Expecting our Little Brother in November!

pregnancy calendar

Monday, June 27, 2011

New Cousin (and update)!

James acquired yet another cousin this week! My in-laws had their baby! I'm super excited, and she is just gorgeous, but I will share no more details here because they are several measures more private than us, hehe. But I still wanted to give them a shout-out because I am so thrilled for them . . . can't wait to meet her! Eeeeeek!!

In other news, we returned from our vacation in Montauk yesterday, and it was amazing. Look for a Movie Monday post later today, and more updates about our trip all week! (And someday, I will also do James' seven month post, so look forward to that, too, hehe).

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Old School Sunday: What I said to Kook

If you haven't heard about my blog series "Old School Sunday", read the back story!

And if you want, catch up on what you missed (read from the bottom up!)

In the middle of the spring semester of my sophomore year, thinking a lot about God and spirituality . . .

11th March 2003
Current Mood: thoughtful

Everyone is lonely. Everyone is alone. Everyone is the same. We like to pretend and create these individual existences, but what no one is saying is that SELF is a farce. There is only one mind. Some people call it god. Some people call it qi, or energy. The truth is, it's just US. It's everyone in the world, a common mind, a common soul, a common energy. It's life. Do not be lonely. You are everyone.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Ummmmm, need I say more? We did a lot of driving back and forth to meet Ava and, yeah, awesome.

I have finally been won over to the importance of kegeling, and will do it fanatically before, during, and after any future pregnancies . . .

Furthermore, I got really constipated post-partum . . . next time I am going to eat prunes or be otherwise more proactive to prevent/deal with that . . .

And that's all folks.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Old School Sunday: Anti-War Rally, 2.15.2003

If you haven't heard about my blog series "Old School Sunday", read the back story!

And if you want, catch up on what you missed (read from the bottom up!)

In the spring semester of my sophomore year at college, we were about to invade Iraq, and the world united for the largest simultaneous protest ever recorded. I joined friends in NYC, and others gathered in Rome, San Francisco, London, Paris . . . and more and more . . . and still we went. And there we remain, fighting ghosts.

(Photo by Mariclare)

February 15th, 2003

Friday, June 17, 2011

Photo Friday: Lost and Found From May

Well, it's been way too long since I photospammed you guys, so here we go.

I took these adorable photos of James in mid-May, and then somehow lost them and never put them on here or on FB until now!

And another lost one of him and Monty--he LOVES the cats now and they are starting to realize he is both interesting and painful incrementally.

And when Jessie was visiting we took some cute ones, too (also in the lost section):

Yep, I love my boy!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

PFB Weigh-In

Alright, so we got james weighed today.

If you haven't been following PFB (Project Fat Baby), get the back story here.

Or, to make a long story short, the doctor was slightly concerned about james weight at his 6 month appointment, so I made a plan to fatten him. My doc suggested feeding him two "meals" a day, but this basically immediately made him constipated, and seeing as he is eating just fruits and veggies, those aren't really very fattening anyway . . . especially compared to the alternative (whole human milk straight from the tap).

So my plan to fatten him was to breastfeed him more often for longer and to bed-share with him to allow frequent nighttime nursing.

So today we had his weigh-in!

He was 17 lbs even, up 1 pound 2 ozs from less than a month ago (5/18). I think we did pretty darn good, because he only gained 1 lb, 5 ozs between 4 and 6 months, so you could say that over the last month, he gained twice as quickly as he had been gained.

So I'm back looking on the growth charts, but I found more detailed ones, so I could get really down to the nitty gritty in terms of what was going on here.

Born November 19th, 2010; 8 lbs, 7 oz (80%)
Two Months Old: 12 lbs, 6 ozs (60%)
Four Months Old: 14 lbs, 9 ozs (30%)
Six Months Old: 15 lbs, 14 ozs (20%)
Seven Months Old: 17 lbs (30%)

I think the approximation I was doing off of the less detailed chart missed the real story here. His main percentile loss was between two and four months actually, NOT between four and six months. This makes PERFECT sense because that was the absolute worst time for us in terms of the food allergies. We didn't diagnose him and start treating him until he was around 3 months old, and then it took us another month at least to get things under control, so between 2-4 months he was basically spitting up and/or vomiting huge amounts of each meal. He probably would have lost even more weight than he did except I have a nice full supply so he was somewhat able to make up for all the spitting up . . .

Anyway, I succeeded in pulling his percentage up 10 points in less than a month, which is pretty darn good!

So if you have a baby who is not gaining well . . . FIRST rule out any food sensitivity or other health issues that could be a factor. SECOND breastfeed the baby more, especially during the night. (And THIRD, look at the baby as a whole person--losing percentiles can be NORMAL in a breastfed baby, especially between 4-12 months, while they find their "real" place on the chart.

