Thursday, September 29, 2011

Seven week update

Today Emma is seven weeks old.  She is growing and getting substantially stronger, and I love feeding her.  She eats with gusto.  I still only produce about 30 mL (one ounce) of breast milk at one feeding, which amounts to about one cup per day, but I feel that it has increased a little, by about five mL each time, over the past two days, so I am happy and looking forward to it increasing even more.  I know that I will likely never be able to exclusively breastfeed, but I feel that Emma and myself can call our breastfeeding journey an absolute success.  Given what I had, which was a very limited breast milk supply, a willing baby, a lot of patience, and the random finding of the SNS idea in a book, we have struggled and made it work on autopilot.  And we are both very happy, Emma because she is getting fed and she has her boob to put her to sleep and comfort her, and me because I get to bond with her in this very special way, and I have a powerful tool available to calm her down instantly.  Plus I have enough milk to soothe her if I even get caught out of the house without the SNS/formula.  

I had some worries about the soy formula, mostly after reading on various websites that its safety has been questioned in Europe (due to the phytoestrogens and also to the higher amount of manganese which can get accumulated in babies).  So far however, she is doing so very well on it that it is hard for me to justify switching her to something else, especially since many many people have done well on soy despite the current concerns.  Soy formulas have been around since the 1960's, and I think if something were terribly wrong with them, we'd have known it by now.  I am occasionally tempted to try the lactose-free formulas, but I suspect that she is allergic to the cow milk protein, since her skin broke out in such a bad rash, which cleared almost completely since the soy.  Again, I must make the best decision that I can given the circumstances, and after asking a pediatrician friend about it and being advised that it is considered safe, I will keep her on it.  If any of my readers have been on soy or put their kids on soy formula, please comment, for some reason it makes me feel better to know that I am not the only one that has made this decision. 

Emma is a very happy, very easy baby.  She cries only if hungry, and that is easily rectified.  She is finally starting to like the car rides, thank God, because so far we were avoiding the car like the plague since it was one big screaming match.  Now we are doing very well.  She loves to bath, and has a great time on Saturdays when we bath with her in the big tub.  I only use infant body wash on her once a week, usually on this occasion.  The rest of the week I find that baby poo and spit up are very much water soluble and do not require soap to clean.  And I swear she smells good :)

For myself, I have started to exercise again quite seriously.  I use the elliptical trainer for 20-30 minutes a day, or I run 4-5 km on the indoor track while pushing the stroller.  (I don't have a jogging stroller, but the Stokke is very good on the rubber track, it maneuvers easily, and it has a car seat adapter, so I use the car seat with a sleeping Emma in it).  I also hike daily for one hour in a nearby forest.  In the evenings, when MrH is home and I can do my strength exercises, I do whole body stuff like burpees, pushups, planks, medicine ball exercises, step ups on a bench, jump squats and general plyometrics.  I have found a great website with workouts already created,, and am following one workout daily, or I create my own.  I used to be very fit, and am now struggling to do pushups, or the wheel (bridge) in yoga, or generally anything that requires upper body strength.  I am improving though, and it makes it easier to do daily tasks like carrying laundry or lifting the stroller into the car.  But I am about six months from where I used to be.  I have to hold myself back and try to increase slowly, as I am prone to tendonitis if I go too fast, in particular with the running.  

As far as weight loss, I am 5'9" and used to weigh 155 lb before my pregnancy.  That was a great weight for me, easy to maintain and looking fab, in particular if I had a good muscle development.  I now weigh 184 lb.  I have lost about 3 lb in the past month, and am happy about that, it is not a lot but it is steady, so I am on the right track.  I eat pretty much the same things every day:  one cup of steel cut oats that I cook in a big pot once a week, with almond milk and 1/4 cup of walnuts in the morning, plus one cup of berries that I sprinkle on top.  For lunch I usually have a banana, and two slices of manna bread (sprouted wheat) with almond or cashew butter.  I snack on an ounce of cheese and an apple, perhaps another banana later on, and on carrots and celery sticks.  In the evenings I have a glass of carrot and celery juice, some beans or chicken casserole or steamed salmon, always with steamed veggies (zucchini or broccoli or asparagus usually) and a salad made with tomatoes and avocado and spinach leaves, usually without oil if avocado is added, but with some balsamic vinegar.  If we have desert it is usually tofu pudding or sugar free icecream.  

I know that the first part of my day is heavy on carbs, but they are mostly the slow burning kind, and I compensate by going lighter on the carbs in the evening.  We don't eat much meat or animal products, I have my homemade yogourt daily and the occasional boiled egg (MrH does not eat either), and I cook chicken once every two weeks for both of us (about four portions total), that's about it.  That leaves us with beans, nuts, fruits and veggies, and grains.  I don't intend to feed Emma a vegan diet, although she will probably eat much of what I am eating, so I don't forsee a lot of meat in her future.  I think our diet is well balanced and I have never run into any health problems, despite having eaten this way for most of my life.  In Romania meat was expensive, and always eaten in small quantities, mostly as part of a casserole dish, not as a steak or ribs or a hunk of meat in general.  I got used to it this way.  

I am having a great time so far, and am feeling very fulfilled.  No complaints at all.  People ask me if it was worth it, and I say of course, a thousand times over.  I would do it all again in a second.  Emma is so precious and makes us so happy!


  1. All sounds great and I'm happy to read how everything works out. I do have a question: How on earth do you manage to take care of Emma, make yogurt, cook, and exercise as you do? I'm so proud of you! :)

  2. Oh, and I forgot.. you're writing here too. You're amazing.