Monday, January 25, 2010

The Heintz House of Toots and Poops

From Felix week 3

No joke. 90% of the conversations in my house center on gas or poop. And the other 10% of communication is hearing and dealing with the toots and poop from all of the men in my house. It's like a cacophony of digestive trouble. I bet you Phillip Glass could even make some sort of musical composition with the raw material I have here on Vanet Road. I am almost at the point of getting the Flip video out for a solid 15 minutes at my house just to document my children's (and husband's) contributions to the deterioration of the ozone layer and the insurmountable mounds of diaper laundry that stares me in the face. (No, Eric doesn't contribute to the diaper laundry.) And dear sweet 6lb Felix's toots and poops have kept me up all night for the better portion of 3 weeks.

I am delirious...sleep deprivation can do crazy things, like cause one to watch Bob Ross at 3am, followed by television's most toxic addition, Jersey Shore. I feel the weight of my age when I cannot relate to things like Lady GaGa or Jersey Shore fist pumping. But then--the house of toots and poops takes over, and I am up ALL night, getting my fill of soul decaying television (okay, not the Bob Ross and I actually didn't even make it through a whole Jersey Shore episode because I thought I might vomit). Actually, the TV displays a radar map of our local weather most of the night. It has no sound associated with it, emits far less light than our bed side reading lamp, and doesn't change screens creating that strobe light effect. So, at any point in the night, I can tell you the humidity, dew point, wind speed and general weather pattern for metro Atlanta. I keep the TV on because I am actively working on resolving Felix's tummy troubles and need light to see what I am doing.

I've kicked my lovely husband out of the bedroom to save him the all night pajama party I have with Felix. Listen, he cannot nurse (sorry Meet the Parents, you cannot milk anything with nipples), and why would I subject him to changing diapers "just for the sake of involving my husband in the middle of the night." AND, we have that whole 20 month old who gets up between 4am and 6am every day...so, he is confined to the spare bedroom to cash in a good 5-6 hours of sleep before he is on Miles patrol. Don't get me wrong, Eric is super involved with both kids, but I operate on the principle of the path of least resistance, not the directive"50/50 with all things parenting." And he gets the lion's share of things like laundry, cooking, trash, compost, baths and bedtime. In all honesty, I love that guy more now than I ever thought possible. I don't know what it is about childbirth, but it gets me to places of love with this guy that I didn't even know existed. He's a total stud/superhero. Speaking of, if he did go the superhero route, I think this would be his uniform.

From Felix week 3
I DID get permission to post this believe it or not. It has little relevance to the post, but I had to get it in here for comic relief. I was watching What Not To Wear one night (remember my sudden TV fling?) and I asked Eric if he would ever wear a tie, vest and jeans (a la the male host of the show) thinking that the shirt was an obvious component. Out of nowhere, he walked into the room in the above. Not sure that would fit the Marist dress code for teachers. So he was joking, but boy did that make my day. Delirium can do things like that--make the smallest things funny.

Wait, weren't we talking about toots and poop? I know--delirious...

So, Felix is proving to be my 2nd high needs baby. I thought Miles was a fluke, but no. My kids don't sleep, but they sure as heck poop and have unrelenting gas. Eric and I combine to create the genetic jackpot with these boys' digestive/developmental systems. But boy are they cute...
From Felix week 3
From Felix week 3
The problem with gas is that it can REALLY bother a newborn. And by bother, I mean that I watch my son go through what looks like intense labor pains ALL night. I guess he is making up for my lack of labor with both of my births. It just kills me; the grimacing, the squealing, the hissing, the pain...I've tried it all, folks. Massage, sitting him up while nursing, Mylicon drops, burping for 45 minutes, fewer shorter feedings, pumping before feedings, wearing this child 24 hours a day on my body...the one thing I haven't tried is the elimination diet. Considering I eat ice cream every night, cereal at breakfast, and usually a cheese laden dinner, this has not been something I have seriously entertained. But now I will. I am just worried because this will limit my intake dramatically. Dr Sears has a whole section on how to go about the diet, and it scares me. Especially when I know cutting calories will absolutely cause a plunge in my milk supply. So, if anyone has any other ideas, send them my way.

While on the subject of asking for advice, (here comes my preemptive strike) before anyone comments about their children who slept through the night at 3 weeks after letting them cry it out, or anyone suggests the idea of me spoiling this child, let me allow another mother say exactly what I would say to you. I am too delirious to be this coherent and thoughtful. My BF Mama D sent this to me today and it really resonated with how I am feeling right now. I need to follow my intuition more and remember that holding my baby all night, cuddling with him all day, and feeding him on demand is not spoiling him. And who the heck believes in teaching "independence" to a premature 3 week old? For those who do not have the time to read a long internet passage because they are not nursing a child every 45 minutes or spending countless nights watching the local radar, here is the part that was most poignant for me: (And for those who are super SUPER busy and will mentally check out once you get to the quotation marks below, I sprinkled pictures of Felix throughout the last part of this for a quick glance--looking at a baby, even my gassy old man, can lift the spirits, right?)
From Felix week 3
"I also realized that our society has little understanding of newborns, and does not sanction compassion for their needs or feelings. Demand nursing, as I saw it, was no different from caring for a family member who has been rendered powerless. Would we refuse an incapacitated father a meal because it was "not time"? Or leave a paralyzed spouse alone in a room to "cry it out"--checking in every 10 minutes to say, "It's Ok"--without trying to find out what is wrong and doing something about it? If he or she only wanted to be held, would we refuse, for fear of spoiling someone we love? How can anyone claim that legal or religious tenets require us to deny babies sustenance and comfort "in their best interests"?
From Felix week 3
...Surely someday, our society will recognize that babies are people--with rights, feelings, and most importantly, needs. At that point, communities will advocate for these needs, with the knowledge that nursing-on-demand mothers are not spoiling their little ones, creating bad habits, letting their babies dictate their every move, or getting wrapped around little fingers, but rather doing exactly what nature intended. Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive.
From Felix week 3
...As for me, I continued to listen to my instincts. I let the dishes, work, and social times slide, knowing that they would always be there whereas my baby would not. I let the nights go by with varying amounts of sleep, and the days roll on with little sense of accomplishment. And looking back, I want to shout with joy that I did. My precious infant who nursed every 45 minutes grew and grew--into an independent, happy, intelligent, and confident nine year old with compassion in his heart and affection in his acts."
From Felix week 3


