her lovely quilt.

30 comments:

  1. So sorry about the nursing pain! When they say that time will improve the high palate issue, how much time are they talking? I really do like the sling btw. If you ever get around to making one you like better I'd be willing to buy it from you! And Maggie... Oh how precious!

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    1. I've been told that if they can fix the tongue-tie, that will likely resolve most, if not all, of my issues. But even if not, babies grow out of the high palate after a month or two, so it's survivable. I nursed Joe for 2.5 years and we had plenty of struggles in the beginning, so I know can handle six weeks of ouch if there's an end in sight - of course, I'm hoping it's better before then!! Right now, I'm just taking it one feeding at a time until Tuesday!

      Thanks, I'll keep that in mind about the sling!!

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  2. I was wondering if that was "the" sling. it has a 30s look, with its feedsack color (or lack thereof) and the red stitching :) and i mean that in a good way!! and hey it works right?! love the newborn squashy face, she is so adorable. does she have new baby smell? love that. and for the pain, you can do it! i remember some toe-curling times..hope things improve after the tt is fixed.

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    1. I like the style of the sling, I'm just really unhappy with how the topstitching looks over the pleated area - all of that bulk, and the topstitching thread, were really fighting with my machine, and I couldn't get the lines of stitching to come out straight. So it looks all wobbly and home-ec crappy. :( But as you say, it works!

      She smells heavenly. "Toe-curling" is exactly right. It's pretty hard volunteering a sensitive and horribly injured part of your anatomy to a little piranha mouth 12 times a day!! GAAAAAAAH.

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    2. hrm, i like it the way it is, but if its bothering you maybe you could attach some fun appliques or trim just over that part. like a piece of fabric with her name embroidered on it and some old funky trim around it might look charming. i guess around here that style is more prevalent, kind of a country primitive look.

      btw did you notice on that cool embroidered flower quilt top you sent that about half of the flowers names are embroidered backwards? how did they not notice? I mean it takes awhile to embroider, so I wonder if they couldn't read? either way I love it. :D

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    3. Haha. "Country primitive" was not the look I was going for, but you may be right - maybe I should just accept it for what it is, huh?

      I did notice that some of the words were backwards, like they transferred them upside down!! Too strange. Speaking of "country primitive"! Seriously, you may be right about the literacy. I know I couldn't have embroidered "rhododendron" backwards without noticing!

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  3. Oh her mullet is fab! You look great! Here's hoping the nursing gets way better fast! She's beautiful!

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  4. What a beautiful pic of the two or you! And I really like the ring sling, it has that simple organic look to it. Hope the breast feeding gets better... that sounds reallly painful.

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  5. I was giggling when I saw the title of this post and the pic before I even clicked through. Maybe she will even do that hilarious thing of losing all but the mullet because it gets no friction back there! She's gorgeous though ("pretty cute") and I love that crinkled newborn face photo.
    I think the sling looks great and that shoulder part looks really comfy. Maggie seems to approve.
    I hear ya on the breastfeeding issues. Charlie had a tongue tie but that was just my diagnosis way down the track after it all went horribly pear-shaped. I hope the snipping works. I have a friend whose third baby had the high palate thing which was really hard for her. At least you've got onto it quickly and know what you're dealing with. And, you look happy :)

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    1. Charlie was your first, right? Ugh. That makes it harder, I think. With Joe, I had several problems that could have been prevented if I hadn't been so clueless and thought they must be "normal" parts of breastfeeding. Also, I got so much bad advice!! This is definitely an advantage the second time around. I know what's what, and I'm not afraid to be a little more assertive in trying to get what I need. That said, I had such high hopes that things were going to go easier the second time! Ah, well.

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    2. Yeah, Charlie was my first, and without going down my whole 'breastfeeding doesn't always come naturally' rant, it was excruciating and in hindsight I can't believe no professional ever bothered to check if everything was anatomically suitable. Tongue tie was definitely a big part of it. Charlie still has kind of a forked tongue when he sticks it out!
      Insist if need be - sounds like you know what is needed to sort it out!

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    3. Forked tongue!!! That is classic tongue-tie! (Maggie's is not that obvious, it's probably a "posterior tie" whatever the heck that is.) Oh, you poor thing! Ouchy!

