Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Check out the necklace

I know you can't really see it but the necklace I have on is a great breastfeeding necklace. I love wearing it especially when I go to work with families as a breastfeeding counselor.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Here it is again

Well, my period has shown up again. I was hoping that with continued night feedings Ben would stave off my periods. Oh well....

Friday, December 10, 2010


I was able to participate in a webinar focusing on nutrition associated with breastfeeding. It wasn't exactly what I expected but it was interesting.....

Friday, November 19, 2010

10 months yesterday

Ben is getting so big. He was 10 months old yesterday. He is still nursing strong. I am pumping once a day at work still and I am keeping up with his needs. He loves to eat off of my plate. He wants nothing to do with baby food at all. He really doesn't like spoons or forks near his mouth. He will take food off of my fingers just fine. I weighed him the other day and he weighs a little over 19 pounds. He feels like he weighs more. He has four teeth in now. Well the two top have broken through but they haven't come in all the way. Ben is such a good baby. I hate to label a child like that but it is true. He must know he is number 7 and his mom is 36 years old!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pumping at the board

I am so glad my boss made me take my pump with me today. I am at a local board of education at a meeting as part of my job.  Mainly I am just waiting around waiting my turn to day a simple "yes" or "no". It seems like I will be here for hours. Well, the powers that be broke for lunch so I broke to pump. The picture shown is where I was offered to pump.  At least the woman who showed me to the room was a bit uncomfortable with the fact that was the only space with a lock. She did find me a chair though. A mom has to do what she has to do.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Now all he wants is Mama

For a while there it seemed like Ben didn't care too much for nursing. Now he barely takes his bottle during the day full of breastmilk form Dad or big sister. He just waits for me to come home. Some days it is almost 10 hours. He still isn't eating much food except for exploration so I imagine he is starving when I get home. If Dad is lucky he may take 4 ounces total during the day. I guess just like us adults each baby is different too. He has his likes and dislikes and they are apt to change at a moment's notice.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It was bound to happen sooner or later

Well, it is official. My period has arrived. I have never had it return while I am still nursing. Ben isn't eating much food. He hasn't really changed his nursing amount. He may be nursing a little bit less frequently but he still nurses multiple times a night. I was really looking forward to not having a period for a while since I don't plan on weaning any time soon. I guess a girl can't have it all.

Monday, October 18, 2010

9 months old

Ben is getting so big. He is still nursing strong. He eats some table food but most of his nutrition comes for "mama milk".

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mama milk

On the way to church this morning Evan saw baby cows in a pasture. He said, "Look, they drink their mama's milk like Baby Ben".

Thursday, September 30, 2010


In the midst of the chaos after Lyn's volleyball game I saw a mom walking around nursing her little one.  Way to go mom!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tator tots!?!

Ben doesn't want anything to do with baby food but that boy likes potatoes in any form. Well, who doesn't? Mashed potatoes, fries, tator tots,  and baked potatoes all have made it into his tummy. He definitely prefers table food over baby food. I still want breast milk to be his main source of nutrition (and it is) but a little variety doesn't hurt. He doesn't seem hungry or anything but I offer food when I am eating dinner. He is no where near to wanting to eat an actual "meal". We'll get there.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Oh the tears...

I cried on Monday. Ben is hurting my feelings but I know it is not his fault. I went to the store and bought one can of formula. I know I can pump and get a back up supply again. I know all the arguments about using formula. I preach them all the time myself. But today I gave Ben a little formula. Or rather I made a bottle handed it to Dad, ran a bath, and cried alone in the bathtub till the 4 and almost 3 year old came and got in with me. Ben seems so hungry and I really think he wants some food. But then he won't eat off of a spoon. So I gave him some food but it was yucky formula. He seems so satisfied after he takes a bottle even when it is just breastmilk in the bottle. He doesn't seem to like nursing. I did get him to sleep with me a little last night. It was so sweet. He just likes his space. Normally I have to put him right back in his bed at night after I feed him.

Monday, September 6, 2010

No baby food for Ben

Ben just does not like baby food. I keep trying to offer him food on a spoon and he humors me but he won't really get into it. He will eat some soft table food though. What really hurts my heart though is that he doesn't seem to enjoy nursing. He does it to get fed and then he pushes me away. He never comfort nurses. Sometimes it is like he doesn't want to nurse but is so hungry he tolerates it. What to do what to do??? 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Eat Ben eat!!