Personally I think the size of a baby usually has to do with the Mom and the way her body builds a baby, but the size of the child (over one and definitely over 2) is a totally different thing. We all have a tiny friend that was a HUGE baby, and at some point he/she needed to transition from one to the other, right? Alternatively, sometimes babies are very small but then completely pork and grow up between 6-18 months. So I think adjustments to percentiles is NORMAL.

One other thing, though, is that I definitely was not being patient enough with james' nursing between 5-6 months. That lazy half-asleep sucking is where the MOST fat is, but when I have things I want to do it's easy to cut him off when he's so slow and leisurely. Furthermore, he was really distracted at this time, and I had the mentality at that point that if he needed to eat then he would. And while I still think that is true, making an effort to put more focus and importance on his nursing, I think, has caused him to do the same. Your baby gets signals from you, and if you want him/her to nurse more, better, and for longer, that will be very encouraging for them. Meanwhile, if you act like nursing is a chore to get through and are impatient with it (as I was being), your baby will get that signal too.

I honestly think if I'd continued the way I was going, especially if I was trying to get him to sleep through the night in his own room, and especially if I'd given him unlimited access to food, he definitely would have weaned early (as I did).

But since it is important to me to nurse him until he is at least two, I needed to change and do something different. So far it is working great! Next update on PFB for our nine month appointment. At this point I think the 30% is about where he needs to be, so my goal for 9 months is to keep him at that percentage, which may be a challenge as he begins to crawl and discover the world!

That's one great thing about bed-sharing, though, is that I have confidence that james will make up any calories he misses during the day by nursing more at night . . . so I'm not worried.

So for now I would declare PFB a great success! I honestly don't think it is very easy to make up 10 percentage points in a month, I'm proud of myself and "the ladies", hehe.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday

So we go back today for our weigh-in, which means it's the official evaluation of Project Fat Baby! I will discuss the results tomorrow, but for today . . .

...hard to tell, his face is so different! We'll see!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Combo Feeding: Poll, Caution, and Experiences

Last week I did a post on Combo Feeding . . . and I really loved and appreciated all the comments, so I wanted to re-post them here, along with other thoughts from Moms elsewhere. . . but first a couple other things.

One, a discussion about the results of the poll (please participate by leaving a comment on this post).

My thoughts are this . . . so far, with nearly 80 votes, it looks like 97% breastfeed their babies. That is pretty awesome. In my opinion, the most important thing is to try breastfeeding. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't, maybe you love it, maybe you don't, but if you give it a try, that means at the very least, the baby has colostrum and you get the experience of nursing your baby.

And so 97% of people are already there . . . so the question isn't really to motivate people to breastfeed, the question is, how can we support women better so that they are more likely to continue breastfeeding after trying it out? I think this is a very critical question.

As I say on my breastfeeding page, the goal should be to get more women to give more breast milk for longer. Whether or not they also use formula or donor milk, pump and bottle feed, NIP (nurse in public) or not, breastfeed for one week or close to a decade, we need to support them--each other.

And what about our 3%? You know at the beginning of my pregnancy, I had a semi-heated argument with my now-friend Karen about whether women should feel like they HAVE to try it, whether they should feel guilty if they don't. At the time I insisted that yes, I thought that a Mom SHOULD feel guilty for not even attempting to give their kid the best. And Karen said I was being a Mommy-Judger.

I can see my point at the time still but at some point since I had James I came around to Karen's corner. It needs to be okay for a Mom to give all, some, or no breast milk. Every woman is different, every family is different, every situation is different, and best nutrition doesn't always equal best option.

Furthermore, over the last year I've become convinced that a lot of the time, a Mom will not breastfeed or stop breastfeeding, because of the guilt and other negative emotions that we have come to associate with the breastfeeding VERSUS formula feeding mentality . . .

As Karen says...
"I went and voted. When I transitioned James from breast to formula, I combo-fed for about a month. For some reason, that was really stressful for me. Every time I gave him a bottle, there was a little voice in my head that was like "you should be breastfeeding" but I hated BFing and wanted to stop. So then I started exclusively pumping, but was frustrated by how little I could produce."

So in my mind I have been convinced. The way to support women in feeding their babies is to support women in feeding their babies. Period.

Two, a word of caution and realism on combo feeding.

Unless the baby nurses the majority of the time, it may be difficult to maintain your supply on the long-term.

When I wrote the original post on combo feeding, I was looking at it as being beneficial in two ways:

1) Helping Moms who need to give the occasional formula or donor milk bottle feel acceptance with that very common situation and
2) Helping Moms who are about to give up nursing altogether and switch to formula and/or exclusively pumping a way to leave their hearts open to nursing part time for a little longer.

However, like I said before . . .

Unless the baby nurses the majority of the time, it may be difficult to maintain your supply on the long-term.