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  6. When the twins were in the NICU the lactation consultant told me Izzy had the tongue thing, and reluctantly started me with a nipple shield (said they can be hard to break the baby of). When we got out and went to the doctor he told me "they always blame it on that" and "she'll grow out of it". Um, okay? We used the shield for about 2 months before it wasn't horribly painful for me. My friend's boy had it and got it snipped at 18months when he had to be put out to have it done. Hope it goes well with her and they can do something about it! And I love her mullet:)

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    1. I've heard a lot of doctors blow off tongue-tie issues, but thankfully, the area I live in is a bit crunchy and very breastfeeding-friendly, so apparently there are several ENTs who are willing to clip tongue ties around here. Even so, it's apparently really difficult to find someone who will clip a lip tie like Maggie has (but as mentioned above, that is probably not causing most of the pain I'm experiencing, and can wait). It's all so complicated! And like most things breastfeeding-related, surprisingly political?!

      If I had a dollar for everyone who has suggested a nipple shield to me in the past four days, I'd have enough to take you all out to Starbucks. Not my lactation consultant, interestingly enough. I've also heard, "You can just pump and bottle feed." Um. NO. I breastfed Joe for more than two years without a shield and it didn't hurt like this. I want to fix the underlying problem. (I might be stupidly stubborn. It's definitely a possibility.)

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  7. I've been meaning to say congratulations--Little Maggie is beautiful (I love the photo of her in this post)! Hope you and your family are all enjoying these precious newborn days!

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  8. You look fab, and I'm glad to hear that Joe is doing ok :-)
    Loving the mullet (as the mother of mullet babies!)
    Sorry to hear about the feeding issues - so hope they can be resolved quickly for you

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  9. Mulletastic! She is so beautiful. And the shape of her in the sling is wonderful -- love how babies kind of froggle up like that. About the bf, I have no suggestions, only best wishes. I nursed R for 2.5 years as well, so I understand your commitment to getting through this. Sorry you've had such a rough start.

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    1. Yeah, you can see how she was in the womb in that position, just upside down, huh?

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  10. Oh, she is so cute! My kids were both born with mullets too. The oldest one lost all her hair after a couple weeks, but oddly the little one is still rocking a mullet. And I hear you on the breastfeeding pain. My oldest had a disorganized suck (whatever that is) and a high palate and I dreaded everytime I had to feed her it hurt SO bad. The good news (?) is that the pain miraculously went away at 6 weeks and I've heard that from other people too. And hopefully the the tongue snipping can help too.

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    1. It's great hearing everyone's stories, and it's a reminder to me that the major ouch won't last forever, thanks! And I love all of the mullet babies, too funny! My baby looks like a ageing rocker! It cracks me up. :-)

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  11. oh man she's cute - makes me want to find a newborn to snuggle asap! good luck with the nursing, too. it took about a month for my daughter to really "get it," and suddenly it didn't hurt anymore (never a tongue tie diagnosis or anything, she just liked to suck like from a straw). My son was better, latched better from the get-go. I did use the nipple shield with her to "train her" to open wider, though, and it worked - she stopped using it without any issue as soon as i didn't have the extreme pain while nursing. so i guess i'm in favor of nipple shields if they help you get through, you know? even every once and a while to give you a break - newborns just nurse SO OFTEN! good luck! :)

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    1. Yeah, I hear you! I think nipple shields can be just the ticket for some mamas, don't get me wrong. I'm just thinking that if I can get this tongue tie snipped on Tuesday, it will be worth sticking it out until then. Just one less thing to worry about!

      They sure do nurse a LOT, huh? I had also forgotten how long it takes a newborn to get a bellyful. I got spoiled by nursing a toddler who takes like five highly efficient seconds to nurse. :-)

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  12. Big congratulations to you. She's absolutely gorgeous and you look so happy. I hope the breastfeeding improves from Tuesday, I remember the pain in the first few days even without a tongue tie. Love the mullet by the way. Casper had loads of hair when he was born, I used to hear people gasp and comment on it, he never lost it either. Rowan was totally different though, he started with some hair but then lost it quickly and it took a while to grow back. They were totally different with feeding too. Hope you're getting a bit of rest.

