233 May 20, 2009

Three Weeks Old

Eleanor’s wants and needs are pretty simple at this point. She likes nursing, being held and rocked, being sung to, and sleeping. She hates being put down, being awake for extended periods, and pooping. She’s not all that keen on stroller rides or baths either.

Bath Time for Eleanor

She has definitely been keeping us busy. I don’t know if she needs the warmth of being held or if she just likes hearing a heartbeat, but she never lets us put her down. I try to put her down in exactly the same position I had been holding her in, but she always wakes up within a few minutes. It’s easier to just hold her and let her sleep on us than to try and console her over and over as she becomes increasingly tired.

mid-yawn

Adjusting to life with a baby has been fairly easy for me. She sleeps pretty well at night, waking to eat every few hours but falling back asleep right away. When she does wake for the day, she’s usually in a pretty good mood and I can set her in a bouncy seat while I take a shower, so we have a good little routine starting. And I haven’t experienced any of the ‘baby blues’ that I know are so common. Maybe I’m just lucky, but I’ve been so happy taking care of her.

The only difficulty I’ve had has been with breastfeeding. Nursing has definitely been a lot harder than I thought it would be and there have been days where I’ve almost wanted to quit. The latch-on is painful, causing me to cry along with Eleanor sometimes. I know that breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt, but for me it does. I’ve met with two lactation consultants (one in the hospital, one in my home), and both told me that I’m doing it correctly. The second LC did say that Eleanor has a high palate and that I may just have to wait for her to get a little bigger and “grow into her mouth”. I think the worst of the pain has passed, so I’m just going day by day and hoping things improve soon.

2.5 Weeks Old

On a happier note, I want to start a little photo project with Eleanor. I want to take a picture of her each month either holding the same object or sitting in the same place (maybe the Eames rocker?). I think it will be great to look back at a collection of photos to see how she grows. :)

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233 Comments

  • Reply
    Niki
    May 21, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    Congratulations!

    I too had pain when I first started to nurse. But if you stick with it, I promise the pain will go away. I can remember crying while nursing my daughter a year ago…it hurt so much! The nurses told me us fair-skinned girls always have a hard time with sore boobies. After a couple of months it didn’t hurt at all and although I just weaned my daughter three weeks ago, I could probably breastfeed a badger now. ;-)

  • Reply
    Meghan
    May 21, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    I’m a lurker :) I love your style and blog! Congrats on your sweet baby girl. I had to comment because I too struggled with nursing. You really have the right mentality to take it day by day, and whatever decision you decide will be the right one. Good luck!

  • Reply
    Staisha
    May 21, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    Keep up the good work, she’s beautiful. I had nursing problems with my Sadie (she’s 8 now.) It felt like glass was letting down instead of milk. My hubby was awesome and encouraged me to take on nursing at a time, sometime only one side at a time and then pumping. It all worked out. Stick in there it’s one of the best things for both of you.

  • Reply
    mare
    May 21, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    You have a beautiful baby girl. Congrats!

    Breastfeeding is very rewarding & challenging at the same time. The only thing that has saved me is using lanolin after each feed and we are still going strong after 15 months. Good Luck!

  • Reply
    rachel in Cali.
    May 22, 2009 at 1:13 am

    I see that you have had many comments here regarding the nursing and if you read this far as to get to my comment, yipee! :0)

    I just wanted to say that as long as you want to continue nursing, don’t give up. You can get passed this hard stuff. It does take a few weeks for you to “toughen” up (pun intended :0) so the pain subsides as well as for you both to just get the hang of it.

    Also, even though she might be latching on right, as she sucks she might be slipping and sometimes not have as much in her mouth as she should. I feel kinda silly typing this in the comments so I won’t elaborate ;0)

    Best of luck to you, it does get better.

    rachel

  • Reply
    Christina
    May 22, 2009 at 1:21 am

    Hiya,

    I know have a lot of comments to read through, but I want to say DON’T give up on the breastfeeding yet.

    The early days are painful; it will take a while to get used to and after that you will still have occasional bad days.