Now, the key word here is MAY. Many women are successful at exclusively pumping and bottle feeding on the long term. However, if you have a small baby who you start giving mostly formula to (especially through bottles), and only nurse once or twice a day, the odds are that your supply will diminish and eventually dry up with so little nursing. However, this could take a week, two weeks or longer, and in that time, it is very possible that the reason that caused you to start giving formula and/or pumping has changed (your nips are less sore, your mind is clearer, you've gotten some sleep, the baby's latch or milk transfer has improved, etc). At this point if you tried to go back to nursing more you might be totally successful.

The point here is that combo feeding with a MAJORITY of formula through bottles is a pretty temporary situation. Every woman is different, but I think most need to be expressing milk every 4-6 hours in order to maintain a supply on the long-term. So if you are doing less than that, it is going to slowly dry up--which might be exactly what you want, to wean a bit more gradually. I just wanted to make sure that people understood that unless the baby nurses the majority of the time, it may be difficult to maintain your supply on the long-term.

But in my option, if combo feeding extends your nursing relationship by even one day, one week, or one breastfeed, that is worth it!

And, last but far from least, here are some great thoughts on this topic from some fellow Moms (including comments on the previous post) . . .

Alyssa said...
Love this!!! I've never thought BF'ing was an all-or-nothing thing. I figured, as long as I could give Evan SOME breastmilk (even when it was down to 1-2 times a day), it's worth it.

Grace said...
I have a friend who combo fed for a really long time, and it worked great for their family, she actually continued to nurse her little boy well into toddler-hood, and I know she was really glad that she never switched all the way to formula.
While I think combo feeding is an awesome option when necessary(for whatever reason) If you primarily want to breastfeed, it's typically best not to supplement very much in those first few months when you're establishing breastfeeding.
Great post!

Aletta said...
Good post! Patrick only had formula from 10-12 months when I stopped pumping "extra" and decided he could just get forumla if he was a little extra hungry at daycare or if we were leaving him with a sitter. Next time, I think I'd relax and start using formula in this way around 7 or 8 months, once the baby's eating a good amount of solids.
I spent so much time stressing about pumping enough milk to make sure he never had to have formula. In retrospect, I feel like I was trying too hard to live up to other people's standard of being a "perfect" mother.

EricaG said...
This is such an important message, Adrienne. TOO many moms think breastfeeding is all or nothing. Then, when trouble comes along, they stop breastfeeding instead of getting support and/or considering a combo deal. Due to insufficient glandular tissue, I cannot create a full supply. With baby #1, I supplemented but really beat myself up. With baby #2, I was introduced to the Supplemental Nursing System (SNS). This was wonderful because I could supplement with formula, but feeding still happened AT the breast. A win-win for us! I'm so thankful that you are giving such great information on this topic.

Liz said...
Thanks so much for this, Adrienne. I've finally quit kicking myself for having to use some formula, but it's taken me awhile to get there. I also refuse to use bottles in public, but that's more for a lactivist post. :)
Combo feeding is hard, but it's worth it. When Peter grabs my hair and rubs it on his face while we're nursing, I remember why I have no intention of weaning anytime in the near future.

Hilary says...
With my first, I pumped and I stopped pumping because I couldn't make 100% of her needs so I just stopped and went to formula. She did know how to latch on, so looking back I wish I would have kept nursing at least 1 or 2 times a day, maybe before bed and nap or something. But for some reason I didn't even consider it!

Samantha says...
I voted combination, since CP started out BF and then switched to FF. I really wish I'd had some kind of guidance on how to transition from EBF to part-time BFing. I would have LOVED to nurse in the morning before work and in the evening after work with formula in between, but somehow or another I messed up the transitioning process and ended up with no supply at all. We had such a great/easy BFing experience--CP latched right on after 24+ hrs of labor, 10+hrs with an epidural, and ultimately a C-section delivery, lol, literally 30 minutes after she was born, she was nursing while I was still in the recovery room from the surgery:) I couldn't find ANY help searching online, and the ped just said, "you should be able to transition to part-time BF just fine." I didn't think it would be a big deal, but literally after three days of being back at work, my supply was GONE.

Kim says...
I am now exclusively using formula, but I started with just BF, but had a horrible time. Dylan never latched well and he was juandice and he didn't gaine weight for the first month and I didn't produce a lot so we went to a combination. It was rough because I would BF, pump, and then supplement with formula. He would want to eat every two hours at first and it would take me an hour to 1 1/2 to feed him with that whole process so then neither of us were really sleeping. I eventually moved on my own to switch off BF and FF every other feeding. I still pumped after every nursing session. If I had to do it over again, I would have tried to continue the combination when I went back to work, but I was nervous about leaking since I am a pre-K teacher and did not want to explain that to any of the kids :)

Jennifer B. says...
I did combo as well. Although now he its just BF we had a rough start. Tongue tied which resulted in two clippings. But I just couldn't give up.

