Tuesday, November 27, 2007


We sold out to the minivan mafia. We're considering it our Christmas present to one another. We go to pick it up this evening.

I can't believe we own a minivan. My family had one when I was in junior high (remember "junior high"?) and picked me up in it from basketball practice. Then we went out to dinner. Dinner out might not be in the cards for this family of 4 tonight, though.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

White Thanksgiving

We had snow on Thanksgiving! We were visiting family near Fort Worth and it actually snowed on Thanksgiving day. It was cool!

Upon leaving home my mother-in-law said to me over the phone, "I'm sure you have those children all bundled up." I was surprised, because where we were coming from, 4 hours away, it was 90 degrees! LB was bundled up, but BB was in shorts and no shoes. By the time we stopped for a break it was 50 degrees and we had to break out the sweatpants for BB.

The next day it was snowing! My mom's friend knit BB this beautiful sweater last year, and it fit him perfectly for this snow. Isn't it gorgeous?

Little Brother decided that snow was for the birds, and decided to snuggle up with mommy instead. Smart kid.

Monday, November 19, 2007


Aren't these pictures so cute? BB gave LB a kiss earlier, and one yesterday. He is SO sweet. I think he's going to be a great big brother, don't you?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Here is Another Place

Forget another place. I need to blog about nursing.

It's not working out as I'd hoped. It's not even working out close to what I hoped. It is the hardest and most frustrating thing I've ever done, and I was a long-distance swimmer in college. I'd rather swim a mile any day than go through what I've been through.

I had it in my mind that I would induce lactation when BB came to live with us. I bought a breastpump, herbs, tea - everything short of medication to induce lactation. I didn't stick with it and was not consistent with it. It made me hate myself and sometimes my baby. It was difficult, but I decide it wasn't worth it and I quit. In hindsight I should have hired a lactation consultant, but in my overwhelmed state I didn't find the time to.

Enter pregnancy and a fantasy that this time it would be easy. This time I would have the right hormones and all would work out. Oh, contraire, mon frere!

In the hospital I received all different kinds of advice. Only nurse 20 minutes on each side. Nurse as much as he wants. Don't move breast tissue out of the way or you'll disrupt his latch. Move breast tissue out of the way to check his latch. Do pump. Don't pump.

Ever seen the movie Elf? It's our holiday favorite. Of his travels to New York Buddy says, "I passed through the seven layers of the candy cane forest, through the sea of twirly, swirly gumdrops, and then I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel." That's how I feel. The Lincoln Tunnel is miles and miles long in my experience! I passed through the hospital experience of colostrom, through engorgement, and probably seven layers of skin - ouch!

Here is how hard I've tried, and why I feel thwarted at every turn.

I was very sore in the hospital from round-the-clock nursing. One night he nursed for over 3 hours straight, then an hour later nursed for another hour. He has a small mouth and resulting latching difficulties. I saw 3 lactation consultants in the hospital.

Three days later my milk came in and I was so pleased! But the engorgement hurt so much LB wouldn't take the left side at all. I was looking really deformed and feeling a lot of pain, but we made it through.

Then it turns out he was getting about an ounce per feeding, even if he nursed for an hour and a half. So we went the the lactation consultant and got some great advice. We had to supplement each nursing with a syringe of breastmilk, but he got back to his birthweight. He's so sleepy at the breast that we had to wake him with a wet washcloth. He was taking sometimes 2 ounces from me directly, but still needed supplementation. That was a lot of work. I'd nurse him and then pump while Randy syringe fed him. Even though he gained weight, things still weren't working out. We went back to the LC twice more and tried some other things.

Now I'm so sore I can barely nurse him two times a day. When he does latch on after 5-10 minutes, he still only gets about .6 ounces per side in 10-15 minutes. That still makes an hour long nursing session to get 2 ounces. Right now by bottle he drinks about 2.5-3 ounces per feeding. I could produce this, but he has a hard time taking it from me. He's great with the bottle.

Aren't I not supposed to use a bottle until breastfeeding is established, you ask? Not really, but #1 is FEED THE BABY. Bottle is better than not eating, righ? Right.

So our next step is to see a craniosacral therapist. She will assess LB and might prescribe some treatment if he has structural issues keeping him from nursing effectively. I hope there is something she can do and that we can get in before Thanksgiving.