    My worst was when my son had 2 teeth in and he bit me. I said ‘No!’ very crossly and put him down and left the room for a minute and came back… he never did it again.

    Also in the early days I didn’t swap boobs enough so he wasn’t getting full, and after I fed him on both, he was happier. nipple cream for the chaffing will help.

    As he got older, it was a LOT easier. your boobs mellow out and don’t get quite so chock-a-block full. I fed my son til he was almost two, which sounds quite old, but he was still a baby (I had weaned him on to solids at about 5 months, but still fed him breastmilk. (never, ever used formula)

    I recommend getting a pump and letting your hubby occasionally do the night shift… for your sanity.

    Lastly, I wanted to say that though it was hard, by feeding him all that time, he doesn’t have near the allergies we thought he would (from hubby’s side), and it is special.

    When I decided to stop, I cried for ages as I missed that closeness. I look back and am so glad I did.

    Good luck, I hope the pain eases up.
    Christina

  • Reply
    Ann-Marie in Chicago
    May 22, 2009 at 8:21 am

    Agree with all the supportive nursing hints. One more: drink a beer every time you sit down to nurse, even in the morning.
    You do not have to finish the beer, (it can even be a NA) but, having one by your side will help you relax and that will help EVERYBODY in your little trio.

    Miss Eleanor is so beautiful!
    Although, she looks a wee bit uncomfortable in that chair.

  • Reply
    Gillian
    May 22, 2009 at 8:42 am

    My daughter refused to have me put her down for 2 years! One day my husband told me to go out and enjoy a haircut. 4 hours later I returned to find concerned neighbours and distraught husband. She’d been screaming top note for the entire time! She sobbed a little, snuffled and then collapsed, exhausted.

    On the plus side, she’s now a very confident and happy 7 year old. Just keep holding her – she needs reassurance that you are there for her!

    As for lactation – you know what is best for you! People of either persuasion can be very assertive (strident?) but if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out – it’s not failure.

  • Reply
    Julie
    May 22, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Nicole – love the idea of the eames rocker for photos. Such a simple background will be great so the focus is just on your little darling. :-)
    I’m sure you’ve gotten loads of tips on the breastfeeding issue, but I’ll ofer my two cents worth too. My son was a very difficult feeder. Turns out, his frenulum (sp?) – the little thingy that holds your tongue down to the bottom of your mouth – was too tight. As morbid as it sounds, he had to have his “clipped” at the age of 2 because it was affecting his speach. It most likely was affecting his feeding when he was a baby too. Just a thought . . . ;-)

  • Reply
    Danette
    May 22, 2009 at 10:13 am

    Oh dear, you poor thing. I had the same problem with both of my girls and really wanted to throw in the burb cloth and just forget it. But, the girls got bigger and I got tougher and they got stronger and it all worked out and I am so so grateful that it did. Hang in there.
    There is a great product that really worked for me, I have to go look it up and then I will send you the link.
    Take care of yourself.
    Your girl is beautiful and I adore her name.

  • Reply
    monica
    May 22, 2009 at 11:03 am

    she’s GORGEOUS! but i wanted to write to say a.) get a sling. i had clingon babies, and slings saved us all. and b.) nursing *does* hurt! your boobs are doing things they never did before. it won’t hurt forever though. as soon as your boobs get acclimated to their new job, they’ll be troopers! i nursed two kids for nearly two years, and both times i thought i wouldn’t make it past 2 weeks. i’m sure you already see how awesome it is to nourish your baby. soon it won’t hurt and it will be pure bliss! try lansinoh cream and cabbage leaves chilled in the fridge, but nothing will take the pain away except time. and it *will* be a blink of an eye! oh no! you’re a mommy blogger now and the whole interwebs are going to be at you with advice!!

  • Reply
    Cassie
    May 22, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Nursing is alot like learning to play the guitar. At first, your finger tips will bleed and the pain is excruciating, but after a few weeks, the calluses form and it’s smooth sailing.

    In the meantime, Lanisoh is a marvelous product.

  • Reply
    Kate
    May 22, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    I just wanted to chime in and say she is a beautiful, beautiful baby. And nursing *does* hurt, but as everyone else has said, it will get better and the bonding is totally worth sticking it out for.

