Monday, November 30, 2009

Breastfeeding was a wonderful experience

My decision to stop breastfeeding was a hard one. I guess I just wasn't quite ready to give it up. It's strange really. It's as though one day I couldn't wait for it to end and the next day I would be totally bummed when the baby refused it. This whole breastfeeding journey was a bag of mixed emotions. I never quite realized how good I had it and how happy I was to have it until it was taken away from me. I never really appreciated breastfeeding and mostly just regarded it as something I should be doing and is healthy for both of us. Now that I think about it, it was wonderful spending quiet time cuddling with the baby while he drank my milk.

Over the past year, we became really attached over breastfeeding and I suppose I'm also going through separation anxiety now that he is rejecting me. I tried to breastfeed him for over 4 days now, without any luck. I would pump each time but each time there would be even less milk. I'm drying up and so instead of feeling sad and hoping for some kind of miracle each time, I think it's time to move on. Now without the breastfeeding, I sort of view him as a big boy. He is no longer the little baby I used to know. I mean, he still drinks milk from a bottle but he is just growing up so quickly. He will always be my little baby but, you know.

I never anticipated my end to breastfeeding would be so gloomy. I guess it is also because this is very likely going to be the end of my breastfeeding days forever too since Tristan will probably be our only child. Knowing that, I am even more grateful for having been able to breastfeed him for a year. Breastfeeding truly is a blessing and although challenging and painful, it is absolutely the greatest feeling to be able to provide your own milk for your baby.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Baby is on a nursing strike

Tristan does not want to be breastfed. 48 hours ago he started to freak out each time I would put him into position to feed. At first, it was just one side but now it is both sides. This has happened before but his refusal is much more aggressive this time around. I tweeted about it and was told by @AmberStrocel that he is likely on a nursing strike and that it is very common. Apparently, if it is really time to wean him, that would happen gradually over weeks or months. If he suddenly stops nursing, then it is probably a nursing strike. After reading more related stories on nursing strikes, I would have to agree that Tristan is on a nursing strike.

The question now is how long will I allow him to be on strike before I decide it is time to stop breastfeeding him? Most nursing strikes last for 2 to 4 days and it has already been 2 days for me. In the meantime, I am pumping milk so that my milk supply is still available when he goes off strike. I am still trying to nurse him at our usual times but it has been refusal after refusal. I always attempt both sides, then I try again in a different location like on the floor or in a different room. Nothing has worked. To be honest, I am feeling a bit depressed from it.

This whole breastfeeding journey has been an emotional roller coaster for me. Actually, it wasn't as difficult to learn as I anticipated but I had to endure a lot of pain. I had tons of blisters, breast infections, breast yeast infections, sickness for myself and the baby, and now I discover that this is the baby's second nursing strike. He actually started to freak out a bit just at the sight of the nursing chair tonight! I'm beginning to think he will never want to breastfeed again.

I find it surprising how I became so attached to breastfeeding. At first, the whole idea was a bit strange to me and I wasn't even sure if I would be comfortable doing it. Now that I have been doing it for so long, I can't seem to let go. I have already kept it up way longer than 6 months, which was my initial target. After that milestone, I said I would breastfeed as long as Tristan still wanted it and when the first nursing strike hit, I still persisted. I guess it really is that important to me. Or I just don't like to feel rejected. I don't think I could be one of those mom that could bare a nursing strike for weeks. Tristan is eating a lot of solids so I'm not too worried about him losing much weight. His consumption of milk is quite low but it has always been like that though. So the plan right now is to continue trying and pumping for another 48 hours, in the hopes that he will return to me. Hopefully, next time I blog, it will be with good news!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Just got accepted into daycare

Tristan will be starting daycare at the Burnaby Children's Centres Society on January 2nd, 2010. He will be there full time as part of their Infant group (ages 3 months to 18 months). I would have preferred part time but this was the only one available so we're taking it :) I wait listed Tristan since he was around 3 months old, which means it took 9 months to get him in! Out of the three places I wait listed him at, this is my first choice. It is only a 10 minute walk from our home and when I toured the place back in March, I really liked it. It is a group daycare and they are very organized and professional. They are also quite expensive; it will cost us $1110 every month.