Jennifer W. says...
Combo only because my milk came in after six days and by day four the lc and midwife were panicking telling me maybe my milk never would come in, etc. We did some organic formula with a supplemental system for two days until I was sure my milk was in. Sad to find out recently that 4-6 days can be totally normal. :(

Karen E. says...
With DS1 I went straight to formula because I was honestly scared to BF. It seemed foreign, uncomfortable and it grossed me out, in all honesty. I don't think a woman in my family has breastfed in generations. Between DS1 and DS2, I did a lot of research and soul-searching and decided to try. I actually loved it and one of my greatest sources of guilt is that DS1 didn't get a drop of BM. Now that's he's 8 and sees CP being BF, he's asked a lot of questions about it and if he did it. Sadly, when he found out he didn't, he asked why. That was hard to explain and like I said, it makes me feel guilty.

Adrienne (yep me) says...
Karen, someone recently told me that when people feel guilt, they should usually feel anger. You should NOT fee guilty for a second, you are AWESOME to have changed so much from #1 to #2, I know how much work that takes and you should feel PRIDE, not guilt, for putting all that work in.
You should feel ANGRY that you didn't grow up watching people breastfeed and learning and being comfortable with it as nature intended. You should be angry that our society has gotten so far away from normal that it felt foreign to you.

We should be celebrating a Mom who continues to breastfeed while giving formula but I think a Mom in that situation is either pressured to stop breastfeeding altogether or made to feel guilty for using formula, when the reality is the a LOT of the benefit of breast milk/breastfeeding can be gotten through one or two feedings a day, even if you are using formula the rest of the time . . . I just wish women were more supported to do that.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Movie Monday: Ava

Well, I am obsessed with our new cousin!

Here she is like, "oh heyyy!"

My cousin's new little family!

And a video of her looking very serene in her daddy's arms . . . (don't mind my Dad bellowing in the background, that is just his normal speaking voice, LOL)

And another of her just being cute in the changing table, hehe.

This makes me SO excited for my niece who is due to arrive in just 10 days! :D

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Old School Sunday: War on Valentine's Day

If you haven't heard about my blog series "Old School Sunday", read the back story!

And if you want, catch up on what you missed (read from the bottom up!)

In the spring semester of my sophomore year at college, we were about to invade Iraq and my head was swimming. I wake up to find a message from Greg left for me on AIM, and it helps me pull myself together and feel more hopeful...

14th February 2003
12:38pm: Found Upon Awakening
Current Mood: contemplative

Auto response from AdriN2001 (9:16:51 AM): Someone please stop this war. If there is a God . . .

DebilNoxin (9:16:51 AM): War: It's the same goddamn hellish thing over and over again
DebilNoxin (9:17:10 AM): remember when they said that WWI was the war to end all wars?
DebilNoxin (9:17:31 AM): that the sheer inhumanity and brutality was enough to stop nations from ever killing again?
DebilNoxin (9:18:07 AM): and how fifteen years later there was another world war even more blood-drenched and demonic?
DebilNoxin (9:18:55 AM): and the wars and genocides and terrorist attcks in the years since have only grown more and more frequent and more and more murderous?
DebilNoxin (9:19:11 AM): war is the same goddamn hellish thing over and over again.
DebilNoxin (9:20:05 AM): we may never be freed from the cycle

12:55pm: What I Keep Saying to Myself
Current Mood: hopeful

But you have to remember--and it's hard when things like this happen--but you have to remember that evil is spawned out of goodness, and vice-versa. And although the measure of evil in this world right now is very great, there are continual redemptions. And the joy and love and beauty and wonder that exist here are also very great--greater, I would hope. And although they aren't plastered all over the news like the horror and violence are, you have to believe, you have to have faith, that those things are there, waiting for your moment of discovery.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Photo Friday: Meeting Ava (AKA Biscuit)

I am thrilled to announce the birth of our newest gorgeous family member, Ava Rose, AKA Biscuit! Born today, June 10th, 5:30ish in the morning, 6 pounds 10 ozs, 20 inches long!

Parenthood suits my beautiful cousin Emily very well, doesn't it?

Of course a good birth often involves a great supportive partner, and the new Dad Trevor did an amazing job as well!

The proud grandparents were totally glowing, too (here pictured with james instead of their first granddaughter, ;)
My Aunt Sue and me were right on the same wavelength during the labor, and were texting each other with anxious excitement all day yesterday!

And my Grandma was thrilled to meet her first great-grand-daughter (3rd great-grandchild!)

My amazing cousin Emily will hopefully do a guest post and share her birth story, so I don't want to spoil the details, but suffice it to say, I have never been prouder to call her my cousin. :-)

Welcome, beautiful Ava!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Four Health Updates in One

Okay I've been somewhat slacky. I like the combo feeding post I wrote but I haven't posted videos or even very many pics for ages!

