Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Two Weeks and Two Days in (Warning:Breastfeeding is discussed in this post)

Hey, there!  Here I am, two weeks and two days into "newborndom"!  I use that exclamation point to express the happiness that I am still alive!  Lol!  Well, that might be a little exaggerated.  Hee, hee.  

I am thankful that these past couple of weeks have "seemingly" flown by.  I think sleep deprivation has helped it to fly by in the sense that my memory of it is just about as faint as my past two newborn phases!  We have had some challenges though.  I was able to nurse my boys with hardly any issues but this little girlie has proven that she does not like to follow the crowd.  ;)  We were nursing ok for the first couple of days but my milk didn't come in until the fourth day so Bella Wren was pretty fussy most of the time.  Then, I got a sore on my left side and the pain that I was having while she nursed there was excruciating!  And I mean excruciating--I shook, tensed up, cried and totally stressed out.  I finally broke down one day and gave her a bottle of formula.  It was a hard day.  I was feeling guilty for giving her formula (my boys never tasted the stuff until much, much later.  And, NO, I don't think those of you who formula feed your babes are doing something wrong, I just wasn't prepared to have a hard time with Bella and I was producing plenty of milk so I felt a bit guilty.  I know, I shouldn't have felt that way but I did.  I guess I just wanted to give her the best that I could and for me that meant breastfeeding) but just didn't know what to do.  After thinking and praying about it a bit I decided to trying pumping and bottle feeding for a few days to give my sore some healing time.  Well, after one day of pumping I tried again and had minimal pain BUT the pain increased as the day progressed and I had to go back to pumping by the early evening feeding.  I gave my sore two more days (or so--sleep deprivation has truly zapped my memory of just a few days ago!)and lots and lots of applications of this all natural salve that a friend let me have and it healed up completely!  I have now been nursing pain-free (apart from what I consider the "normal" initial minor pain which should end soon I hope!) and nursing Bella for the past couple of days.  Yea!  And praise God!  I was really stressing about it those first few days and I am just so thankful that I don't have to continue my pumping regimen.  I know some women solely pump and bottle feed but I just don't like that. I feel like it takes twice the amount of time and during the day it is just me the the girl, so it does since there is no one here to feed her a bottle while I pump.  Anyway, I hope and pray I don't get any more sores and that we can continue breastfeeding until we both feel its time to move on.

Now, another thing that has been happening, mostly during our late night/early morning feedings, is Bella will nurse but will let most of it (it seems) leak out so that when we're "done" and I put her down to sleep she wakes up immediately and is hungry.  I realized this was happening when I noticed her outfits would be soaked on the side the I laid her on.  I started putting a burp cloth by her mouth and at the end of a nursing session it would be soaked!  Now, how do you explain that?  I know that she does take in some of it as I hear her swallow but it seems she is mostly letting it leak out.  Frustration.  Last night she did it just once (thankfully just one time!).  It is frustrating because the milk is being expressed but she ends up still being hungry and I end up being exhausted!  We just end up giving her a bottle of stored milk (from my pumping days) and she doesn't leak any of that out!!!  Gobbles it right up.  Now, I know, bottles are more efficient and my warm breastmilk adds to her sleepiness but goodness, really?!  

Anyway, if you have any thoughts on that problem I'd love to hear them!  I consider this a minor issue compared to my not being able to nurse at all so I press on.  :)

Now, I will be so very thankful when Bella starts having some sort of a schedule.  She has some terrible gas sometimes which, I think , messes up any schedule that might start naturally happening since she'll wake up early from a nap crying out in obvious pain and then will want to comfort nurse.  Oh, the joys of newborndom!  

