Monday, September 20, 2010

McFatty Monday

So I've known about McFatty Monday over at Heir To Blair, but I wasn't really sure how to join in. There wasn't a button or a linky or anything on her site. So trusty rusty old Google lead me to Heidi at It's Just Me..Heidi-D and it turns out she has a button and a linky and everything, apparently authorized by Blair herself. And I really love buttons and linkys, so here we go.

So I've kind of told this story before, but I'll go over it again. Really fast. I've kind of struggled with weight my whole life - I was a chubby preteen once I hit puberty. I slimmed out as I got more involved in ballet dancing, and felt pretty good about my body while I was dancing. I quit dancing at 16 (stupid, stupid, stupid) and weight crept back on after that. I packed on the pounds after I got back together with M (depression from basically quitting my life to accommodate his), and then I exacerbated that by getting pregnant - not one, not two, but three times within 16 months! I got pregnant in April of '08, had an early miscarriage, got pregnant in June with B, carried her for 26 weeks, gained 12 lbs after losing her, got pregnant with E in February '09 and was a total whale by the time I had him at 29 weeks. I didn't have a lot of time to worry about weight loss while he was in NICU, but I lost some weight just due to breastfeeding and not really having time to eat a ton. Then when everything happened with M, I quickly went on what I called the "Divorce Diet" - I was never hungry, I literally had to force myself to eat, and I dropped 30 lbs without even trying. It was sweet. 

Then, the shock started wearing off, and I went back to my old bad habits. I've been taking a pretty intense course load in school since summer semester, and I always feel like I concentrate better if I have a snack while I'm studying. This has lead to me gaining a little weight back, since I don't always reach for carrot sticks ;). I was doing really well at exercising for awhile, but my crazy class schedule in the summer derailed me from that, too. 

I feel disgusting, so it's time for me to stop making excuses and get back on track. Also? At some point, my divorce will be final, and I'd kind of like to start dating after that time comes. And it's not going to happen while I'm feeling the way I do right now. Blech. 

So this is me, recommitting. My basic plan right now is to restart the 30 Day Shred and choose to eat fruit and vegetables more often, and carbs less often (I eat WAY too much bread and sugar!). I'll check in each Monday to let you all know how the week went. 

If I don't? Throw rocks. Please. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Seriously? Seriously.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I'm having trouble with my pediatrician. At E's one year checkup, as she was getting closer to the diaper area, I started saying "E is uncircumcised. Everything I've read says that the foreskin should NOT be retracted until the child does it himself...." and I was cut off there, because that's when SHE RETRACTED HIS FORESKIN. I was speechless. She said "Yep! You're absolutely right, you don't need to be doing anything. His retracts pretty easily anyway, so he's fine."

What?! WHAT?!

Unfortunately, I'm not a very feisty person. I should have yelled at her to get her hands off of my son, and I probably would have had E shown any signs of discomfort. But he really didn't seem to notice at all... and I was really just stunned.

I got home and started asking on Twitter, and people were telling me to report the incident to the state licensing board. I did, and this is the response I recieved -

Ms. D:
I am an investigations supervisor with the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL).  I have reviewed your complaint regarding Dr. S.  While it is regrettable that Dr. S did not comply with you request (knowingly or unknowingly), the issue does not rise to a standard that would allow for a licensing action.  DOPL must show that a licensee has engaged in "gross misconduct" in order to seek a licensing sanction.  Also I spoke with our in-house medical person and they advised that to the best of their knowledge it is good practice to check the foreskin and in no way is it detrimental to the child.  However your complaint is important to us and will be kept in our files.

Larry Gooch
Investigations Supervisor, DOPL

Okay, so it doesn't allow for licensing action. I don't want her to lose her license to practice medicine - she's a good doctor other than this. 

But really? It may be good practice to "check" the foreskin, but retract it? It exposed the glans, although not ALL the way (I think - E's is the only uncircumcised penis I have experience with, and obviously I've never pulled the foreskin all the way back! I've never pulled on it at all....). I'm not sure what to think of this. Is this man wrong? Do I write him back and ask if by checking the foreskin he means to pull it back and expose the glans? Or do I just leave it alone and find a new doctor? 

Sigh. I'm so glad it didn't hurt him. If it had, I would be so much more upset than I already am. I'm annoyed. But if she had hurt my baby?! I'd be out for blood. 

