Archive | April, 2009

Tension, tension, tension!

30 Apr

“All too frequently, your child’s reluctance to go to bed is actually a reflection of how her world is feeling at that moment. Sleep is very sensitive to our emotions. And while it is well documented that emotions can disrupt sleep for adults, what is not as well known is that they can also disturb the sleep of children–even infants. That’s because emotions ‘arouse’ the brain and body. As a result, our muscles tense, preparing us to take action.”

I just finished the section on tension triggers and it makes so, so much sense!

When did all this sleep/behavior trouble start? When Stephen and I decided that we were going to move among other things.

“It doesn’t have to be a traumatic event such as an accident or major illness to increase arousal and agitation for your cild. Getting lost in a store, being held down for a painful medical procedure, experiencing a bad storm, hearing a terrifying news story, or having a teacher or coach who yells and shames, can be enough to keep your child awake at night for days, even weeks… It can be difficult to know what will significantly upset a child. During the last six months, has your child or family experienced any painful or distressful event? The residue may be lingering in your child’s body, pushing her across the line into tense energy… Major changes can also pose a problem. A move, a new baby, a divorce are obvious creators of tension, but what may not be as obvious are the little changes that actually have a big impact on tension… which disrupts your entire family’s sense of order and predictability… Switching beds or bedrooms, going on a family vacation, the start or end of a school year, or even the shift to daylight savings time can impact your child.”

-Being held down for painful medical procedure? Check (shots)
-Moving… check
-Switching beds… check (we transitioned from the Pack N Play to her crib after the move)
-Switching bedrooms… check (we not only changed to a new bedroom in the move, but started having her sleep in her own room after the move)
-Family vacation… check (well a sort of one day only thing for my sisters graduation, but I noticed it had a huge impact)
-Daylight savings time… check.

“Anthropologist Mark Finn from the University of Missouri has been studying children living on a remote tropical island for more than thirteen years…What he discovered is that children’s (even infants’) stress levels peak when the key adults in their lives are stressed. What may seem inconsequential to adults–a fight between Mom and Dad, Grandma fretting about bills, or Mom leaving on a business trip–causes a child’s cortisol levels to rise… It appears that, without meaning to, you can communicate your stress to your child via your touch, voice tone, and gesture. When you slam the door, throw down the car keys, or yell, the force and tone convey to your child that something is amiss and that he needs to be on alert. Immediately, stress hormones are released into her body. Your stress also preoccupies you, making it less likely that you’ll pick up your child’s cues and respond patiently. The result is a child who feels more anxious and insecure and, as a result, fights to stay awake.”

I am horrible when it comes to masking and dealing with stress. I am sure I’ve transmitted how I’m feeling to Bean. I just tend to be a pretty emotional person in general. If I am worn out or stressed about the tiniest thing it is pretty obvious. Stephen is way better at this stuff, but then again not. He’ll say that he’s fine and not stressed, but I can tell. He does act different. He isn’t fine.

“Ironically, the less sleep your child has the more stress hormones his body releases to keep him going. If your child isn’t sleeping or behaving well, think back on the events of the week. Did you have to wake him from a nap? Did he skip a nap or stay up late for a special event? Did he spend a restless night in a hotel or at a slumber party? If these things occurred, you can assume that your child is experiencing high tension.”

When I run errands all day or the day is just really exciting because people are here and there is stuff going on, Bean often skips naps or doesn’t nap for very long. Consequently, she is sometimes harder to get to sleep and get her to stay asleep that night because she is so overtired and having a hard time shutting down.