One reason for this was that my sister Kate was visiting me since Sunday night! We attempted to clean and organize while she was here, but instead just took care of james--not sure how that manages to take up SOOOO much time! But it was fun to have a buddy to help!

Anyway, I thought I'd do a few short updates all together. I also have like a million other things to update about but you have to start somewhere, so here we go:

Allergies/Rash--We are making great progress on james food allergy situation. The ATT works AMAZINGLY. Like, if I eat something he has tested sensitive to, he will immediately break out in a red rash after eating. BUT then if I get treated for it, three days later I can eat it, and no rash. It's amazing, and I recommend it for everyone!

So far we've gotten him treated for: histamines, digestive mucus (these two are generally helpful), yeast, caffeine, chocolate, tomatoes, soy, sorghum, graham flour, corn oil, coconut oil, sesame seeds, cashews, peanuts, hazelnuts, almonds . . . wheat is the last thing on the list to get treated, simply because I am used to avoiding it and he's so allergic to it I prob won't be able to eat much anyway. Meanwhile, I missed peanuts like a MOFO! So that's what we most recently did. ;-) So obviously my diet is widely expanded.

PFB (Project Fat Baby)--My attempt to fatten james is coming along. With the bed-sharing and other things, I definitely think he is eating more now daily than he was a month ago.

And I do actually think his cheeks look fatter! I hope to find that he has gained at least a pound by next week, so I'm hoping he'll be around 17 lbs. Fingers crossed!

My ear infection--As you may recall, I was attempting to use natural cures for my ear infection instead of antibiotics. So I went for a checkup on Tuesday so see how I was progressing! My new doc that I love took one look at my ears and said: "Oh no, this is not what I saw last time!"
And I said: "All better?"
And she said: "Oh yes, this is definitely not what I saw last time! Hahaha.
"Great," I said, "I'm glad!"
"Just shows you the amazing power of the body!" She said, hehe. LOVE HER!!!

Therapy--Started going back to my old therapist about a month ago. Love her, too. It's been hard and good. There are things I shelved dealing with while I was pregnant but it's time now. Last week I talked to her about one of my biggest issues/traumas . . . it was really hard to talk about it and I was in emotional upheaval for days afterward. I told her that this week and she said it is normal to feel like that after moving some big stuff.

I honestly don't know how people deal without therapy. Given, I am a bit of an emotional trainwreck and I'm super sensitive, and have plenty of baggage from my ADHD life and all the big stupid mistakes that have marred my life . . . but I have to think EVERYONE needs support with their mental health, EVERYONE needs to talk about things that hurt them, that shaped them . . . I wish therapy was mandatory--at least once a year--why do we get "physicals" but not "mentals"? Is our mental health less important? I actually think it's more important.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Combo Feeding: The Overlooked Option (Part 1)

In gathering info for this post, I got so much interesting feedback and thoughts from other Moms that I decided to make this a two-parter, so here is part one!

So I'm in a lot of online Mom groups and even in talking to Moms in person, the question is always: "Are you breastfeeding or formula feeding?"

I am guessing that even if your baby is now primarily eating breast milk, formula, or food, that at one point, they may very well have had some of the other. (Please participate in the poll if you haven't already, results will be discussed in Part 2).

Does a Mom who breast feeds for one week before deciding to stop "fail to breastfeed"? I don't think so! Any amount of breast feeding is wonderful, and the colostrum of the first week is the most important thing for the baby to get. In fact, that first week is the most critical week to breastfeed ever! The Mom succeeded in breastfeeding her baby during the most important time for the baby.

On the other hand, what about a Mom who breastfeeds for two months and then learns her baby isn't gaining because of a bad latch or because of low milk production. There are ways to fix these problems without using formula, but many Moms might feel more comfortable supplementing during this time--either on the short term or permanently, or even switching altogether to formula. Does THIS Mom "fail to breastfeed"? Again, I think not . . .

I think Combo feeding (feeding some combination of breast milk and formula) is not only one of the most common feeding methods, but one that also is under considered and under discussed.

There are many situations in which a Mom might feel like she needs to switch to formula:
-Low supply
-Going back to work
-Bad Latch
-Pain During Feeding
-Lack of Support
-Baby Blues or PPD

However, in all of these cases, combo feeding should at least be considered, but often I think it is overlooked.

Low Supply*:
Mom can breastfeed for every feed (or as many as she feels comfortable with), and the supplement afterward with formula or donor milk if the baby still seems hungry. Another option is to use a Supplemental Nursing System to feed supplemented formula or donor milk AT the breast.

*true low supply is very rare and should be diagnosed by a Lactational Consultant or, ideally, two seperate ones, before deciding that supplementation or switching to formula is necessary

Going Back to Work:
This is an IDEAL situation for combo feeding. If you do not want to pump while you are at work, you can wean your body from producing milk during the day. HOWEVER, in the evening/night/morning when you are at home with your baby, you can still breastfeed during the time you are together. When you are at work, a care provider can feed formula or donor milk with a bottle.

