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About 3 weeks postpartum, I got really sick and had to be hospitalized. Upon arrival, I informed the staff that I was a breastfeeding mother and I wanted to make sure that anything they prescribed would be safe for the baby. At first, everything was going well as far as the medications were concerned, until I got worse and started dozing off.

They didn't inform me that they were switching my medication and it turned out to be something that wouldn't be good for the baby. Meanwhile, I had been pumping and Wes had been taking my milk home every two hours, so Zoë had consumed some of the tainted milk. After finding this out, I made sure that the staff knew to properly inform me prior to any additional medications I'd be administered.

I was in the hospital for about a week and I'm sure I was a pain because every time the doctor ordered a new medication, I had the nurse call the pharmacist to make sure the medication was safe for breastfeeding. I also did my own research (yay smart phones!) online and found that had a partial list of medications and their safety ratings for breastfeeding mothers. Obviously, I hope that we can all stay healthy and avoid any need for medication, but in the event that you do, do not be afraid to consult with your resources.
I've never liked shots, and I don't think I know anyone who does, but I REALLY don't like watching Zoë get her shots. I know they're important and a whole lot better than getting the disease itself, but it doesn't make feeling helpless any better for me. 

Every doctor's office is different, but yours will go over the immunization schedule they use with you. For our pediatrician, Zoë got her first shot for Hepatitis B at her one month well child visit. That wasn't bad at all. It still sucked watching it happen, but after about a minute of ear-piercing crying, Zoë calmed down and that was the end of that. Not too shabby, for a little one.

Then there was her second month visit where she had a total of seven vaccines, but in three shots and one that was administered orally. Zoë got lucky, if you can call it that. One of the shots was a combination vaccine for DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis--aka whooping cough), Polio and Hib, but some offices don't offer them as a combo. The other two shots were for her second dose of Hep B and Pneumococcal and the oral dose was for Rotovirus (too bad they couldn't all be oral vaccines).

This time, I didn't even watch as the shots were administered. I held Zoë's hands to her chest as instructed by the MA and sang to her (as if that would really help anyone). I'm pretty sure that I would have cried had I watched. I'm a weakling like that.

Zoë's reaction to the shots was not as minimal as her first, and I don't blame her. She was crying and screaming hysterically. To calm her down, I gave her a pacifier and swaddled her (even though I'd be undoing the swaddle as soon as we got to the car). The doctor mentioned that I could give her infant acetaminophen (Tylenol) if she was running a fever or fussing later on as well. 

Once we got into the car, I had Wes sit in the backseat with her to keep her company and she was calm. When we got home, I swaddled her for her nap, nursed her and she fell right to sleep, but when she woke up from her nap she was back to the crying and screaming and it wasn't because she had a wet diaper. I could tell her legs were hurting when I was changing her diaper. Moving the muscles near the area of a shot helps alleviate the pain, so I helped her move her legs, but it certainly isn't an instant fix. 

I had already bought the infant acetaminophen, so I went to grab it, but the recommended dose for infants her age said to consult with a doctor. I wish I would have known that before because calling the doctor isn't exactly a quick or easy task...especially when you have a screaming baby in pain. Note to self, ask what the recommended dose is before leaving the doctor's office next time just in case.

Anyway, I gave her the acetaminophen, swaddled her and nursed her back to sleep and I hoped that would be the end of her pain. When she woke up again, she was a little fussy, but not too bad. I was happy that the acetaminophen was helping. She was extra tired that day, so after her feeding, she went back down for another nap. 

When she woke up that time, it was back to the crying, but it had been about five hours by that time, so I gave her another dose. Finally, she was content--smiling and "talking" again. I was so happy to see that smile again. Unfortunately, her next two visits will be the same vaccines again. Poor Zoë. She just might be dealing with teething next time too...
Our first overnight trip was  a visit to Disneyland with my parents, "G-ma" and "GP". I was really excited as soon as we set the dates and the countdown began. (Disneyland is my favorite place.) About a week prior to our trip, my mom and I were out and about and I said, "I should probably start packing for Zoë, huh?" My mom laughed. I realized this was a bit premature, so I decided I'd just write a checklist. I did do a bit of searching online for a "packing for baby" checklist, but nothing I came across really seemed fitting. I admit I didn't really search that hard, but I decided I'd just make up my own anyway. 

I really should have known better... First of all, I'm always a procrastinator and, secondly, I ALWAYS forget something when I'm just packing for myself. I wasn't a total procrastinator, though. I mean, I never actually wrote out the checklist, but I did start packing the day before and was under the impression that I had it all down in my head.