“Lights, noise, crowds, and colors are all sensations that can stimulate the brain. Some children seem to easily block those sensations and drop off to sleep in the midst of them. Others get revved up and just can’t fall asleep. But high levels of stimulation are the norm for most families, and, as a result, it is easy to miss this as a cause… Do a life check. Did battery-operated toys arrive as gifts for your newborn? … Have you ever noticed that, after a day of shopping your child can’t sleep? Stop, look and listen. How many different sensations is your child’s brain trying to process at once? Does the stimulation level in your child’s life leave him cringing, too tight to sleep? If your child is especially sensitive to stimulation, it doesn’t mean that you should never go to an amusement park for fun, or a restaurant for dinner. It’s just a reminder that if his day has been filled with hours of television-watching, crowds of people, and a barrage of stimulation, it’s likely that he’ll need more help settling down for the night… Sometimes it’s the pace and sense of rushing that can be keeping your family awake. Even when you’ve been looking forward to the activities and thoroughly enjoy them, there’s a line where you and your child cross from calm into tense energy…  Often we become so accustomed to this level of tension that we are not even aware of it. Take special care to pay attention to the needs of a younger child who gets toted along… The stress of a too-busy life can get you and your child not only during the day, but at night as well. Recognizing this allows you to find the balance between a busy, yet satisfying day and one that leaves everyone in a frenzy.”

Bean is defnitely very easily stimulated by the world. When we are in public she deals with this by becoming quietly observant. However, she does start to dart her head around trying to take it all in. Sometimes even just Stephen’s presence is enough to send her over the edge of excitement and overstimulation. As I’m carrying her upstairs for a diaper change she’ll be in a frenzy to keep her eyes on him. If she hears his voice and he comes home during a nursing session I can just throw in the towel because there will be no use trying to keep her attention on the task at hand. Papa is just too exciting. This is one reason I am so glad we don’t have cable or the ability to watch TV right now. I think we would have even more problems.

“Pschologist Tom Anders found in his studies that children nine to fourteen months old wake more frequently than six-month-old infants. The reason, he believes, is the huge surge in physical devopment at this stage. It’s during this period of nine to fourteen months that most tiny toddlers begin to pull themselves up to standing, and begin walking. The joy of these new skills raises arousal levels and so enthralls the child that even in the middle of the night he wants to practice… So, if your child is waking in the night or battling to stay up, ask yourself, is she within six weeks of her birthday or half birthday when growth spurts tend to occur? Or have you noticed any significant change in her skills?… What skills is your child working on right now? What is he able to do that he couldn’t do six months ago? The quest to grow may be keeping him aroused.”

Yes, yes and yes. Stephen and I have come into Bean’s room in the middle of the night to find her trying to sit up, crawl, roll over and pull herself up onto the side of the crib. The other night she was saying “Ma ma ma” a bunch in her sleep. During the day her new discoveries are often a huge source of tension in her little body, especially when she can’t quite get to or do the thing that she wants.

So often though I’ve just been frustrated. I take her attitude personally as if she can somehow control it. Instead of seeing things through her perspective. This new exciting world to her. Each day it seems she discovers a new toy, finds a new way to do something.

“When you are able to tune into the ‘culprits’ that are creating tense energy in your child’s life, you won’t feel so out of control. As a result, you’ll respond more empathaetically, recognizing that your child is not trying to be difficult. Your awareness will also allow you to be kinder to yourself. You are not a bad or ineffective parent. It’s tension that is keepig your child on alert, unable to sleep and acting up. The ‘force’ is no longer invisible. It’s concrete and manageable, and you are now ready to take the steps to reduce it, so that everyone can sleep.”

Sound familiar?

29 Apr

I just re-picked up Sleepless in America: Practical Strategies to Help Your Family Get the Sleep it Deserves by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. I first read this book when Bean was about a month old. I actually didn’t read the whole thing. Just the first chapter and then the chapter on infants. I was a little disappointed at that time because it basically said everything that Happiest Baby on the Block said. I didn’t understand why so many AP (attachment parenting) parents were such a fan of this book when it was just reitterating the same exact information and offering no new tricks or advice. Way to blow $20.

Well, with all our sleep issues lately I decided to give the book a second chance. I’m through the first five chapters and already finding so much stuff that falls in line with my parenting style (which is somewhere between AP and not AP). I love that Kurcinka admits that not every strategy works for every child. I love that she has so much research in here to back it all up. I just am loving this book right now.

What I’m not loving? That my yuckiness is pointed out so blatantly before my eyes. A yuckiness that I believe is a result of not getting enough sleep.