Bad Latch:
A bad latch can be painful and can make it hard for the baby to remove enough milk from the breast. This can be improved with the help of lactation consultants, but it can also be heartbreaking and physically painful until the problem is fixed, and sometimes it can't always be. Moms in this situation can consider pumping and supplementing their own milk, or supplementing formula or donor milk.

If your problem is not pain but only weight gain, using a supplemental nursing system to supplement pumped milk, formula, or donor milk is ideal. You can do this for as many feeds as you need to in order to help the baby gain.

Pain During Nursing: If you are experiencing pain during nursing, because of a bad latch or other reasons, definitely talk to a Lactation Consultant or a doctor to look for thrush, bad latch, tongue tie, or other reasons for the pain.

Some pain during nursing is "normal" but bleeding nipples, or nipples that start to hurt again after feeling better, are a sign that something is wrong.

For someone that is about to stop breastfeeding because the pain is too bad, consider either pumping and bottle feeding, or combo feeding. Even if the pain is AWFUL, could you stand it ONCE a day (while you work on latch and search for solutions)? Twice? Weaning is also painful, so weaning slowly by allowing the baby to still nurse once, two, three times a day might actually make things less painful for you. For the other feedings, you can use pumped milk, donor milk, or formula. If the baby is still getting SOME breast milk, that is awesome!

Also, if you continue to nurse for some feedings, you might find that the pain improves, and that you are actually able to go back to nursing more later!

Lack of Support for Nursing:
Maybe your partner is not supportive, or your parents or inlaws, and you feel so uncomfortable about it that you are considering switching to formula.

Consider combo feeding! If you are EVER alone with the baby during the day or night, that can be your special time to nurse. Your family doesn't even have to know about it if you don't want them to. Nursing is a personal thing between you and your baby, no matter when, where, or how you do it. But if you feel as if you aren't able to nurse your baby all of the time, that is okay.

As long as you nurse your baby every day, even if it's only a few times, your baby will still get a ton of benefit.

Baby Blues or PPD: Sometimes in the immediate post-partum period, nursing can be too overwhelming. And, in fact, the hormones associated with depression, if high enough, can actually PREVENT the letdown reflex. Meaning that your milk will not come out. So when people say that they can't nurse for this reason, it's actually one of the "best" excuses--in that it's no joke. People don't realize how hormones can have a physical effect on your body . . .

Firstly, there are anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds that are safe to take while breastfeeding. Secondly, therapy is proven to be (nearly) as effective on the short term and even more effective on the long term for depression so that shouldn't be overlooked either.

But if you feel like you can't continue breastfeeding for another day, don't! It's okay to give donor milk or formula. However, after giving donor milk or formula for a few feeds, when your breasts start to get heavy, ask yourself if you've got one more feed in you. And see how you feel nursing for that one session. And then when your breasts start to feel heavy again, ask yourself the same question. And sometimes the answer will be no, but maybe sometimes it will be yes. If you are able to keep nursing for one or two feedings per day, your baby will get all the immune properties and wonderful benefits! Furthermore, breastfeeding produces hormones that actually help relax you and fight depression!

But sometimes the answer is no every time because you really need to stop for whatever reason. That is okay, formula and donor milk are both great feeding options even if you are not able to continue any amount of breastfeeding

One final thing to consider in any of these cases . . . until your baby is four months old, your body/breasts/baby remain "flexible".

That is, even a Mom who has been exclusively feeding formula out of a bottle from one to four months post-partum has the ability to go back to breastfeeding. It is hard and you might need to continue supplementing, but it's possible to breastfeed again and some people can actually get back to doing it exclusively.

And actually it is possible to re-lactate and nurse again regardless of the age of your baby/child, as in the case with breastfeeding an adopted baby.

So mothers of the world, take control of your feeding options. Figure out what is going to work for you and realize there are a million different options. It's not just breastfeeding or formula out of a bottle, it's a combo feeding world out there--there is donor milk, pumped milk; organic formula based on soy, cow, goat, amino acids; feeding from a bottle, breast, spoon, dropper, cup, from a supplemental nursing system . . . AND you can always decide to change what you've been doing and do something new.

Be successful at breast feeding by defining what success looks like to you, and when challenged, don't overlook the wonderful world of Combo feeding!

Monday, June 6, 2011

What Hurts in Childbirth and What it Feels Like

I think one of the scariest parts about labor is the mystery. Some people say it's the worst pain you've ever experienced! But in my case, this wasn't true . . .

I will share what labor/delivery FELT LIKE for ME (and I know many people have very different experiences), but I also do hear similar reports from other well-researched and well-prepared natural birth Moms (with an anterior head down baby).