If you're a guy and are wondering why you are still reading this, maybe your wife or future wife needs some extra encouragement to get help if things aren't working out how she'd hoped. The loss of a nursing relationship, even if it didn't really get off the ground, is like any other loss. It was something you assumed you'd have, counted on having, and then the reality doesn't match up.

Some militant breastfeeding activists would say that I need to keep trying. I plan to. However, I don't need the added pressure that if it doesn't work out I'm not doing the best for my child. If I'm so frustrated that every interaction with him escalates to us both being upset, that doesn't do our relationship any good.

There are sides to every story. This is mine. Pray for me.

Papa Bruce - my dad

See the family resemblance?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

One year old portraits.

The night before Little Brother was born we had family pictures taken at Sears. Little did we know that 24 hours later I would be in labor! We have some pictures of Big Bro with his birthmom, too, seeing as just last year we took pictures with her and Big Bro the night before she had him. What a beautiful coincidence!

What you can't tell from these portraits is that BB was really crabby that night and we have a lot of straight-faced pictures of him, and one of him crying. Little Brother cooperated, though, by not trying to come out until the next day!

Big Brother

People have asked me how Big Brother is handling the Little Brother thing. My answer is, "Hmm...I'm not sure." It's hard to tell with a one-year-old who answers "Ba ba ba" to every question. Sometimes "baba" means baby, sometimes bird, sometimes bottle, sometimes nothing. Maybe "ba ba" means, "Bye, bye, baby. Put him away, please."

So far we've had round-the-clock family help, too, coming from far and wide to play with Big Bro. I don't know what we would have done without it, seeing as Randy has to help me feed the little baby who isn't eating quite enough yet (again, a discussion for another time, another place), leaving Big Bro left to his own devices which doesn't work on a one-year-old! Oh, I miss him. I can't pick him up yet (well, I could, but I might impede my healing).

We're doing well. We're adjusting. We'll be able to do this by ourselves some day. We will no longer think twins are a cute idea for us.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Yesterday we went out to the Arboretum to get some fresh air. We tried the path to the pond to see the ducks, but it was not stroller-accessible. So we played with the giant concrete animals instead, then ate Amy's Ice Cream.

Big Brother enjoyed my Mexican Vanilla with Reeses Cups very much. So did I. We meant to get out again today, but it's not that easy these days. Randy, I and Little Brother did go to the chiropractor today. We heart the chiropractor.

Friday, November 09, 2007

The Boys

Granny came to town to take care of me while my parents do all kinds of weird stuff with my baby brother. Baby Brother says, "Oh, my!"

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Little Brother's Birth Story.

Last week at this time I was just starting to feel the effects of my lovely epidural and was about to give birth. The thought that it was just a week ago fills me with an irrational anxiety and sorrow. How can I feel anxious about something that has already happened?

Friday night October 26th we spent at our church's fall festival as a family of 3. It was Big Brother's birthday and he looked like a sweet baby in his lion costume. On Saturday I had a baby shower in my honor, and someone predicted I would give birth to a baby girl on November 14th. Sweet, I thought, I have some time left (although I didn't feel like I'd go past my due date of 11/9). Sure enough.

Saturday night Randy, Big Brother and I went out to dinner at The Oasis and endured endless comments from a couple at the next table about how cute he was. I was 38 weeks and 1 day pregnant, still enjoying my pregnancy emensely, and loving my pregnant body (besides the foot in the ribs). I loved being pregnant. It was very easy for me. It was something I thought I might never experience and figure I won't experience it again. Now it's over and I'm sad. Beyond sad - hormonal.

Sunday we celebrated BBs birthday with a few friends, as evidenced by the picture a few posts ago. A family of 3 celebraing together. That evening Big Guy's birthmom came to visit for the evening and next day. On Monday we had family pictures taken - a family of 3. (Four, really, as Kelly is family, too, but you know what I mean - she doesn't live here with us!) I drove Kelly to the airport on Monday evening and talked to my friend Mell, an eye, on the telephone.

Monday night I said to Randy, "I suppose we should have some sort of code for when I go into labor." He had a meeting the next day at 4:30. I can't remember what we decided. That afternoon I took BB outside in his Halloween costume to take some pictures. It was very awkward for me to squat down on the ground to take them, but I wanted to make sure we got some pictures. I had no feeling that I was going to be in labor that very same day.

