It's amazing how one little piece of information can help so much.
A friend (thank you, Mandy!) recommended that I take acidophilus to help clear up the thrush. After 6 weeks of thrush medicine for Natalie and me, and eating tons of yogurt, we had made no progress. After 5 days of taking over-the-counter acidophilus, the thrush is gone. I even had another round of antibiotic and it still stayed away.
Another friend (thank you, Tara!) recommended kellymom Web site for breastfeeding info, specifically related to pumping and quantity. The article on that site said, "Most moms who are nursing full-time are able to pump around 1/2 to 2 ounces total (for both breasts) per pumping session" and "4 ounces is an unusually large pumping output" and "It is quite normal to need to pump 2-3 times to get enough milk for one feeding for baby (remember that the pump cannot get as much milk as a baby who nurses effectively)." I wish I had known that 4 children ago, so I'd stop thinking I failed as a milking ma. Instead of worrying about how much I was getting each pumping session, I added 2 or 3 pumping sessions each night. And now, instead of Natalie being on formula and me being a bottle shy of what she takes at daycare, I have an extra bottle in the fridge and she is still formula free. I didn't even have to take the fenugreek/blest thistle combo yet. I can save that for the next growth spurt.
And speaking of Miss Natalie, she's doing so well! Despite having her third cold with a full nose and low fever, she's gaining like a fiend. We take her in next Tuesday for a well-child check and, if her cold is gone, her 2-month vaccines. (I haven't yet decided if she'll get the full course, or if I'll request half of them this visit and the other half in a couple weeks.) She's very strong, pushing her head and shoulders up more and more. She's very social and smiles all the time. And, she's talking, with lots of cooing and gooing and bubble-blowing.
I continue to think how amazing it is that she starts with a clean slate, with no ailments, scars, medical problems...or so we assume. There's a big part of me that worries, wonders if she'll have the asthma, ear infections, allergies, or seizures that her sisters have. A(nother) friend gave me some fantastic advise. Her second child has major health issues and developmental delays because of them, and she too has a new baby. She too admitted to wondering when the baby will get sick, when things will turn sour. But, "all we can do is enjoy each 'normal' day and be grateful for it, thank God for what we have. And what happens down the road, we'll deal with it then."
In the meantime, how can you NOT enjoy baby grins and tiny sneezes?!