(snuggled in the amazing Ergo Carrier):
From Felix week 3
From Felix week 3


Link to full album of week 3 here.

8 comments:

  1. Whoa, there is a lot here to respond to - funny first. Love the look, Eric! I agree, he is quite a hero, and I did the same in letting your Dad sleep. Eric could not possibly teach and coach if you were doing 50/50 parenting.
    I absolutely do not think you are spoiling Felix (at 3 weeks?!/!). I've been there, honey. I tired all those those remedies you have. I remember trotting up and down the kitchen in the middle of the nights, Nicholas on my shoulder, weeping with agony and fatigue at Nicholas's pain and grimaces. It's not spoiling him. He needs your comforting. I did work at minimizing dairy in my diet to see if that would help (the jury was out on that) and somehow didn't lose weight or lose my milk. It's worth a try, and you can always abandon it if it doesn't help or you start to lose your milk. It does eventually go away, and it creates a close and tender bond between mother and baby. I am so sorry that you and your guys have had to deal with this. It stinks (literally and figuratively). My heart aches for everyone. You will survive, and I applaud your fortitude. You are a great Mama!
    Love,
    Mom

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  2. i'm sorry that i cannot offer any advice re: the diet. i could offer some advice to your husband re: fashion, though...ha ha ha. just kidding.

    the passage was beautiful and great advice in my non-mommy opinion. if it is any consolation, i already get annoyed at people who say "my baby slept through the night on day 2".

    love you!
    amy

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  3. Have you tried gripe water? Miabella had a bad tummy when she was first born and that seemed to help a bit.

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  4. Great thoughts Ali,
    I have always wondered why it was so wrong to wear your baby all day long, feed whenever, wherever, etc...I like the way you choose to think about it. I have always thought about all the other babies in the world, who never really feel a warm and gentle mother's touch. who never get the chance to be "spoiled", to learn to trust their lives to another human being...well, actually they are born with the instincts to trust. some learn way too early, however, that they must take the world on their shoulders...and that's a very, very sad thing.
    Anyway, you are an awesome world. your breasts are saving the world one...now TWO human beings at a time! When all is said and done there are no better accomplishments than being a good and caring mother. When we die, no one is going to say "but she wrote such great proposals"! We will be judged by the impact we make on others and all I can say for you is:

    WELL DONE!!!

    As for the 'diet' thing, I don't really have advice, but remember you raving about your nursing balls/cookies? if i remember correctly, they are dairy free? maybe you can overdose on those and nursing tea...and get your fat and protein from other non-dairy things like avocados, eggs, etc...if you're trying elimination, it's only for a week or two, right? i would be really careful about anything longer than that...hope this helps a little.
    take care...your boys are awesome!

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  5. oh, and my 16 month-old STILL doesn't sleep through the night...but EVERYONE learns eventually, right? I really hate those people who brag about the superb sleeping habits or newborns...part of me is jealous, the other part just thinks: "You idiot!!! you let a 6 week old sleep 9 hours?!?!?!" I'd be totally worried about dehydration!!!

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  6. I can only offer second-hand, anecdotal evidence as to the benefits of eliminating dairy in your diet, but I'll offer it anyway. My sister Nini (with the 3-year-old and nine-month-old) COMPLETELY eliminated dairy from her diet while nursing both her children and it COMPLETELY eliminated each of their digestion/fussiness problems. However, she never had any milk production issues. She just (last week) stopped nursing the little one and is eating dairy non-stop (her fave treats like Starbucks mint mochas and cheese fries) to make up for it. She says for me to tell you that it was well worth the sacrifice. No matter what you decide to do, it sounds like you might need to crack a window in that place...geez!

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  7. I miss that floppy milk-drunk look!!!
    also, we did the same thing at night after the first bit- eddie slept downstairs so he wouldn't be exhausted at work - he's a light sleeper and Micah was up every few hours for feedings...

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  8. I ate about a full gallon of ice cream in about two days last week--and I don't normally consume much dairy--and less than a day or two later, Julianna became constipated and developed reflux. May not be related, but I am now staying away from dairy for a week or two to see if she goes back to normal... But anyway, I read this while trying to figure out what might be going on for us: http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/food-sensitivity.html

    --Tamara/Aramat

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