With just over a month until he goes off to daycare, I'm already thinking ahead. What will I do with all that spare time? Well, first of all, anything can happen work-wise for me (or not). I may apply for a few contracts or jobs but if there isn't anything for me, I will do more consulting and I have lots of personal work to do that could keep me very busy for a couple of months.

Will I still breastfeed? Yes. Right now, I am only feeding first thing in the morning and again at night. Breastfeeding should not interfere with daycare at all.

Will I be ok dropping him off every day? I think so. I already went through it once so I think I should be fine the second time around. But I could be wrong. I also feel like he is a bit more independent now since he can walk, play more, and interact with people better. When we left him at daycare in September, all he could do was crawl. By January, Tristan will have had all his vaccinations as well. We're bringing him in for his 12 month shots early December and then his second dose of H1N1 and the seasonal flu shot maybe a week after that. This will definitely give us peace of mind knowing that he is protected in daycare. Both Jean-Louis and I will also have our flu shots by then too.

Will I miss Tristan? Big YES. But it will be great for both of us. In fact, I'm getting excited at the thought of the big changes in January :) Being a stay at home mom has been quite the amazing experience but I'm ready to work again and build on my career. Life is about to get a lot more exciting for all of us!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Baby's 1st Birthday Party!!!

The party went well - phew! The baby was well rested before the party started, the food turned out, and everyone got to relax, including myself at the end :) The end result? Baby got to socialize, eat new food, play with new toys, lots of pictures and videos for me to process, and lots of leftover food for the week.

It all went off to a late start since we fell behind in our preparation and everyone arrived 30 minutes to an hour or so late. I was actually really pleased at all the late arrivals as a result :) The party was just one big feast and chit chat event. There were no games or speeches, although maybe I should have made a small speech and talked about Tristan and how our year had been. It would have been nice to capture that on video. Oh well. We had lots of food, there was music, Tristan had his separate lunch, we took pictures, cut the cake, and opened presents. Did I mention there was a lot of food? It seemed like our guests only made a dent in all the food too! It was a good thing I cut back on my original menu. The only home cooked thing I made was the spinach dip & cut veggies, seafood stir-fry udon noodles, and cliantro-yogurt dip.


  • Spinach dip with sourdough bread & assorted veggies
  • Baked popcorn chicken
  • Original potato chips

Main dish:
  • Seafood stir-fry udon noodles
  • Samosas with cliantro-yogurt dip
  • Soy chicken
Pop, sparkling juice

  • Triple Chocolate Tiger Cake
  • Taro Cake

It was the battle of the cakes! We're still in disagreement today about which one we should have gotten. We both agree it is silly to get two. Jean-Louis wanted the taro cake and I wanted the triple chocolate tiger cake. I always think of the cake as a nice decorative piece for a party and the cakes at Save-On Foods have really nice themes. We both chose sesame street as the theme and after the cake is eaten the figurines on top become toys. Nice, huh? As well as being tasty since it's triple chocolate, it is a very cute cake! Ok, so the taro cake is pretty too but in comparison, it's not as cute. I love taro cake too but I just thought the other was more appropriate for a kids birthday. Jean-Louis still disagrees!

For Tristan, we fed him whole eggs for the first time. I scrambled them with some herbs and cheddar cheese. Compared to what he is used to eating, this was a big treat for him! Just as I suspected, he ate it like a hungry ghost. Then I gave him a Babybel cheese and some steamed apple for dessert. No, he didn't have any of his birthday cake. Jean-Louis and I are very strict with him when it comes to food. He is not allowed any sweets until he turns two! Next birthday baby!

Tristan was shy during the party and was clingy to his Daddy. I was in the kitchen a lot since I was responsible for the food. Everyone was calling him a Daddy's boy. I'm sure Jean-Louis liked that :) To think just months ago, they didn't like each other at all. Things sure have changed.

Toys, clothes, money... there was a bit of everything for Tristan. He even took part in all the unwrapping of his gifts too. He just loves to rip paper and destroy things so it was amusing.