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  13. Congratulations!! It must be a 9th July baby thing to be hurting us with feeding! I fed Vince for 8 months SO well, but this is So painful. Every time she latches on it's like burning and I have to count to ten and grit my teeth. I can work through the pain, and she is latching on perfectly well, it's just she messed up my nipples in the first few days. They're cracked and the left one was bleeding for a while.

    Have you tried Mother's Mate gel breast pads? I used them for a few days, VERY soothing. I had to stop feeding off the left side to stop the bleeding {she was throwing up blood too :< } but wearing the gel pad really healed it well and after a day I was back onto feeding from both. Just be careful because the gel pads stop the milk from leaking out naturaly {that your nursing pads would normally soak up} and made me engorged.

    Le sigh!

    haha. They thought Eddie was tongue-tied too, but her tongue is so long and always sticking out so they ruled that out pretty quick. I'm tongue-tied, but I never had an operation because it didn't affect my feeding or speech when I got older.

    I've never heard of the other two!

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    1. Yes, apparently these Cancer babes have a hard time latching on? Too funny! Well, it's good to know I'm not alone!

      I have been using some gel pads, and they are very soothing and help with healing. Things have definitely improved, even without tongue-clipping, so I'm hoping we are on the road to happy breastfeeding! Good luck to you!

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  14. I think your sling looks great! And it's such a nice way to carry a little bub. I feel your pain re breast feeding, though I just had regular pain, not tongue tie etc. I hope the tongue tie fix works well. Its funny how little we seem to hear about the problems of getting breast feeding going, but everyone I know seemed to have issues of some sort, and I certainly did with all 3 of mine... But it all worked out in the end.

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  15. Both my girls had tongue tie. With the older one, she nursed fine but couldn't swallow solids once that time came. Cue six months of losing weight and visiting specialists...nursing when she couldn't cover her teeth with her tongue (yowch!) and then the clipping involved a hospital visit and anesthesia since she was almost a year old. With the next baby, we had her clipped shortly after birth--super easy. Get it fixed while she is tiny, it is totally worth it.

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  16. Oh Inder... Rosie was tongue tied too! You're so lucky to be getting into an ENT so quickly. It really will help. And is so not a big deal. Just a quick little snip and it's over - less crying than with the shots! In the mean time, a nipple shield will help, though could slow down your milk supply. Talk to the LC about that. With this baby, my ped is coming to the hospital personally (new state, new doc) to check for tongue tied since it is genetic... and said we will have it clipped before we leave the hospital if it is. I'm so not going through that again! And, beyond nursing issues, it can cause eating issues and speech problems later on.

    What I don't get is - why not screen for this on day one? Even mild TT can cause significant nursing issues and the fix is so easy. They circumcize little boys at the hospital and that is debatable for sure, but this? And it's so hard to find a LC who knows what to look for, or a ped to believe that it is an issue or... just so frustrating. If you need any extra help, my LC in my last state is great and I know she'd talk to you on the phone!

    Hugs!

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    1. Oh, and I really had to fight in Alabama to get it clipped. Her doc was terrible BUT my LC was/is FAB. The top lip on Rosie is significantly tied, but they said they'd deal with that before she's 10 years old. My guess is that she'll need a plastic surgeon as it extends out onto the lip and peels off occasionally. Originally thought it was a milk blister but ...still here at age 4. I used the shield for 3 or 4 months - it helped but then my milk was slow and... ugh. So much harder than people think. And this go around, I was so paranoid and adament that this baby would not go through the same mess as Rosie... well, at least the pediatrician we have now rocks. And I'm knowing more about what I need - my baby's nutrition comes first and the feelings of stick in the mud old school docs is so not my concern!

      And seriously, why is that feeding a baby the old fashioned way such a political issue? So confusing...

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    2. Yes, I'm really hoping that having her tongue clipped will make a difference for us!

      Incidentally, you've pretty much summed up the reasons I'm reluctant to try a nipple shield: (1) they can be hard to wean off of; (2) they can prevent you from establishing a good milk supply. Not everyone has these problems, of course, but those are my reasons for not wanting to go there for now.

      It sounds like you are all set to go for your second babe! I was kind of chuckling to my husband that it's ironic - I had a whole host of breastfeeding issues with Joe, and consider myself practically a breastfeeding expert, but of course, this child presents a whole different set of issues, which I'm not familiar with! Go figure! But I am a lot more confident about asking for help this time around, so all of my struggles with Joe were certainly not in vain.

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