Here’s a checklist of behavior that unfortunately fits me nearly perfectly:
-Be short-tempered, easily “set off” by the kids
-Feel irritable and cranky, nothing is much fun
-Burst into tears
-Become frustrated easily
-Find it difficult to alter plans or deal with surprises
-Become controlling and demanding
-Feel overwhelmed, anxious, or jittery
-Experience head- or stomachaches
-Have difficulty falling asleep even though you’re tired
-Wake up in the morning to an alarm going off or a child waking you, rather than on your own
-Become ill more frequently
-Crave carbohydrates, sugar, and/or caffeine
-Drop things, stub your toe, turn your ankle, or stumble
-Feel sluggish, heavy, unable to make a meal, pick things up, respond to a child
-Experience overwhelming sleepiness at certain points in the day
-Feel as though you are in a fog
-Mix up words
-Forget things
-Make a list and then lose it
-Perform poorly, especially on things that require quick thinking or action
-Miss “cues” from your children and others
-Miss your exit on the freeway
-Have difficulty making decisions or thinking things through
-Argue with your partner or your children
-Take your child’s behavior more personally
-Demand that things be done NOW!
-Be more easily hurt by the comments of others
-Be less flexible
-Allow the “tone” to creep into your voice

While some of it is kind of funny, most of it is just yucky. I hate that I act this way. Maybe not in the public eye, but I do act this way. Out of the whole list there were only a few things that did not describe me: hitting, throwing things, inability to be creative (can’t really see that one ever happening), feeling frenzied, frequently ill, and feeling guilty about lack of energy.

So yeah, we definitely have sleep issues around here. Yes, I knew that already. Hopefully this book will help.

Nuggets I like so far:

“Anything that upsets your child’s sense of well-being will raise her arousal and pull her system in the direction opposite of sleep. That’s why it is important to look at the advice you have been given. Scrutinize it carefully and determine whether the recommended strategies create a sense of security that calms your child’s body, thus gently nudging her toward sleep, or leave her feeling anxious and insecure, pushing her away.”

Ah yes. All the well intentioned advice us moms (and dads) get… “You just need to let her cry it out. She’ll sleep like an angel.” “Don’t spoil her.” “If you bring her to bed with you, you’ll never get her out.” A few paragraphs later Kurcinka shares some good tips for responding to the advice so that you don’t start debates or offend your friends and family or make anyone feel guilty for doing what works for their family.

“It’s very likely that your heart has fought the use of strategies that leave your child feeling tense and threatened, but you might not have known what else you could do. Or you may have felt trapped, reluctant to ignore the warnings of others, or pressured to use strategies that so many others have. And it is true. Children may cry as they go to sleep. The key is in knowing the differences in the cries. Lay one child down, and he may cry for a few minutes. A mad cry, as though to say, ‘This is hard work! I don’t like it. I don’t want to rest,” but in less than five minutes, he falls blissfully asleep. As his parent, you realize that a bit of fussing was just what he needed to release the tension from his body and that he will now sleep well. Lay another child down, and he screams as though he’s pleading, ‘Help me, please help me, I can’t stop!’ And, indeed, he can’t. His heart racing, eyes wild, hair mussed, he is unable to bring his body back into balance and calm himself. If left unattended, he will cry for hours, overwhelmed by the rush of stress hormones in his body. He cannot stop until someone helps him, not because he’s trying to be manipulative but because of the tension and level of arousal in his body. Or, if he does finally ‘crash,’ as a parent, you are left wondering, as Robert did in class, does he fall in exhaustion or in despair? When you practice sensitive care, you recognize the difference between the cries of these two children, and respond to each appropriately. If, however, you allow the advice of others, no matter how well intentioned, to stop you from listening to your child’s cues and to your own heart’s reaction, you lose your rudder, that deep sense of direction that tells you what your child needs and how to respond. Children can learn to fall asleep and to stay asleep with strategies that gently and respectfully get them there. You don’t have to leave them screaming in the night.”