    I love the photo idea. Video would be great as well. My daughter is now 2.5 and we have tons of photos of her, but not a lot of video. I wish I’d taken more time to capture all those sweet baby sounds and silly faces she made, especially during the first few months of her life.

  • Reply
    shelley
    May 23, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Beautiful little baby. I just had my 2nd baby on May 9th and have experienced the breast pain all over again. Despite the fact that everyone says it shouldn’t hurt, even with a correct latch, they’re just sore for a good 4 or 5 weeks as much as I hate to say it. But every week they do get better. As long as you don’t have cracking or bleeding (lube them w/ Lansinoh), the soreness is totally normal.

  • Reply
    Robin
    May 23, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Hi Nicole, delurking to say I hear ya with the nursing! I had my son in Oak Park at West Sub two years ago and the best advice I got was to call the Art of Breastfeeding. If you google Art of Breastfeeding Chicago it is the first thing that comes up. Anyway, Peggy saved my sanity and my will to keep up the nursing despite my son’s aggro reflux and my rampant oversupply. Nursing was something I really didn’t want to give up on. We made it through, and Peggy came to my house twice to help me. It was worth every cent and more. Enjoy that little lady, I know its a cliche but my god they grow up fast. My son turns two on Tuesday and I feel like I just blinked. You guys are a beautiful family. Congratulations!

  • Reply
    cher
    May 24, 2009 at 1:31 am

    Hang in there with the nursing. No one ever told me how hard it was- how nice for you to have the internet and get so many supportive comments.

    I saw several lactation consultants and they always told me the kids were latching on fine but man did I cry. I bit down on pencils and did weird mind games just to focus on something else. But it got better overnight it seemed, after several weeks though.

    You’re not alone!

  • Reply
    Zoe
    May 24, 2009 at 6:23 am

    Holy crap, she’s so adorable! Truly, an angelic child.

  • Reply
    Cheryl
    May 24, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    She’s beautiful!

    Nursing was something I was so excited to do, but something that did not come easily. I would grit my teeth, curl my toes and stomp my feet during latch on for the first 6 weeks with my first. I didn’t know anything could hurt that much. I asked a friend in those first few weeks if it hurt when she nursed, and she said “you mean, does it feel like someone is driving nails through my nipples? YES.” I have difficult nipples (somewhat inverted, evidently), which only compounded the problem. But I stuck it out, and I’m so glad I did. Nursing was one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done, and with girls who are now 6 and 10, it’s one of the things I miss most about the early days. Definitely keep up the good work, and I promise it gets easier with time. The way I figure it, the first few days of nursing, the baby bruises you, and the next few weeks hurt because she’s essentially mashing and pulling on your bruised bits until they get used to it. No wonder it hurts! With my second child, 4 1/2 years later, it was only painful for a week or two.

    Hang in there!

  • Reply
    Mandy
    May 25, 2009 at 12:48 am

    Keep up with the nursing/ breastfeeding. It is worth it. I went through a few weeks of sore/ dry/ bleeding nipples but went on to feed both my babies until they were 15 mnths old. Very rewarding!

    Also, just a note on the ‘wanting to be held’ thang. She really needs to get used to being elsewhere. Otherwise you’ll end up with a VERY clingy, whingey baby that will go to nobody else but you to be settled. The best advice I can give (and some mums do not agree) is to have a go at controlled crying. Not for everyone, cos it can break your heart, but worth it in the long run. Both my babies slept for 8 hrs a night due to using this type of method from about 6 weeks old. And 12 hrs a night from about 4 mnths. Wonderful! The ‘cry’ she makes is probably just a protest (who wouldn’t want to be carried around all day?) but she will soon learn that it is not so bad watching mum and dad from a different vantage point in the room. Another tip is to put her to bed while she is awake. If she is sleeping in your arms and you put her down she may freak out when she wakes and realises you’ve deceived her!

    Anyway, I learnt all this as I went along, and you will too. And I am bringing it out of the back of my head as I eagerly await number 3….

