Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I could get used to this

Willow naps, during the day, and I can get a few things done. Yay! We’ve had a couple of these in the past few days and the time feels like such an undeserved luxury. I’m hesitant to be too optimistic, but perhaps we are beginning to settle into a schedule. Maybe we are emerging from the toughest period. I don’t want to declare victory too early, but I feel an initial sense of relief, and hope that it will be easier from here.

Willow is really “growing up,” funny as it may seem at seven weeks. At the last breastfeeding support group meeting, she was the oldest baby there. Her mid-section is now “solid,” the same way River’s was from birth. She has a nice little collection of fat rolls. She spends more time alert and not eating, and we enjoy little progresses, like smiles that seem to be directed at us. She seems to be thriving, though I haven’t bothered to weigh her since she last went to the doctor when she was a few days old. She’ll have her two-month checkup in just a couple of weeks and I expect the news to be good.

I’ve started my class, so am now required to leave the house three times a week for 1-2 hours at a time. Mark asks me why I don’t use that time to write instead.

“Because I don’t have to leave the house to do that,” I said. “And it’s too easy for everyone to turn to me when I’m in the house.”

It might make more sense to use that time to write rather than to listen to more lectures about probability. But as supportive as Mark is, I don’t think he’d be thrilled about me leaving him with two kids so that I could go to a café and write for an hour. But the class has set hours and I should be there at that time, like it or not. I find it helpful to be forced out of the house. Sitting among other people for an hour, with no focus on babies on children, is great. It makes me feel like I’m slowly returning to who I am when I’m not a 24-7 milk machine.

If only this darn thrush would go away, I’d really be feeling good. In desperation, I’ve eliminated sweets, yeast and alcohol and greatly reduced cheese, white carbohydrates and processed foods. There are no magic rules though. Some of the suggested diets are so incredibly restrictive I can’t fathom following them, especially when I have no time to cook. Others suggest cutting this, or that, but I haven’t been able to find clear guidelines. And I have a tendency to bend the rules. A bran or a whole-wheat muffin is a whole grain, right? Even though it has sugar? Can I eat it or not? I have been eating them, and wonder whether I’m feeding the Candida.

I’ve also received a lot of contradictory advice. Walk around barebreasted to avoid creating a dark, moist environment where yeast can grow. No, cover your breasts immediately to keep them warm and reduce the effects of Raynaud’s. Use Dr. Jack Newman’s all purpose nipple cream. No, the steroid isn’t a good idea, nor is the antibiotic. Squirt breastmilk on your nipples to promote the healing of cracks. No, don’t do that as it’s bad for the yeast.

The doctors don’t seem so well-versed in these matters and while the lactation consultants have been helpful, different consultants say different things. So my best source for the moment has been moms who have been through thrush. If anyone has suggestions of what killed it for them, I’d be happy to hear it.

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