Ah yes! This is totally us around here! I will now admit freely that I did try “crying it out” again about a month ago during nap time one day. Such a disaster. Let’s just say that Bean is very persistant and she would have gone on for hours and hours and hours if I let her. Crying it out does not work for her and I really don’t have the nerves for it honestly. However, sometimes after I’ve already rocked or nursed her to sleep and I put her into bed she will roll onto her tummy lift up her head and cry for a couple seconds before resettling herself and falling blissfully asleep as if nothing happened. I was exasperated over these two completely different situations. Was I being a bad, non-AP mom and letting her “cry it out” sometimes even though I knew that these situations were, in fact, completely different?

“Stop and reflect. How are you approaching sleep now? Does your nighttime routine match the kind of nurturing care you are providing your child during the day, or are you doing things at night that you would never consider trying during the day? If someone asked you to post your ‘nighttime policy’ at your door or on the Internet, would another family want to send their child to you for care? If you were a child, would you want to sleep in your home?”

This section was especially hard hitting because she took the advice that many parents have been given when it comes to dealing with their babies and applied it to a “nighttime policy” for elderly in assisted living situations. Would you want your sweet grandparents left crying it out, soiled in poo or puke, and thirsty in the night? I don’t think so.

“Perspective is a powerful force. It changes our attitude, our behavior, and the physiological reactions in our body. When we are willing to stop and consider the other person’s perspective, we begin to work together. When your child doesn’t sleep, it can feel as though her behavior is intentional. Why, you may wonder, is she doing this to me? Why is she goading me and disturbing everyone around her? This perspective leaves you feeling angry and helpless, ready to fight with your child or to shut the door and walk away from her. The reality is that when your child isn’t sleeping, it isn’t about you. Rather it is a reflection of what’s going on inside of her body. When she doesn’t sleep, it’s not because she won’t, but because she can’t. Think about your own restless nights, when sleep eludes you. Tossing and turning, you find yourself checking the clock every two hours, your dreams leaving you troubled and tired. You do not choose for this to happen to you. Rather, something is on your mind, your body is humming with energy. As a result, you do not sleep because, like your child, you can’t.”

Oh man. So often I take things with Bean so personally even though she’s only 7 months old. Even tonight as I was putting on a particularly complicated pair of PJs (seriously who designs sleepwear for babies with a million snaps and four ties!?!), I was getting really mad because she kept wanting to roll over and look in the mirror or play with the carpet and gosh darnit I needed to get these PJs on already! Why wasn’t she listening to me? I said, NO! So dumb to get upset over PJs, I know, but it had been a long day and I was exhausted and frustrated.

Anyway, like I said I love this book. I’m even thinking about ordering her other one about raising a spirited child because I already have a feeling from her personality that Bean will be spirited, to say the least.

Week Thirty One

29 Apr

Dear Bean,

Sometimes it is easy to forget how quickly your world is changing around you.

Your auntie was just here for a couple of days which you loved.

I think she summed it up best, “She’s so different. Last time I saw her she could barely sit up on her own. Now she’s saying ‘mama’ and ‘papa’, crawling, rolling around, and taking steps when she holds onto your fingers.”

Yep, that’s right. You are taking steps now!

In the last few days I’ve made quite a big change around here too. I put you on a schedule. While I still think that on demand feeding has its merits, especially in the beginning to get supply up, I was just having a hard time not having a schedule now that you are a little older. Some days I felt tied to the couch all day and was constantly wondering if your cries were actually from hunger or just that you needed some comfort or something to do.

Our schedule really isn’t all that different from what you did on a typical day. You had already worked yourself into a schedule of a morning nap around 10:30 and an afternoon nap around 2:30. But sometimes I was letting you sleep too much during the day (3-4 hour stretches) or you weren’t napping at all. If we were out running errands and you were distracted you would go several hours without eating some days, but other days you were eating every half hour if we were home and you were bored.

Then thrush came along and all that snacking was really getting to me and hurting like heck.

So I’ve made this decision for us. This is not typical of me. I don’t like having time commitments because they generally make me worry and freak out if something doesn’t go completely according to plan. I’m starting to realize though that I do need a little bit of structure in my day. I like knowing where the hours go and being able to say at the end of the day that I did this, this and this instead of always feeling like nothing got done.