We came in and I put BB for a nap. "Ah," I thought, "Some free time for me." I had a snack - some caramel/chocolate with nuts apple. As I was in the kitchen putting the thing away at 3:51 pm, I had a really strong contraction. I recognized it as a contraction for sure, but certainly didn't think too much of it - just that I needed to lie down. I made a trip to the bathroom first and noticed some (TMI) mucos plug descend from my body. (Ew - gross, I know.) I thought I'd better lie down for sure. I was slightly panicked, although I know you can wander around without a mucos plug for weeks before delivery.

Down I went, into the bed at 4:15, and as soon as I did, I felt a medium gush of fluid. "Oh, God," I thought, "I think that was my water breaking." Four gushes later I was certain. I was not ready! I had a bag packed, but I was not ready! Thank God Big Baby was asleep and I could get my act together (haha).

Since I wasn't certain that was amniotic fluid (who was I kidding?), I called the doctor's office and they said to come in right away, and since it was after hours to go to labor and delivery. I called Randy but couldn't get him, because of said meeting, and then I called Stacey to ask if she could come over for Thing 1. She was over in a half hour. I'd started having contractions around 7 minutes apart by the time she arrived, and Randy hurried home. We thought we might have to meet him at the hospital, but by the time I was ready he was about home.

We drove to the hospital, me contracting all the way, about 5-7 minutes apart like a good girl. We checked in at 6pm. By about 7, after 3 hours of labor and painful contractions (duh), I decided on the epidural. Dr. Littles was my hero.

When the epidural kicked in I knew I should rest, but I made and answered phone calls instead. We took a few pictures. When I checked in I was 3 cm dilated. Then she checked again an hour and a half later and I was a 6 and 100% effaced. When she came back in at 9:45 or so I was dilated to 10 cm and ready to have this baby! What??? It had been about 6 hours since my first contraction in the kitchen.

(Oh my gosh, typing this just brings me back and sets my heart aflame with excitement, nervousness, and panic. This was last week - did this happen to me? I can't stand it.)

I must have started pushing at 10:00. My friend Rachel had given me some tips on how best to do it, and I heeded her advice. 20 minutes later Little Brother was born. I felt a lot of pressure, but no pain since I had the epidural. It was such a relief when his shoulders and body came out - and really weird, too. Right now, strangely enough, I am longing for that moment again. It's over now - the most anticipated event of my life, and I can never go back. It breaks my heart.

LIttle Bro had his cord wrapped twice around his neck, but suffered no trauma. They just unwrapped him and out he came. His first Apgar score was a 9 because his hands were blue. Big Bro's first Apgar was a 4! They put the baby on my chest first as I requested, and I held him for a little while. I loved him for sure, but he did look weird! (Bad mommy.) He had the cutest hairstyle - practically bald on top and long and straight in the back like a monk or BIlly Ray Cyrus back in the day. He has blue eyes, loooong arms, loooong legs, and a skinny body. No butt - just like mommy and the rest of the Thompsons! He also seems to carry the Thompson chin - not a bad feature.

Last week right this minute I was comfy-cozy from the epidural and yakking on the telephone. I think Karen was pretty surprised when I answered her call from my labor and delivery room! She is due the same day I was.

My sweet baby is waking up right now. This is merciful for me. I feel calm when I'm nursing him, for the most part (after the latch), and Big Bro is in bed so I don't feel torn between these precious gifts. I'll save my nursing adventures for another place, but let me just say it's the hardest thing I've had to learn. It's like 8-12 workouts a day that are both physical and cognitive.

Anyway, I'll chronicle more of my hospital experience soon. It feels good to get things in writing. It was an amazing experience. My husband just said, "There's a lot of loss in this experience, too." This sounds weird, huh, but it's so true. I feel the loss of my family of 3, of my time with my firstborn, of my pregnancy, of LIttle Bro inside my body, of the experience of childbirth that is over, the loss of my sanity due to pregnancy hormones, the loss of my abdominal muscles! (ha), of sleep, etc.

I am not complaining. I feel so blessed. I feel so overwhelmed by emotions and postpartum hormones. It's really nuts. I told someone the other day, about how much love I feel for these guys, my sons, that right now it wasn't a happy love but a crazy, obsessive love that makes me feel like I can't handle this experience. I know I can, though, with God's help and my family friends. People do this all the time, right? Right.