  • Reply
    Susie
    May 25, 2009 at 5:24 am

    She is so beautiful.
    Congratulatios
    Kiss from Portugal

  • Reply
    Carol
    May 25, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    She is BEAUTIFUL!!!

  • Reply
    Fiona
    May 26, 2009 at 11:29 am

    I’m so glad you are having fun. I had a terrible time nursing, too, and that seems to be more common than not. My daughter had a tongue tie, which apparently made it harder, and I eventually just gave up and pumped. I hope you have better luck! I won’t lie, because I want other people to not feel bad if they have trouble–I found the whole trying-to-nurse process extremely trying and sobbed heartily a few times.

  • Reply
    Fiona
    May 26, 2009 at 11:31 am

    And three words for you: Ameda Gel Pads. Thank God for them.

  • Reply
    natalie
    May 27, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    i enjoy reading your blog and feel compelled to write you, like the other 200+ people who have reached out. breastfeeding SUCKS at first! i’ve breastfed 2 babies and enjoyed all of it, minus the first 3 weeks. you’re on the verge of entering the ‘comfortable’ zone. trust us/me! if it gets too bad, take a few days break and pump and give her a bottle. i did this for days 8-14/18 with both of mine and they still nursed for 12 months. try a relaxed approach, as it looks like you’re good at, and you’ll be successful! hang in there, friend!

  • Reply
    TracyKM
    May 28, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    She’s precious! My BF went okay for the first two weeks, then I suddenly had pain for a week with latch, with each of my kids. It went away again. So many give up when it gets hard, but it almost always gets WAY easier.
    If she likes being held so much, and hates the stroller, then why not use slings? Babywearing is one of the best things I did as a parent!

  • Reply
    Katie
    May 31, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Nobody told me how hard the b-feeding would be either but if you’re 3 weeks in, I guarantee one day soon you think think: “hey, this doesn’t hurt anymore!!” I promise. Then it will be a breeze. Good luck, you’re doing a great job. My one piece of advice for all new parents is to get a hefty load of earplugs. That way when dad takes care of baby and mama can sleep in, you won’t hear a thing. The ear plugs have literally saved my life. Cheers to you.

  • Reply
    daisy mae
    May 31, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    My son wouldn’t let me set him down either. I finally got a sling from hotslings.com when he was about 4 months old. I wish I had done it sooner. He was already so big, I had to stuff him in there, but my hands were free to crochet and get some chores done. He had to fall asleep laying on me as well and then I would slide him off to lay between us. Not recommended by the experts, but I needed to sleep! I wish I had tried harder to set him down. His crying would break my heart though. He never stopped, so crying it out was not an option. One time, I was so exhausted I fell asleep with him screaming his head off in the crib a foot from me. For an hour! He’s one now and not clingy so I don’t know if holding him was a good or bad thing. It’s all about what you are comfortable with. He *just* started sleeping through the night. By the end of that year, I was so tired and ready to sleep 8 blissful hours without getting up to nurse him twice a night.

  • Reply
    justme
    June 3, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    She is lovely!

  • Reply
    Rebekah
    June 3, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Nursing can really *~HuRT~* at the beginning. I nursed my daughter for over 2 years since she had a milk and soy allergy. I nursed my son for about a year and a half. Sometimes I had to use labor pain coping techniques while nursing. It DOES get WAY better after a while! Hang in there, and if you decide you’re done, that’s okay too. I don’t understand why something that’s supposed to be natural, according to how the body is made, can be so hard.
    I hope this is encouraging!
    (((Hugs)))
    Rebekah

  • Reply
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    Making it Lovely | Transforming the so-so. » Blog Archive » How I Got My Baby to Sleep Through the Night (Without Crying)
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  • Reply
    Milusha
    July 24, 2009 at 8:54 am

    Eleanor is so adorable! I know what you mean about nursing being painful! I too cried when I nursed my son Elliot. It was so very painful at first I too almost gave up if it wasn’t for the encouragement from my husband. Now it’s not too bad. When Elliot latches onto my right breast, it still hurts so that’s the one I start with. My toes curl and I wince. I am guessing his mouth just favours the left more. Am glad though that things have improved!

  • Reply
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