I will admit that there have been some tears shed on your part over it. I’m sorry about that. You do seem to be getting used to it though even after only a few days.

Another thing I like about the schedule is that instead of just handing you off to me if you are upset, your papa is taking a much more active role in entertaining and comforting you because he knows that you really did just eat and that you don’t need to eat again until your next feeding time.

I’m not sure if this will fix our night waking problem, you are still doing that quite a bit, but it will at least give my day a little more structure and let me plan when I can get things done.

Anyway, that is our latest adventure in the parent child relationship. I am sure there will be many more to come.

I love you munchie,

Mama

Week Thirty

22 Apr

Life just got a whole lot more interesting around here. Bean is crawling!

Luckily she’s still at the point where she has to really be convinced to do it and you have to have something she really wants otherwise she’ll just sit there and stare at you, but basically I need to babyproof the apartment tonight.

In other Bean news I’m trying to find some kind of balance between being the anal-scheduled-mom that sounds like this (overheard at the park prior to Easter weekend):

“What are you doing for Easter? Oh. Well we’re supposed to go to my brothers house, but I’m really annoyed. I mean it used to be that when Max was a baby nothing in our family EVER got scheduled between the hours of 10 and 4. That was like holy, sacred nap time that you couldn’t mess with. But ever since Max isn’t a baby anymore the whole family schedules stuff whenever. It’s so frustrating. So I told my mom that we might show up, but if we do it will probably only be for like 30 minutes because then we need to go back home so Elijah can take his nap. And I don’t really care if it pisses them off. I’m tired of everyone not caring about our nap schedule!”

and being the flakey-anything-goes mom that lets her kids run wild and if they don’t get a nap and are having meltdowns everyday well who cares they are kids and we should just let them be free spirits. But in trying to find that balance I sometimes feel like I am bipolar. One day I’m setting off alarms to try and make sure she only gets to eat every two hours and the next I am letting her sleep for 4-5 hours during the day and then she’s staying up until 11 that night because she got most of her sleep during the day.

Part of me longs for the schedule so I know what to expect and part of me wants to rebel against any form of a schedule and just let things be. Anyway, that probably sounds like a whole lot of jibberish. So I’ll stop.

But wow, she’s crawling!

Two Oh’s

21 Apr

I’m a little over halfway through my twenties (I turned 25 last August) and instead of bemoaning all the things I have not done yet, I decided that I would celebrate those things that I have done and places I have been. So this is what my 20s have looked like so far…

-Married my best friend and a talented musician.
-Saw some friendships wither after I married.
-Toured California with an unsigned rock band.
-Spent countless hours holding vigil in recording studios.
-Spent the winter in Big Bear worshipping God with thousands of junior high and high school kids.
-Taught/re-taught myself to scrapbook, crochet, knit, sew and embroider.
-Made lovely handmade gifts for myself, friends and family.
-Sat on the beach on July 4th with fireworks going up all around that were so loud they shook your chest with a war veteran I actually knew personally.
-Saw the amazing beauty that is Sedona, AZ.
-Got the travel bug, but have not really satiated it yet.
-Went to my first Major Leage Baseball game.
-Seaworld/Disneyland/San Diego Zoo. All amazing.
-Got beyond Top Ramen & Hot Pockets. Taught myself to cook. I’m getting pretty good at it.
-Changed majors/minors a lot.
-Learned proper signing techniques and more about music theory than I will ever be able to use with my limited musical abilities.
-Wrote a thesis/study on Christian faith and the impact it had on political voting decisions in Bakersfield, CA during the 2004 election.
-Earned my BA.
-In awe of God’s creation in Mammoth, CA.
-In shock over man’s depravity in Manzanar, CA.
-Experiemented with photography. Still working on this.
-Dabbled in the news industry.
-Started a blog.
-Got fired for a blog entry by a company that wouldn’t be around without the first amendment.
-Kept blogging anyway.
-Became an award winning journalist (locally anyway).
-Saw U2 in concert.
-Started my autobiography. Made the mistake of giving it out before it was finished and when I wasn’t ready for criticism. Haven’t worked on it since.
-Became an editor. Hated it.
-Quit my job.
-Flirted with law school.
-Survived one of the worst pregnancies.
-Experienced Seattle and fell in love with a city for the first time.
-Defied a doctor.
-Had a precious baby girl in my bedroom with only a midwife and my husband present.
-Heard that baby girl call me “Mama”.
-Made new friends.
-Signed up for an organic produce co-op.
-Invested in real estate at a really good time and made thousands.
-Invested in real estate at a bad time and lost thousands.
-Became a landlord.
-Moved from the city I had spent most of my remembering life to somewhere completely new.
-Found a church that I really love.
-Started serious budget making and following for the first time in my marriage.
-Refigured my priorities and realized that some of the stuff I thought was important was just stupid.