Once again, we are a bit relieved to have pulled off another big party. It's hard since our place is small and with Tristan it is hard to do anything aside from our everyone routine. One thing I wished I did more of was take more command of the camera. Since Jean-Louis and I had to host, we tried getting other people to take pictures and film for us. I have seen the pictures but we didn't really get great pictures of Tristan alone or of the three of us. Not that the pictures sucked but I was hoping to get better ones anyway. Oh well, we can't have everything! So at the end of the day, I was a bit relieved that it was over and that everything went well. The planning and organizing was fun and it paid off. Until next year!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday Tristan!

Our little baby is 1 year old today (sniff, sniff)! That also means we will no longer be celebrating his birth monthly anymore :( It's okay because every birthday will be a huge party, I promise :)

Tristan's birthday party will be held tomorrow since it's Saturday and all. He has just one little friend coming and the rest are Mommy and Daddy's friends :) Tonight, I will be preparing a few dishes that I can make ahead of time. Once Tristan is asleep, I will decorate the living room. My parents are coming over from Victoria tonight as well. Some people throw two parties: one with the family and one with friends. We're just throwing the one big party and throwing everyone in the mix. May be a little odd but we are having 2 birthday cakes! Yeah, that is a little odd too, I admit. We couldn't agree on the cake so we both chose one. The party is going to be awesome! The only thing I'm worried about is all the people around Tristan. I hope he doesn't get overstimulated by everything. We may have to take him upstairs for a little quiet time here and there.

Finally, I wanted to mark today's occasion with a two-picture comparison of Tristan from birth and present day. I picked photos that had similar expressions. Unfortunately, he does look a little sad in them. You can definitely tell it is him but look at the tremendous difference! Wow :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Our first year experience with a baby

The first 3 months following the arrival of our first baby was the hardest. The first week was absolutely crazy. We had anywhere from 0-2 hours of sleep in the first few days and mid week we actually started to act a bit delusional. It's amazing what you can turn into with so little sleep. Emotions were also very high and I think the baby blues kicked in for both of us. When the beginning of the third week came along and Jean-Louis had to go back to work, I was scared and nervous to be alone with the baby. Then came all the crying. That lasted until at least 3 months. I can say with certainty that the first 3 months was absolutely the hardest.

We knew we were blessed with a new baby and we did our best to step up to the challenge but it was no fun. Without family or friends to count on, we were alone and it was scary. Taking care of the baby was not the only challenge. We were hardly able to take care of ourselves. We were sleep deprived and hardly had time to eat and also eat well. After we exhausted all of my frozen cooked food I had stocked up on prior to the birth, we ended up ordering pizza, or buying frozen food and canned food. We had to. We had no choice because we had to eat. Me especially because I was breastfeeding so much.

Things started to improve a lot into the 4th and 5th months. The baby got used to his routine and pretty much slept through the night (at least 5 hours straight), if we used the pacifier on him. He also became more responsive and started to smile and look and strike at toys. This feedback was really important and rewarding for us to see. At last!

At 6 months, things got even better. We introduced solid foods so Jean-Louis was able to help with the feedings. We decided to sleep train the baby and after just 2 weeks, we got him sleeping by himself. He slept through the night without any nursing, rocking, pacifier - nothing at all. Needless to say since then, we have been enjoying life a lot more :)

As the months went by, things improved even more. Tristan started to sit up, crawl, stand up, dance, and walk. Now, I find we are really starting to enjoy each others company. He laughs, he plays, he interacts with us, he is signing back and understands certain things that we say, even though he can't speak yet. He is sleeping for even longer periods during the night and that allows for us to stay up late again. But of course at this age, there are new things that we are finding frustrating such as feeding.

As it turns out, our baby is a typical baby. I wouldn't have it any other way but it's so interesting to see how much of a textbook baby he is. For example, now that he is a toddler, he is starting to show signs of throwing tantrums. Oh boy! But, whatever challenges are thrown our way moving forward, I honestly believe we can handle it because not only have we survived the first 3 months but we have also made it this far doing more or less what we were set out to do :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

A year ago, things were very different

Tristan's first birthday is fast approaching and excitement is starting to build. No, I cannot believe this time has come. What could be more important than the very first birthday? Nothing. The first of everything is the most exciting and the first birthday has got to be the greatest birthday. It will be a celebration for not just the baby but for us, being his parents. At 1 year, the baby won't even care but the day will be captured on camera and in video so that one day he will be able to look back and see that we made a very BIG deal out of his first birthday :) He will love us even more and think we're cool and awesome parents :)

