Friday, July 30, 2010

Every. Time.

Have you ever read something so unsettling that it sticks with you for days, weeks, maybe even months? If you read or watch the news you are exposed to hundreds of stories about people being murdered, children being abused, elderly being neglected....and sadly they all blur together....usually.

Back in March I read the story about a Korean couple who let their 3 month old starve to death while they played a video game where, ironically, they were caring for a virtual child. At the time I read the story, I had a 6 week old baby girl.

My baby was born the last of January. She weighed 5 pound and 15 ounces. I began trying to breastfeed her. When we left the hospital two days later, she weighed 5 pounds and 12 ounces. Two days later when we took her for her first visit with the pediatrician she was down to 5 pounds 2 ounces. She had lost 13% of her body weight in 4 days.

I was starving my baby, or at least that's the way I felt.

I managed to get out of the pediatricians office before I completely broke down. My poor husband held me in the parking lot as I wept. The doctor gave us some formula and sent us home with instructions to supplement her feedings. We put an ounce of formula in the bottle and she ate it greedily. And while I was happy she was getting nourishment, I felt like a total failure.

For weeks we continued to struggle with breastfeeding. I read everything I could find on the internet and went to see a lactation consultant. I finally made the decision to pump and give my little girl breast milk combined with formula in a bottle.

One night while I was washing bottles I caught the smell of soured milk. A sentence from one of the articles I read about the Korean baby's death popped into my head.
The girl, who was born prematurely and weighed 5 pounds, was often fed rotten formula and was beaten when she cried out of hunger
All I could imagine was that poor starving baby drinking spoiled formula, fighting to stay alive.

Every time I wash bottles and the smell of the spoiled milk assaults me, I think about that baby. Every. Time. And I want to yell and scream and cry. Every. Time. And I want to forget I ever read it. Every. Time. And I don't want to forget.......I don't want to become immune to the tragedies in our world.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Baby Product Reviews*

When you become a new mom you quickly learn which baby products are worth your money and which are not. Here's a list of things I have found useful and ones that are a waste of money:

Burp cloths
Total waste of money. Yes they are cute and seem like a good idea, but the fact is they are way too small. A dish towel or cloth diaper is much more effective and cheaper!

Dr. Brown's Bottles
Love these bottles! My baby is rather gassy and these really help.

Breast Flow Bottles

Great idea especially for the breastfeeding moms. The bottles have a special nipple insert that simulates let down. However, my baby wasted more milk than she drank with these bottles. I think when she gets bigger, these may work. The nipples just seems way to big for her and more milk ended up running out of her mouth than ended up in her mouth.

I have a mixed review for this breast pump. Overall I like it.

Pros include:
Good value for the money
Small but fairly powerful-8 suction levels
Separate base for use with batteries
Comfortable breast shields
Cute carrying case

Cons include:
No replacement parts are available
Some of the parts can not be sterilized with steam
Handle which allows one handed pumping does not work on large breasts

Sterilizer Bags

These are great. Just pop cleaned bottles and parts into the bag, add water and microwave for 90 seconds.

Drying Rack

There are many bottle drying racks on the market, but I like this one because it is collapsible, making it easy to wash in the dishwasher.

Keeping a baby swaddled in a blanket can be hard if you have a squirmy baby like mine. The Swaddler works great. They come in cotton knit, flannel and fleece.

Car Seat Chime
I have 2 of these hanging from the handle of the car seat. My baby loves looking at them and trying to hit them.

Carter's Layette set
I have 2 of these sets and LOVE them. My baby is rather thin and long. She isn't chubby enough to fit in 0-3 sizes, but she's too long to fit in newborn bodysuits with feet. Since these don't have feet, I'm getting tons more use out of them. As a bonus, they can be made into a gown by changing how you snap the legs up.

*Token FCC disclaimer: I was not provided with any incentive, monetary or otherwise, to make this post or endorse any of these products.

New Arrival

We welcomed our new addition to the world on Jan. 24th. You can read about it here.