Beach Day

19 Apr

Today after church we drove a couple blocks and parked then walked out to Carpinteria State Beach. I had packed lunches and a snack for us in the cooler. We introduced Bean to sand and the water. We actually went to the beach last weekend too but it was too cold and Bean stayed in the front pack on Stephen the whole time. So this was her first real experience. I only had my cell phone with me, but the photos turned out OK they’re just a little washed out.

She didn’t last in the water very long. She cried when the waves came. I was really surprised because she loves bathtime.

She loved hanging out in the sun on the sand though. Definitely ate some.

And of course there was some quality time with Papa before we all head back into the daily work week grind.

Side note: Bean clearly said “Papa” to Stephen this morning in bed. It was so cute.

Eye Candy Friday: Trying on the wedding tutu

17 Apr

Week Twenty-nine

15 Apr


Still doesn’t quite have the crawling thing down, but is trying really hard.


Has some cool new shades I got her at Target yesterday.


Loves to go to the park and swing. Though this is not the park. This is the playground outside our apartment. Yes, I am aware that this particular swing is really gross looking. I’m just not a germaphobe and can handle it.


Not ready for slides yet, but they are fun to sit on.

I am also happy to report that I have had three tolerable nursing sessions today since starting the regimine of stuff to kill off the infection. Bean seems a little happier today too. Though not as I am writing this because it is naptime and she’s at the end of her rope.

Candidiasis

13 Apr

It is nearly midnight as I am writing this. Why am I up you ask? Because I stupidly drank a caffeinated beverage with dinner and because I am in pain. I’ll get to the pain part in a few minutes.

The following is probably more information than you ever wanted to know about me. I blame it on the caffeine induced insomnia. I also share it so that other breastfeeding moms don’t make my same mistake(s).

On March 20 (I share the date because the amount of time that has passed shows just how dumb I am), I started to feel like I was getting a yeast infection.  This is really nothing new for me. I am just prone to these things. Please spare me the “clean up” lecture. I’ve had that awkward conversation enough times with enough awkward parties.

I’ve been getting them for as long as I can remember. If I do something really physical like running or hiking or whatever I get one. If I don’t wear cotton underwear I get one. If I go swimming for the day and stay in my swimsuit the entire day, I’m definitely asking to get one. Like I said, I’m just prone to them.

Anyway, I did what I always do. I upped my yogurt intake (as in actually ate some) and took a couple acidophilus capsules for a few days. When the symptoms stopped I got lazy again and stopped taking all the stuff. Being that I’m prone to them, I should probably just make acidophilus a regular part of my daily diet, but I don’t. Who really wants to be stuck on pills their whole life? Not me.

Anyway, about this time is when Bean was starting her crankiness. She also had develped a diaper rash. I attributed the diaper rash to the change in laundry detergents because that brand had been implicated in diaper rash problems amongst other babies. I felt confident in this diagnosis when I made my own detergent and the diaper rash seemed to be less red and yucky looking after a couple diaper changes.

Well, then the diaper rash came back with avengence. Nothing was working on it. Baths? Nope. Hanging out without a diaper on? Nope. Diaper rash cream? Nope. Changing the diaper every single hour? Nope. Poor little Bean still has a nasty red bottom as I write this.

Also during this time I thought Bean was teething. And who knows? She probably was some of the time. Motrin did seem to help last week during the worst of it and she now has a little tiny white spot showing through on the left side of her mouth to match the one that showed up on the right side at 3 months.