It's crazy to think about what life was like just a year ago. I was extremely pregnant and so uncomfortable. I had just stopped working full time in October and we started shopping for baby things. I remember being so anxious to have the baby because I was so tired of being pregnant. My husband and I walked in the dark and rain after he got home from work every day. It was the pits. It was also the time I was trying to figure out when I could return back to work. At the time, I thought I would be ready to go back after 2-3 months. And of course, it was just the 2 of us, living a quiet life. Then came the labor and birth. OMG. Then followed the 1st month, then the 2nd month, then the 3rd month. OMG. I am so very glad not to be there anymore! I have never experienced anything harder in my life. Now fast forward to present day. Ahhhh... :) Our situation has improved 200%! Well, maybe not 200% but I'm just throwing a number out there to say that things are so much better now.

A baby changes everything. Really, it does. In every way imaginable, plus more. The good changes? Well, we have a baby and he puts smiles on our faces every day. We get to witness a miracle and watch him grow. We discovered a new kind of love: the love for your own child. We are now more empathetic towards other parents and more forgiving when we see or hear about difficult children. We became less selfish and appreciated life a little bit more.

But of course, every parent can also tell you that you have to make a lot of sacrifices and parenting is also super hard. When things get hard, I always tell Jean-Louis that it could be worst. That eases the pain a bit and helps make us feel a little more grateful. Sometimes, I don't think we have the right to complain since we got to enjoy seven great years of marriage just the two of us. But then again, we were so used to our old lifestyle that it was hard to give it up completely.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mommy is taking over the feedings

Tristan has lost his appetite and he is not eating much or drinking much milk. It has become a power struggle to feed him anything. We refuse to feed him unhealthy things so if he doesn't eat, we just stop feeding him. Having said that, we do try and get him to eat what he will in a hour. We didn't used to have a time limit but now we do. He gets cranky if he has to stay in the highchair too long. If he doesn't finish his food, we just offer it in his next meal.

A good meal is when Tristan eats at least 50% of what we give him. Tonight, he ate about 5%. I didn't feed him since I wanted a break for a change so I let Jean-Louis do it. Needless to say I am much more effective at feeding Tristan and although I absolutely hate meal time these days, I have to take charge and do the feedings from now on or Tristan is going to lose weight. I am so frustrated! No one is to blame and I know Jean-Louis really tries during the feeding too. I pretty much have been helping him feed Tristan the past couple of weeks. Tonight I was fed up and so tired of it so I let him do it all. After I prepared the meal and placed it on the table, I just let him take over. After wards, I was just mad because Tristan pretty much skipped the meal. The hour was up so we just had to move on.

Believe me when I say that we have tried hard and tried everything. We have consulted books and looked online and it seems like a very common problem around this time. That doesn't make it less frustrating though. We prepare finger food for Tristan because he is happy eating that way. As he eats, we also finger feed him because he is picky and ends up chucking most of the food on the floor. This is how it goes. We give him the spoon to play with during meal time so he can learn how to use it. From what I can see, I think he is still far away from feeding himself with a spoon :(

I am happy to cook baby food but these days, we keep having leftovers and I find myself having to cook something new for him almost every day to keep it interesting. I am also starting to throw food away too and those that know me know how I hate to waste food. There you have it - I said hate twice in the same post!

Just to give you an idea of what we have been feeding him lately, the following is a list of what his meals consisted of today. Note, besides breakfast, he didn't eat everything we offered him. He also gets 2 sessions of breastmilk feeding and 1 bottle of formula.

