Sunday, August 28, 2011

Surviving the Hurricane

Well, we survived the hurricane, which in Massachusetts looked like a long and ferocious rainstorm. There's some tree branches down in the neighborhood, but no real damage... and I know this because Calliope and I went for not one but TWO walks this afternoon! I felt the need for fresh air, and it felt GOOD to move my body, albeit slowly. This is the first time I've wanted to go for a walk. Hooray! The resting during the day seems to be paying off.

The funny thing about that picture is that none of us were trying to look silly... it's just that my cousin isn't so great with the cell phone camera. The other children are Calliope's second cousins.

asleep (briefly) in the cradle my uncle built for my cousin's son

Calliope and I had a rough night last night. She wanted to nurse for at least an hour straight during the night... with a bad latch. She has the ability to latch perfectly... but pulls back when the milk comes too fast. It felt like a bunch of fish were nibbling at my nipples. Not so much incredibly painful as deeply irritating. Finally I couldn't take it anymore. She was fussy after that until 5:30 am, when I gave up and brought her downstairs... when she nursed sitting in the chair with me, and finally fell asleep.

We're struggling with the lying down position. Or rather, we are struggling with overactive letdown, and lying down seems to exacerbate it. I feel really bad when I hear and see her gulping desperately. And last night, after doing this, she spit up a large quantity of undigested milk in my cousin's bed... the one night i forgot to put something under her. It figures, then, that I also bled on the sheets. What a mess I am!

Today I experimented with lying down to feed her, and draping her body over me. That seems to work a little better for her. I'm only nursing on one side per feeding, and indeed, today used only the left breast for three feedings in a row, in an effort to decrease my supply a bit which will also reduce the speed at which the milk is ejected. I'm a little worried that the left side is producing a lot more than the right side, but can't prioritize that right now. For now, I'm just hoping I won't drown my child today.

PS In case I didn't already say this... my 12 day old daughter has survived both a hurricane AND an earthquake in her short life.


  1. I had that exact problem early on. Oversupply then an imbalance which led to block feeding. I nursed J lying on my back at night too and it worked so well that I still do it sometimes. Side lying was a little harder to get but you'll get it no problem. You'll be surprised how often I've heard of one side having a larger supply. Pretty interesting how that happens.

    Good for you two for getting a walk and getting some outside time. She looks rather comfy - well the little part that I can see!

  2. I, too, had an overactive letdown. I found that if I squeezed my nipple (the part outside his mouth) once I felt letdown start, it seemed to stop the letdown as it started. Then when it started again, it wasn't as forceful and Finn could tolerate it. At first I had to pull my nipple out of his mouth to make it work, but it did, and now it's not usually a problem.

    As for nursing lying down - we didn't master that until the past month. Before then I was sitting up in bed (or getting out of bed) whenever he ate. Which was rough back when he regularly ate every 2 hours!

    I'm so glad you're starting to feel better.

  3. I'm glad you're getting some help and got out of the main path of the hurricane. I, too, live in Massachusetts, and was actually kind of disappointed with Irene, after all the hype!

    I'm fairly new to this process, and don't plan to start ttc until January. But I've been following your blog and hope to follow in your footsteps (in some ways!) sometime soon!

    I don't know where in Mass you are - I'm in Watertown - but if you'd be interesting in meeting up at some point while you're here, just let me know! I would love to meet you and Calliope in person! :)


  4. Hi Abby - You can contact me at or at 617-935-6180. Looking forward to chatting and hopefully getting to meet up!