One Year Ago Today... Part Deux

One year ago today E came home from the NICU at last. I can't remember what we did that morning, but I remember they told us he should be ready to go by 2 or 3 pm... so I'm sure we just got ready and went to get him! It was so surreal, and as we were driving away I felt like I was stealing him ;). I really did. I have no words for how amazing it was, so I'll just show you the pictures instead.

Last time pulling up to the hospital...

Last time going up those weird things....

This is the lobby where I would eat and take my breaks from NICU...

LAST picture with leads on!!!

Changing into his going home outfit...

I'm back there changing him, the nurse is getting his discharge papers all ready..

E's going home outfit! We bought it the day I got my BFP!

So excited to have our family together.... Little did I know ;)

I insisted on sitting in the back seat. To make sure he didn't quit breathing. Naturally.

Finally at home!! We had the crib side-carred -look how teeny he was in it! Also note the thermometer and nasal aspirator IN THE CRIB. Because I was taking his temp every 3 hours, and you never know when you'll have an emergency and need the nasal aspirator now. ;) #paranoidNICUmom!

And today? A year later? His dad is no longer in the picture. But he and I are the most perfect family ever.

Today I took him to daycare while I went to school, and I didn't worry that he was going to die from germ exposure. I also took him with me to the store - again, I didn't think twice about it. I haven't taken his temp for weeks, and I don't periodically count his respirations anymore. I don't strip him down and watch for retractions, and I only sometimes worry that he'll stop breathing in his sleep. He's a big, strong, healthy boy.. and I'm a little less paranoid.

So blessed, I'm telling you.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

One Year Ago Today...

I took most of the day off of NICU. Which sounds really sad now - I can't imagine just "taking a day off" of E. Lol. But that's what we called it. Anyway, I took most of the day off of NICU. Why? Because E was scheduled to COME HOME the next day!!!! Home?! HOME?! I was freaking out.

You see, having lost a preemie in NICU, I never fully allowed myself to believe that I would walk out those hospital doors with a baby in my arms. I didn't set up a crib. M set up some things - the swing, etc. I did wash the 0-3 months size clothes and hang them up while I was pregnant, but I hadn't done anything in preparation for a baby since E had been born. I remember every week the NICU social worker would ask M if I had let him set up the crib yet. He'd say "Nope!" and smile at me, and I'd smile, embarrassed, and say "Maybe next week."

So a year ago today, we were scrambling around town. Buying bottles (I have to have Dr. Brown's, because they reduce colic and reflux! Lots of preemies have colic and reflux, I'd better start preventing it!), buying a thermometer (We'd better get this one that does rectal, axillary and oral. It's more like the one they have at the hospital...), a nasal aspirator (Should we get this battery operated one? He's been really snuffly lately, maybe the bulb one won't be powerful enough...), an Angel Care Monitor (HOW on God's beautiful green Earth am I supposed to be able to trust this child to keep BREATHING without an apnea monitor?!), and a bajillion other things that I can't even remember because I probably never actually needed them. We set up the crib that day - we had it "sidecarred" next to our king sized bed.

Setting up the crib itself was a really difficult experience for me. I was so happy that I was bringing my baby boy home. So happy. We had painted the crib a green color (with gold sparkles that we added), because he looked best wearing green. I hated when his NICU nurses dressed him in blue (especially blue hats!) because it gave his skin a bluish tinge and it made him look like a dead baby. And I saw him dead enough in my nightmares. But he looked beautiful and alive in green, so we chose everything green. We were setting up the crib (well mostly M was) and I just started crying. M asked me what was wrong and I told him that as happy as I was to bring E home... this was a green crib. A green crib. Where was the pink crib? The one we should have had for our preemie girl. All the days in NICU, I got to have with B. There were 2 with her, and 45 with E, but I still got NICU time with both of them. I got to pump breast milk for both of them. But from this moment, everything I did with E was something I never got to do with B. And that made it bittersweet.

I pulled myself together and we went and got Qdoba for dinner. I really don't like Qdoba (Chipotle is much better!!) but M liked it and it was close to our apartment.

After dinner we went to NICU, and saw E's primary nurse for the last time - she wasn't going to be there on his discharge date. It was so sad. But happy, too. I held him for awhile, and we breastfed that night. He did really well and I was pretty encouraged. We left at shift change to get one last night of sleep!