Contractions: Feel like bad period cramps. I only used to get cramps every few months, and never very serious. This was similar to early labor. Once labor got underway, they did hurt more, but some people describe having to take Motrin around the clock for period cramps--turning white from them, not being able to work--this is pretty much exactly sounds to me like the worst contraction--basically the worst cramps you've ever had on your period, or the way people describe it who have bad cramps. This lasts for the whole time you are in labor, BUT it's only really bad like that at the very end. Early labor, the part that usually lasts for hours, it really does feel almost exactly like period cramps--but they only last for a minute at a time! No biggie.

Crowning: The "ring of fire". Okay this was the worst part (for me). But to plug the water birth, it basically erased the pain after I got in the tub! But yeah, a lot of people describe crowning as the ring of fire, and it's the pain of your cervix stretching over the baby's head. It feels like Indian Burn (when someone twists the skin on your arm in either direction). Exactly like your baby is giving your cervix Indian Burn. This did hurt a lot, and it was the only moment I felt like asking for an epidural. HOWEVER, crowning does NOT last a long time. I was squatting through my crowning, and it literally was less than 5 mins of bad pain. Squatting opens the pelvis by 30% more than laying on the back, so it will help you get through the crowning stage FAST if you are able to do it! Even in a longer labor, though, crowning is pretty fleeting most of the time.

Pushing Out the Baby: Least painful part of all. I tore, so that hurt when he came out, but the actual pushing him out part, seriously just didn't hurt really. You are just so excited to meet your baby and everything is totally opened up by then that it's not painful. You are still having contractions, so there is still that pain, but by then it's like old hat, and sometimes contractions even slow down in the pushing part! It feels like doing a big poop. With the same satisfaction at the end, haha, but without the burning part since that happened already during the crowning stage.

When you aren't having contractions, you usually aren't in any more pain than you were in before you went into labor, LOL. Meaning your back and belly are sore from being pregnant, but even when james' head was outside me and his body was inside, unless I was having a contraction, it really didn't hurt.

So fear not, Moms to be, it's all sensations you are already somewhat familiar with, just all together and wrapped up in the intensity of bringing forth life. But it's a miracle and a regular day all at once. A big deal but not a big deal. The way (almost) every child is born.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Old School Sunday: Cory

If you haven't heard about my new blog series "Old School Sunday", read the back story!

And if you want, catch up on what you missed (read from the bottom up!)

In the spring semester of my sophomore year--we are about to invade Iraq . . .

12th February 2003

So I am a supervisor in the dining hall. Some of the supervisors think that being a supervisor means they make everyone else work while they do nothing. Other supervisors think that it means that they should work extra extra hard. I just like to watch out for everyone's well-being. I don't like to see my employees upset, sad, sick, lonely, bored . . . I try to keep everyone upbeat and happy. Today, one of my students was out. I thought he was sick. He isn't sick. He has been called into active duty. When I was told this, in the office at South Dining Hall, I almost burst into tears. However, I managed to hold the tears down until I got out of the office. Then they flowed like a swelled river. I don't know this boy particularly well. I'm just his boss. But I try to look after him. But I can't look after him now. He isn't at school. He isn't at work. He isn't on campus. He's probably on a bus--or being trained to fight a war. He's a kid--I'M HIS BOSS AND HE IS FIGHTING A WAR. I cried and cried and cried. This is so wrong. This is so wrong that this boy is not in school and not at work. I hate the world.

And now in which I attack my father's political views with histrionics . . .