Well, because she was teething she was nursing a lot. And I was getting really, really sore. Like as bad as it was in the beginning sore. But the thing is, she has had long nursing spells prior to this and it didn’t hurt a bit. So I figured that maybe she wasn’t latching on properly. Or she was biting me. I started paying more attention to her during nursing time and it wasn’t any of those things. 

A few nights ago the pain was so bad that I could hardly stand to nurse. I almost wanted to give it up completely. Bean’s fussy behavior and constant night waking coupled with the painful nursing experience really had me in an emotional state. I told Stephen the next morning that I didn’t want to breastfeed anymore and that I wanted to get a “real” job because I just couldn’t take being a full time mom anymore.

After some talking down from the ledge by a few different people I was OK.

But breastfeeding was still hurting. Like a lot. 

So I’m running the gamut of possibilites… “Am I pregnant? No way. I would know. My chart would tell me. Or maybe it wouldn’t. Well maybe I’m getting ready to have the monthly thing a little early. I’ve heard that some women experience painful nursing during that time so maybe that’s what it is. But then why hasn’t it hurt all the other times? And this is like a lot of pain. Wouldn’t they just give up? What is going on? Why does it hurt so badly?”

I usually knit or read while Bean is nursing because they are easy things I can do while sitting. Knitting is so easy for me that I can do it with my eyes closed. Only tonight when I was breastfeeding it hurt so bad that I couldn’t even knit because that task would require way too much of me when I was in this kind of pain. All I could do is grit my teeth and try to breathe.

And then for some reason I remembered a post I read about sudden onset of pain during nursing and it hit me like a ton of bricks. It all made sense. How could I be so dumb?

Thrush.

Also known as a yeast infection or candidiasis.

So once again I miss all the signs and symptoms for a significant period of time. You will note this all started back on March 20 as I said and it is now APRIL 13.

Anyway, where I went wrong in this whole thing is that I didn’t take the acidophilus for long enough. Do not be lazy like me. The recommendations that I found said to take 2 capsules 3 times a day and that it should continue to be taken 1-2 weeks AFTER symptoms have gone away. I also found that Bean can have one capsule three times a day (made into a paste and put in food).

Since this particular infection has had quite a bit of time to get established I think I’m also going to throw in the other recommendations I found to help the acidophilus along. These are:
-rinse infected areas with a vinegar and water solution (excluding baby’s mouth)
-antifungal creams (Monistat or Lotramin) can be applied to baby’s bottom, mom’s nipples, etc., but needs to be washed from nipples prior to a feeding
-take 4-6 capsules of odorless garlic a day for 1-2 weeks until after symptoms are gone
-take 250mg of grapefruit seed extract three times a day for 1-2 weeks until after symptoms are gone
-yeast thrive on milk and sugar so aside from yogurt, try to avoid them in your diet until symptoms are gone

So yeah. I took a couple acidophilus capsules tonight. I’ll be picking up my other fungus fighters tomorrow. I’m hoping to kick this thing good and hard and make it go away for awhile.

At least I know what the heck is going on finally. Jeeze.

Menu Plan Monday

13 Apr

Monday, April 13
• Stir fry with chicken, sugar snap peas, carrots, spring onions, and store bought sweet & sour sauce over steamed rice

Tuesday, April 14
• Lasagna with chard and ground turkey
• Salad with lettuce, spring onions and naval orange
• Bread with garlic butter

Wednesday, April 15
• BBQ chicken tenderloins
• Steamed carrots
• Salad with lettuce, spring onions and naval orange

Thursday, April 16
• Dinner with Dave and Ash at The Cheesecake Factory (maybe? finally? Lord willing…)

Friday, April 17
• Macaroni and Cheese using cauliflower puree
• Salad with lettuce, spring onions and naval orange

Saturday, April 18
• Sugar Snap Peas recipe from AH newsletter
• Chicken Salad using cauliflower puree

Sunday, April 19
• Turkey Burgers
• Sweet Potato Fries
• Homemade ketchup

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