  • 4-5 heaping tbsp Multigrain cereal (flavored with fruit)
  • 2 tbsp of plain high-fat yogurt
  • 1-2 tbsp of cooked apple
  • water
  • 1 ml Vitamin D

  • 1 tbsp of tomato
  • 3-4 slices of chayotes
  • 2-3 tbsp of baked kabocha squash
  • 5 pieces of whole wheat rotini
  • small chunk of overcooked veal
  • few peas & corns
  • 1/5 slice of whole wheat bread
  • 1 tbsp of mozzarella
  • A few nutrios
  • water

  • The leftover lunch (2 slices of chayotes, smaller chunk of veal, some tomato)
  • 3 tbsp tomato
  • 5 pieces of whole wheat rotini
  • 2 tbsp of overcooked lima beans
  • 1-2 tbsp of fruit (pomegranate seeds & banana)
  • water

Saturday, November 7, 2009

H1N1 and seasonal flu shots

As parents, we all know how miserable it is when your baby falls ill. If the baby is sick, they are cranky, they may not sleep well, or eat well, and are extra clingy. If that isn't bad enough, chances are you will catch their cold too and fall sick yourself. And being sick and haven't to take care of a sick baby is the worst of the worst things out there! So there you have it - we're not taking our chances and Tristan needs to be vaccinated against the flu.

Yesterday, we brought Tristan in to a public clinic that opened up in our neighborhood. They were administering H1N1 and seasonal flu shots. It's only the second week that the H1N1 vaccine has been available in Canada and this week Tristan falls under the priority group of children 6 months to 5 years. The H1N1 vaccine will probably open up to the general public in a week or two and that will be when Jean-Louis and I will get ours. We also plan to get the seasonal flu shot. We have never gotten the seasonal flu shot before but since we became parents, it has become much more important for us to stay well. I am especially concerned about myself since I can't explain how I could have fallen sick 3 times in the past 3 months. I am normally quite resistant to catching colds. I'm so tired of getting sick.

The clinic we went to was open from 9AM-3PM. We wanted to go early because we didn't want them to run out of vaccines. We heard about shortages in vaccines and long line ups so we were a bit worried. It started out exactly how I pictured it: lining up outside in the cold and freezing rain. I felt sorry for some of the parents and kids in the line up because they were all under dressed for the weather. It was no fun but once we got inside, things went quite well. Tristan received 2 pokes, 1 in each thigh. He cried on initial contact only. He was such a trooper :) Afterwards, we were instructed to sit down for 15 minutes to make sure he didn't have a reaction to the vaccine. The whole journey took about 2 hours and we got home around 12:45PM.

When we got home, we just continued on with the rest of our daily routine. Tristan seemed to be doing well so we didn't even bother giving him any Tylenol. We have been observing him and feeling for his temperature but nothing seemed out of the ordinary. He went to sleep at his usual bedtime of 9PM. During the night, we noticed he had some difficulty staying asleep. This was unusual so I got Jean-Louis to check his temperature the second time he woke up. He felt a bit warm so we decided to give him some Tylenol around 2:30AM. After that, I held him for a bit until he fell asleep and then I put him down. That seemed to have done the trick and he slept until 8:30AM. In the morning, after his milk, we gave him a second dosage of Tylenol. After that, I think we more or less returned back to normal.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Weaning the baby from breastmilk

For the past 3 days, I eliminated my afternoon feeding and gave Tristan a bit more formula milk and solid food. The thought of weaning still makes me sad but lately having to endure another cold without proper medication, a breast yeast infection, and now teeth clamping on my nipples, I actually think weaning would be great about now. I am down to just two feedings per day.

Honestly, I did not anticipate all the teeth clamping and biting. When Tristan's bottom teeth came out, he didn't bite me while I fed him and there was no problem at all. Now with his razor sharp big teeth coming out at the top, he can't help but clamp down while sucking. Apparently, he did it in the past without me knowing. I noticed some scars not too long ago. However, now his teeth is really starting to stick out and it hurts like hell when he clamps down! And at the same spot over and over - ouch! I'm losing some serious skin and possibly flush, I don't know. I actually tried to feed him at a different angle today but it wasn't effective. Grrr!

I remember a friend telling me that if the baby bites during breastfeeding, remove him, tell him, and try again. This is how you teach him not to bite on Mommy while feeding. My problem is that I didn't do that to start with so if I start now, he would be clueless. He has been feeding like this for a long time and he probably thinks he is doing everything just right. Actually, there were a few times I had to remove him since it hurt so much. I just try to re-latch him on in a slightly different angle. Now, he doesn't do it all the time because sometimes it doesn't hurt at all. The question is how do I explain that to him? When I remove him too often, he gets annoyed and he doesn't even want to drink. Yeah, these days it has been fairly hard to feed him as is.
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