We are hanging in there though!  I have been able to get back to crafting during the afternoons while she sleeps.  For those of you who know my, this is something that I really enjoy doing and brings me a bit of life.  Now, what I should be doing during those afternoon times is filing insurance claims and getting some administrative type things done!  Feel free to ask me if I've got started on that.  I am setting a goal to  at least have them started THIS week.  Maybe I'll get on that today!  Not quite as fun as card making but something that has to be done.  Too bad life doesn't just go on pause during these early days with newborns!  ;)

Well, the boys are getting along great with their little sister.  They don't seem to phased by her at all as she really doesn't do much right now but they do like to look at her and ooh and aah at her adorableness.  :)  They try to be very gentle with her and even try to make her happy when she starts getting fussy by being silly or singing to her.  So, so sweet!  I just love me boys so much!  After having Isabella, the boys look and feel so much bigger now.  I feel they are just so grown up (at the ripe ages of 3 and 5!).  They continue to go to Portuguese school.  Elijah now says he likes going but Judah is still fighting it.  :(  I can't blame him though, he is only THREE!  Not too many three year olds are put in school for a good part of the day and on top of that a school where they speak a different language! My heart hurts for him but I know that with time he will learn the language and things will be easier.  I pray for their little hearts and minds every day, giving them to the Father to watch and care for them when I can't.  I'd love for you to pray for them, too! I always pray for God to give them supernatural ability to understand and speak the Portuguese language quickly and for him to guard their hearts and minds.  I also pray for their innocence and purity to be protected (you just have to pray for it all when you are in a new culture--well, anywhere really!).
 Comparing Judah's size to that huge fish behind him.  @Oceanarium in Lisbon

 At his 5th birthday party at McDonald's.  Face-painting is really popular here.

 Meeting Isabella for the first time.
Meeting Isabella for the first time.

It has been four and a half months now since we've moved here and I still don't feel like this is "home."  I miss "home" big time!  I miss my church, friends, the Texas sun, really anything to do with Texas, family.  I miss Waco, Cameron park, all the different parks we would take our boys to, HEB.  Oh, there are lots of things.  I have to be careful where my thoughts go though because if I dwell on those things too much it doesn't make for a happy heart.  I look at our team leaders and this is truly their home.  They have a beautiful homey house and their lives are tied to this place.  It boggles my mind how they became like that but I know that it is just something that God has done and that it took time.  They have been here for two years now.  I often wonder how long it will be for us to feel like that.  Someone told me that it takes six months or so for a new place to start feeling like "home" so again, I press on.  I also wonder, too, if God will place us somewhere else soon.  If he will call us back "home."  I must confess that I think of that with such hope.  We have lived such transitional lives that it wouldn't surprise me at all if he did.  But maybe, because of my past experience my thinking is clouded a bit.  Steve Backlund talks a lot about not basing your faith on your past experience but on the word of God.  I think I struggle with that quite a bit.  It is just so hard to let past experience go.  It is what you know.  What has been fact and true for you.  But, we are not called to live out of our past experience.  We are called to live by faith.  God is an omnipotent God and that means he can do all things.  SO, I land on that.  On his goodness.  On the knowledge that he has us where he wants us and if we're here for years and years, it will be because of his good plan.  And if he moves us to wherever tomorrow, it will be because of his good plan.  I have to have faith and rely on the knowledge that he has the best planned for me.  

Well, that was quite a bit more than I had planned on sharing but it is a well-rounded update on our lives.  :)  Thank you for letting me share!

Blessings to you,


  1. your sweet baby girl is just beautiful! so sorry about your breastfeeding troubles. i had lots of troubles with our first, but persevered and it all worked out... so hang in there!

    **on the milk leaking out issue - it is a latching problem. she is probably just being lazy because she is more tired! maybe try a breast shield for awhile at night and see if that helps.***

    i completely understand about where your heart is right now. i have been there. i will be praying for you in this area!

    enjoy your days with your precious children! we are soon to enter into the world of boys as we have found out we are expecting one!

  2. Dear, sweet Janice. I'm glad to know that your sore has healed. I agree with your friend, above. Bella isn't latching on properly and that makes for leakage. Are you able to hold her with her full chest against you so that she's head on toward your breast?
    I'm sorry you're so homesick but it's very understandable. I pray it will pass soon. You haven't really had an adequate opportunity to bond with your new country because you have been--of necessity--focused on your immediate family and newborn. As things settle down and you're able to be a bit more outwardly focused, I think your strange surroundings will begin to feel less strange.
    I'm praying for you! Big bear hugs.

  3. Hi Janice - I agree that it is probably a latching problem with the wee madam - that may also add to the gas discomfort.

    Moving is hard work - the more so as you have had family to concentrate on and have not been able to form many relationships.

    Will pray for you

  4. How is the breastfeeding going now? Have you two settled in to an efficient team? I pray so. Let me know, okay?