Well, hello! I think this is the longest I have gone without blogging in awhile. Time has just been flying!
Gaius is TWO MONTHS OLD today! WTH?!? How did that happen??? He gives us such awesome smiles and coos. We have little "conversations" with him, and his siblings love it when he looks at them and smiles! He is growing right on track (actually a little ahead!), so apparently my breastmilk is working for him!
Breastfeeding has certainly been an adventure. I had a lot of pain at first and kept getting the standard advice: use lanolin, rub breastmilk on the nipples, let them air dry, etc... The pain should have been gone after a week or two, so at 5 weeks when I was still in tears half the time when Gaius ate, I called the lactation nurse again. Before going to see her, I looked up my symptoms (bruise-like pain, painful letdown, cracking, and "blanched" nipples after feeding) on the La Leche League website and KellyMom, another breastfeeding site. I discovered (and the lactation nurse confirmed within 30 seconds of watching Gaius breastfeed) that I have forceful letdown, so when Gaius was latching on, he would clamp down to slow the flow. That clamping cut off blood flow to the nipple, which was made worse by my already-poor circulation. Apparently, this condition (called vasospasms) is made worse by cold, which is what happens when you put lanolin and breastmilk on nipples and let them air dry. Great. So the things I'd been doing for FIVE WEEKS were actually causing me to have worse pain. Lovely.
The lactation nurse (whom I suspect is a miracle worker) showed me some alternate nursing positions that slowed my flow so Gaius wouldn't clamp down as much - basically to lean back and position him face down on my breast. Again - the opposite of what conventional breastfeeding advice tells us to do. The nurse also suggested to cover my breasts immediately after nursing or pumping to minimize air exposure and cold and to apply dry heat when practical. Within ONE DAY I was already feeling significantly less pain. A week later I was pain free! Breastfeeding is finally a pleasant bonding experience that I actually look forward to now! Since I'm back at work, I only nurse while I'm at home and I pump at work, which isn't fun, but it's for a good cause. :)
Giovanna and Roman are now THREE!!! And they have hit the "terrible threes" which is even worse than the terrible twos. They are exploring their individuality and independence, and in the meantime, driving Kyle and I bonkers! They ignore us, sass back, say "I did" when they clearly didn't do whatever it was we asked of them, scream for attention, and fake cry. We have attributed this a little to jealously issues with the new baby, but it seems to be in line with other children we know of the same age.
In direct contrast with the outright defiance, they are also displaying an amazing amount of love, imagination, and humor! The other day, we were driving down a hill and we hear Roman say with a quiet fake panic: "Ahhh! We're going down! We're all gonna die!!" which made everyone crack up. Where the heck did he get that?? And Giovanna started talking about how an orange dinosaur had scared her, and when asked by a friend where she had seen it, she said it followed her home from the doctor's office. We had been at the doctor's office the day before and had seen an old woman, fake-tanned to a leathery crisp, hair bleached platinum, over-makeuped, wearing all bright orange! In retrospect, it wasn't a big leap to think of her as a dinosaur, lol. These kids make us laugh every day - I love it. And Giovanna is drawing recognizable objects! Here is a face and her apple, complete with bite marks.
Kyle and I are doing great, too. I'm not thrilled about being back at work, but we're settling into a routine that works for us. :)
More pics: http://family.webshots.com/album/575569149CCHAAu