Monday, January 12, 2009

Engorgement and Regulation

It was a great idea for Paul to take E for a walk.  They were gone an hour, and she slept most of the time.  When she woke up, she was ready to nurse, but wasn't as fussy as she had been all night and that morning.  She even let Paul take her so that I could take a shower and try to get my engorged left boob to empty.

I took the manual pump into the shower with me.  I've noticed that after a shower, my breasts will start leaking, so I figured it might help if I pumped while I was in the shower.  Maybe the warm water would help.  I'd been massaging my milk ducts and pumping all morning, and could only manage to squeeze out an ounce.  The last thing in the world I want to deal with is mastitis.  I've already had that -- during my first week out of the hospital -- and I don't want to do it again.

I got in the shower, pointed the hot water onto my boob and started pumping.  Within a minute, I had filled up the 5oz bottle attached to the pump.  At first I thought it had gotten so full because water dripping down my boob must have gotten into the pump.  When I felt my breast, it was super soft, so it was all milk.  Needless to say, since I was in the tub, I had to pour all that precious milk down the drain.  I wasn't in the most sterile of conditions.  I continued pumping, letting the milk fall into the tub.  I didn't need to pump, really.  When I took the pump off my breast, milk flowed from my nipple like a faucet had been turned on.  It was the sweet feeling of relief.

My boob still hurts a little, probably from the five hours of deep pressure massage.  I hope that heals up soon.

For the rest of the day, E was the perfect baby, playing with daddy while I took catnaps between feedings.  She got really fussy at 9pm, and until I took her to bed with me at 9:30 and she passed out in 5 minutes, I didn't realize it was because she was so gosh-darn tired.  I decided that we would start our bedtime routine at 9pm from now on.  Of course, I also have to create a bedtime routine...

Yesterday we took a walk to Costco with E in the sling.  It took us about an hour.  We pushed the stroller & car seat with us so we could meet Christopher there and he could drive us and our groceries home with us.  She slept the entire way there.  When she woke up, she was a little disoriented, not knowing exactly where she was, but she soon brightened up and spent the time in the store looking around at all the people and lights.  When we got out to the car, she didn't cry when I put her in the carseat, even though her diaper was so full, her outfit got wet.  She didn't cry when I changed her diaper before I fed her.  She didn't cry when she was hungry at 6:30 and our neighbor was still over chatting away saying 15 times "OK, I'm gonna go so you can feed her."  She cried, but she was easily quieted by Paul and her cries weren't nearly close to the same level and desperation as they sometimes get.

She cried when I took her to bed, but then she farted a bunch and destroyed a diaper, so that's understandable.

I took her on a walk to the library this morning.  I think that she needs walks to help her regulate herself.  She was extremely fussy this morning, and has now been asleep for almost 2 hours.  Walks in the sling are like a morning coffee.  She just doesn't feel like herself without one.

Who would have thought that the daughter to two long-distance hikers would need to take walks outside every day to feel normal?  I'm just glad we figured this out early on.  I've decided to take her on a morning walk every day.

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