And today? A year later? I took E for his one year checkup. He weighed 21 lbs, 2 oz. He's 28 inches long. He's 16th percentile for weight and 7th percentile for height for his actual age. He's within the normal range (again, for his actual age!) for all his milestones. He doesn't qualify for Synagis this year. He's too healthy. 

I look at him, and I can't believe this happy, wild, crawling-sorta-walking-getting-into-everything chubster is that preemie who I had no faith that I would walk out of the hospital with. Even with all the other not so great things that have happened this year... I have no idea how I got so blessed!

This was the night before we brought him home :)

Today at the doctor's office!! 

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Simple Wishes Winner!

The winner of the Simple Wishes Pumping Bustier is Alyssa, @CrazyToddlerMom!!! Congratulations, Alyssa!!! 

She was the 23rd comment, as picked by 

More Milk Plus Special Blend

You all know that I've had supply issues during my year of pumping for E. While he was in NICU, I was like a milk making machine, cranking out enough to feed (very hungry) twins or even triplets (with modest appetites). I loved it. But then everything went down with M, and my supply crashed instantaneously. I'm not even kidding you. I was pumping about 6 oz every 3 hours as my normal volume, and then at my next pumping session after I found out about his affair I didn't even get an ounce. It was that drastic, that immediate, and extremely terrifying.

The first thing I did was go to a local health food store and pick up some More Milk Plus. It saved my supply. I'm not exaggerating, you guys. I bought the regular formula, in the tincture, and after about the first 24 hours of taking it I notice a significant increase in volume (although it didn't go back to my "usual" that quickly). I was so relieved. I had been so terrified of not being able to provide my extremely vulnerable preemie (he was still only 37 weeks gestation at that time - not even to his due date!) with the breast milk he so desperately needed.

So having had this wonderful experience with one of Motherlove's products, I am so excited to be able to do a review and giveaway of their More Milk Plus Special Blend. The difference between it and the one I bought when my supply crashed is that it has goat's rue added, which is supposed to be fabulous for moms with PCOS and other issues that may cause low milk supply. I also chose to use the capsules instead of the tincture this time, for a change!

At the end of summer semester I found myself coming down with my usual post-semester cold. From past experience I knew that my supply would go down thanks to said illness, so I decided there was no better time to start taking More Milk Plus Special Blend! I took one capsule, 4x/day as directed on the bottle. And get this - even though my sniffles developed into a full fledged cold, my milk supply didn't dip. Not only did it not dip, it went up by about 4 ounces per day! While I was sick. I couldn't believe it.

Also, I found the capsules to be infinitely more convenient than the tincture. And the tincture doesn't exactly taste like chocolate, either, so it was nice to just be able to swallow a pill. The most difficult things about taking it are: 1) Remembering to take it four times a day, and 2) the fact that you're not supposed to drink water 15 min before or 15 min after. I'm a big water-sipper, so I found that particularly difficult. But as you can see, it still worked for me and I know that I didn't always restrict my water for that half hour, so it's not like if you accidentally screw it up you've just wasted a pill.

As a side note, there was another time where I was struggling with supply, so I trudged back to the health food store, intending to pick up some more More Milk Plus since it had served me so well previously. I saw another product right next to it with most of the same ingredients listed on the back, and it was a few dollars cheaper. I made the mistake of buying it instead, and it didn't do a darn thing. I'm not sure if it's the quality of the ingredients, or the proportions, or what, but Motherlove definitely knows what they're doing.

So... who wants to win a bottle of More Milk Plus Special Blend?!?! YOU?!?! I thought so!!!

Mandatory Entry: Leave me a comment telling me an experience you've had with low supply, worrying about low supply, or give a tip for increasing supply other than taking these fab supplements.

Extra Entries:

 - Visit Motherlove's website and leave me a comment telling me which of their other products you would most like to try! They have a lot of great products other than just the supplements!

 - "Like" Motherlove on Facebook

 - Follow my blog on Google Friend Connect

 - Follow me on Twitter

 - Tweet this giveaway: "Increase your milk supply with More Milk Plus from Motherlove and @HauteSingleMama! #breastfeeding #giveaway " (Once per day)

Each worth one entry! Leave me a comment for each, and don't forget to leave extra comments if you RSVP'd!

I was given a bottle of More Milk Plus Special Blend to keep. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions are honest and my own! 

Image from