I can't believe how much I packed for her. We were only there for about two days. I had a big tote full of blankets that wouldn't fit in the stuffed-to-the-brim carry-on sized suitcase, the diaper backpack and an extra backpack. All of that was her stuff and that didn't include the little cubby that holds all of her diapers. Obviously, I went with the "better safe than sorry" approach and over packed, but it was my first trip. I did forget one thing...the detergent for the cloth diapers to be washed, but that was a very easy fix. 

I'm sure you've been wondering, "What all did this chick pack?" I really couldn't list it all out, but basically I packed her entire wardrobe and like five to seven blankets "just in case." Did I need it all? No, but I was happy that I was prepared. 
My first week of breastfeeding was a bit stressful. When I was pregnant, I spent a lot of time watching NCIS when I should have been reading books to educate myself on these kinds of things. I started breastfeeding in the hospital. I'm pretty shy about these kinds of things, so I had my mom help me out for starters. Zoë latched on rather easily, but it was a poor latch so it hurt. We tried a couple times and it seemed to hurt less, so I figured we were on track.

During my hospital stay, a lactation consultant had stopped by to see if I needed help, but I since I thought everything was going well, she went on her merry way. By the time I got home the next day, I was very sore. I was using lanolin which helped a bit, but hardly. I had no idea that breastfeeding could hurt so badly. Except, it's not supposed to if the baby latches on correctly.

As Zoë latched, my mom noticed me wincing in pain. She tried to help me, but being a new mom and new to breastfeeding, I just couldn't quite figure it out. She recommended that I meet with a lactation consultant after all. Luckily, there is a Mother's Resource Center at one of our local hospitals. I gave them a call and the consultant was able to see me the following afternoon. The big downside to that, though, was that it was now going to be a $45 visit where it would have been "free" if I would have just seen the consultant during my hospital stay after delivery.  That said, I recommend seeing the lactation consultant if offered during your hospital stay even if everything is going well.

Seeing the lactation consultant helped me out a lot. She taught me the cross-cradle hold and what a perfect latch looked like. She also gave me some better tips to help with the soreness and suggested a follow up visit once my milk came in a few days later just to make sure I was adapting well. At my return visit, everything was going smoothly, and Zoë was already on her way back to her birth weight. 
PictureZoƫ in one of her Rumparooz cloth diapers.
When I first started thinking about diapers, a friend had mentioned going cloth as a more economical option for me. However, the idea of extra laundry and dealing with the poop led to a quick, "No way." In fact, I was SET on disposable diapers until about a few weeks before Zoë's arrival. 

What changed my mind? Initially, it was definitely the cost. I remember asking my mom how many diapers we'd go through when we were pricing out the Kirkland diapers at Costco. After the math, I realized one super box of diapers would only last me about a week and a half and that was assuming a minimum of 12 diapers per 24 hours. Even with Costco prices, I knew that would add up fast.  I decided to do a little more research on the cloth diapering systems as well as how to clean the poop off (since that was my biggest worry). 

After talking with Wes about it (since he'd have to take part in the process, too) we decided that we would give the cloth diapering a go after all. That's when I started researching about specific brands of cloth diapers. My mom did some research of her own and we both came up with several different options that looked good enough to try (I'll introduce those in a later post). 

Now onto why I LIKE (maybe even love) cloth diapers. First off, you should know that as a newborn, we had Zoë in disposable diapers because we only had a few cloth diaper options that would actually fit her at the time. So, we spent the first four weeks using disposables and, boy, do I have some horror stories. 

One of Zoë's favorite things to do was cry hysterically as she was peeing. We'd go in for a diaper change only to have her continue peeing as soon as we were getting the new diaper on. Two diapers for one change. Then there was the I'd wait at least five minutes before changing her and she'd STILL continue during the change. Those suckers easily sucked up three diapers per change. 

As you know, I'm a first-time mom, so perhaps this is a common thing for babies and I just couldn't get the hang of it. However, I don't think it's just a coincidence that all of this stopped once we put the cloth diapers into effect. Of course, I'm no expert. I will say this, though. We were doing a three-day trip to Disneyland, and I had planned on using disposables for the trip for the sake of convenience. The morning we were set to leave, I put Zoë in the disposables and we were back to square one. Her morning blowout was certainly a blowout and the whole two diapers for one wetting was back in order as well. Needless to say, I said, "Screw this. We're taking the cloth. There's a laundry room at the hotel." (I'll talk more about traveling with cloth diapers in a later post, too.)

Those are the main reasons I like cloth diapers. Really, the only thing I miss on the disposables is that magical yellow line that turns blue if the diaper's wet, but as I've gotten to know Zoë's patterns and cries, that isn't even that big of a deal. A couple of other reasons I like the cloth diapers? Good for the environment, lots of cute colors and print options and, I can't be sure, but they're so soft that they seem like they'd be WAY more comfortable.