13th February 2003
Current Mood: nauseated

AdriN2001 (11:08:18 AM): Dad
AdriN2001 (11:08:57 AM): This kid at the dining hall--Cory--I'm his boss,
AdriN2001 (11:09:17 AM): and he wasn't at work yesterday and I thought he was sick but he GOT SHIPPED OUT
AdriN2001 (11:09:20 AM): DAD
AdriN2001 (11:09:45 AM): THIS BOY is fighting a meaningless war when he should be at school and at work
AdriN2001 (11:10:08 AM): I'M HIS BOSS DAD and he's fighting a war
AdriN2001 (11:10:24 AM): Can you have mom call me tonight? I'm extremely upset
AdriN2001 (11:10:37 AM): I might never see him again
AdriN2001 (11:10:43 AM): Just like that
AdriN2001 (11:10:47 AM): I didn't say goodbye
CT Golden1 (11:11:46 AM): sorry to hear that A...calm downh
AdriN2001 (11:13:08 AM): I just can't believe it
AdriN2001 (11:13:16 AM): I kept trying to deny that this was real
AdriN2001 (11:13:24 AM): But people are leaving who might never come back
AdriN2001 (11:13:46 AM): I don't know how people can be supporting this war when their CHILDREN ARE LEAVING
AdriN2001 (11:14:36 AM): How many deaths is it going to take until everyone starts realizing this war is STUPID AND POINTLESS AND NOT WORTH IT
AdriN2001 (11:14:46 AM): How many people died in Vietnam?
AdriN2001 (11:14:53 AM): Is it going to be that many again?
AdriN2001 (11:15:09 AM): Is Dave and Joshy going to be drafted?
AdriN2001 (11:15:11 AM): Are you?
AdriN2001 (11:17:23 AM): Are you Daddy . . . PLEASE STOP THIS
AdriN2001 (11:17:54 AM): We teach our children to talk it out and yet we support this
AdriN2001 (11:18:15 AM): We are better than this and smarter
AdriN2001 (11:18:24 AM): You should be smarter than to think this is right
AdriN2001 (11:18:32 AM): It's wronger than anything
AdriN2001 (11:19:20 AM): It makes us Saddam.
AdriN2001 (11:19:34 AM): We become him in our quest against fear
AdriN2001 (11:21:12 AM): Because 911 happened and something had to give. Because people started to question whether Bush had a "legitimate claim" to the throne of our nation and a distraction was needed and oil was needed and 911 happened and so we became as bad as Saddam
AdriN2001 (11:21:22 AM): Worse because we should have learned the first time
AdriN2001 (11:21:54 AM): They already are
CT Golden1 signed off at 11:22:16 AM.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Realities of Motherhood

Yes I breastfeed and cloth diaper and I'm super into the environment and babies. With this said, being a Mom is more than a job. You're on call 24/7 and that means it's not your job, it's your life. And people who work hard might almost be able to be perfect at their job. But you can never be perfect at life. When it's 24/7 you HAVE to mess up. On mistake and on purpose. We all have, and need, our vices, whether they are TV or wine or spilling our soul on the internet--or even more frequently, as in my case, all of these and more.

I think because I have this blog, had a home birth, am really into breastfeeding, etc, people think of me (sometimes) as some kind of "Mother Earth" (a friend recently actually called me this in person) . . . but let's get serious here. I think the vast majority of differences between people, parents, mothers, is superficial. Show me an "attachment parent" who has NEVER had to leave the baby to cry while he/she took a minute, took a walk, deep breaths . . . Meanwhile, show me the average CIO parent and I think you'll see someone who loves to hold their baby, would NOT leave a baby to cry hysterically without consolation, but has realized that their baby falls asleep faster if left alone to fuss for a minute. I think most of us are somewhere in the middle--I could be described as EITHER of the above parents. So it's all just labels to me, little degrees of differences.

I am FAR FAR FAR from perfect. Like all of us I don't advertise my flaws. Though if you think my obsession with organizing, cleaning, and list-making is out of no where you would be mistaken--it's true I am very messy. But I can pull my life together when I have guests so it's fine, haha. But that's the least of them.

The truth is that we HAVE to give ourselves a break. Otherwise the Mommy guilt will drive us crazy!

I'm giving myself a break right now in fact. James just came and asked me to take the baby so he could take a shower, and I was basically like HELL NO. I was really tired and fell asleep nursing him last night, so I feel like I haven't had a minute of "me" time since . . . like Wednesday.

I've been out to eat with friends and with James a few times lately but since it's ALSO with the baby, I feel like I never relax during the meal between having to wrestle him into a high chair, bringing all his utensils and bib, keeping him from grabbing everything, finding foods he can eat so he doesn't go insane, monitoring him during the meal to make sure he doesn't choke, retrieving the utensils repeatedly from the floor, having also to nurse him at least once during the meal, having to wipe his hands, arms, face, head, and probably change his clothes after, having also to wipe the table because the poor waitress didn't sign up for that, and then having to pack up baby and gear . . .

Damn, I'm lucky if I eat 5 bites and have one meaningful interaction with another adult during the whole meal!

I'm just going to come out and say it: "Hell yes I sometimes resent my baby for sucking huge amounts of my time, resources, and energy." But, geez, I hope I am normal. I always love james and usually I have a lot of fun with him, but damn being a Mom is a lot of work and it never ends and it is hard, not only physically but mentally, emotionally, psychologically. You are doing the best job you can, coming to grips with your own limits, and having to accept that you will NOT do a perfect job raising this child--all simultaneously.

It helps when you look at them and they are still perfect anyway despite all the mistakes you are going over in your head. It's the amazing thing about kids--they forgive, forget, and grow strong and healthy even if their Mom takes a Saturday morning to shut herself in the library . . .

Dammit except for the fullness of my breasts . . .

"Hey James," I yell down, "maybe you should just give him a bottle . . . " ;-)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

One Month Into Therapy . . .

things are movin and shakin. keep cryin like it's being pulled out by God himself. healing hurts--cry as it washes past. last goodbye to those haunting whispers and still more flow and flow--it's a river of goodbye but i'm clean in the end, i'm clean.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...