Come on now!  I guess Ben just does not have a huge appetite. For a few weeks now he just doesn't want to nurse very much at all. I would not be concerned except that he is not really eating much. he has tried some foods but he doesn't actually "eat" food everyday. He takes his bottles of expressed breastmilk during the day from Dad just fine. But a lot of times before and after work and in the middle of the night he refuses the breast. I really think he would only nurse twice a day if I left it up to him. I actually try to coax him to eat a lot of times throughout the evenings and at night without much luck. Dad thinks he prefers bottles and that he isn't getting much from me. I just don't think that is the case. He is biting me  a lot with his gums. I sort of am ready to stop pumping at work but since we are almost out of frozen milk that would mean adding formula during my work day. That I am not ready to do. Maybe I should start pumping more and let Dad give a bottle at night. I just don't know. Out of all 7 children I have nursed I have never really had one that was "in love" with the process.  I was hoping Ben would be the exception. They all seem like they could take or leave it. Oh well. I'll just keep things going they way they are and see what happens.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Trying food again

I offered Ben some jar baby food (bananas) yesterday. He didn't seem to know what to do with it. I guess he just isn't ready for it. He doesn't seem to be nursing very often. I offer him the breast all the time. Sometimes he just would rather suck his thumb. He is still gaining weight OK so I am not really worried. Oh well.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

At the beach

Packing for the beach for Ben was easy. No bottles or formula to worry about. He did great. He pretty much stayed on his regular nursing routine. My favorite time was when we were up before everyone else and nursed on the balcony as the sun came up. We didn't slow down and nursed at the pool side. We got a strange look from an employee but that was the most negativity we came across. When we went to dinner I went to the van to feed Ben not because I did not want to nurse in public but because he is so distractable lately. I knew the busy restaurant would be too much for him. On our way home we stopped at a great McDonald's with a really nice indoor play place. I watched Eliot play and fed Ben. No one gave me a second look. Another mother with an itty bitty baby sat near us. The baby started to fuss. She started to give her a bottle but she was still fussing. The mom moved to another table and when we walked past on ourway out she was breastfeeding her little one. That warmed my heart.

One a second note, I gave Ben a taste of plain baked potatoes and plain sweet potatoes during the past few days. He seems more interested in what we are eating. We'll see what happens next.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Breastfeeding and Early Intervention

Please enjoy this post via The Leaky B@@b. Thank you so much for letting me be part of the blog carnival during World Breastfeeding Week!

"My child has Autism. How do I continue to breastfeed him?"

"My baby was born at 28 weeks. How do I even start a breastfeeding relationship?"

"My baby just won't latch how can I breastfeed?"

"I have stopped breastfeeding. Now I want to start again. Isn't my milk all gone?"

These are all questions that I have heard as I work with families with special needs children under three years old. They are also questions I have asked myself. I am a developmental specialist, service coordinator, and special instructor with my state's early intervention program. I am also a mother of seven children. My oldest child has Autism. My fourth child was born at 28 weeks and it was months before she was able to latch on. She also has a seizure disorder. My seventh and youngest child just could not get the hang of nursing and I pumped for three months before I could teach him how to latch and be a pro at breastfeeding now at six months old. My other children breastfeed with all different degrees of "success". All of my experiences with my children bring a depth to the work I do everyday. When parents find out  I can share some of the emotions they feel I gain some of their trust. This allows me to provide the best care and services to their children.

Unfortunately, most of the families I work with never even try to breastfeed their special needs babies. A lot of these children have compromised immune systems or suboptimal brain development. Some even have metabolic disorders and nutrient absorption problems. Yet still they never even consider breast milk as the best food for their child.

Other times mothers just choose not to breastfeed or even hold their child to bottle feed. They may have developmental delays without a diagnosois. I am challenged when a child has a goal to hold their own bottle at 6 months. Their family wants them to sit supported in a seat and hold a bottle without any emotional or physical help. In my job I have to respect the family culture of those I am there to help. But I also don't want to support them in causing more hurtles for their child to surmount. I try to gently remind them that feeding time is meant to be a nurturing learning time for their child. I remind them how human babies have been fed in ages past and in other countries. Sometimes this prompts them to consider holding their babies to bottle feed them. Rarely I work with with a family that wants to breastfeed and just needs help to increase their supply. Or sometimes they just need someone to tell them it is OK to nurse their special needs child. I remind them that it is BETTER to breastfeed their special needs child. Nursing at the breast is a great oral motor workout. Children with Down syndrome benefit from this method of feeding way above and beyond just getting fed. This helps with their speech development and oral motor control on a lot of levels. Typical children benefit from breastfeeding but it can be dramatically evident how much it helps children with low muscle tone. I have even seen a dramatic difference in children with Autism that are or have been breastfed. I have more luck in introducing new foods to children that have breastfed. They seem to be more used to changes in taste than children who have only had formula. I attribute that to the varying differences in breastmilk from feeding to feeding and day to day. They did not get the same old taste every feeding so they expect a bit more variety. And as always with a job where one works with children under three years old poopy comes into the conversation. A lot of families I meet notice that their children have a lot of problems with constipation because of low tone, nerve damage, or drug interactions. But, the few that receive some breastmilk have little or no problems with constipation. I have even recommended that families find a source of breastmilk for their child. I refer them to friends and or family members they trust or to milk banks in their area. I get really strange looks when I make that recommendation. It is just not in their mindset to think that way.

I hope that from the dozens of families that I come in contact with throughout the year I am able to help some children achieve access to breastmilk in any way that they can. Even children that can not suckle or even swallow need braestmilk to help reach their full potential. Well, I've got to go. I am off to work with a child learning how to communicate. And you know what? Mom is pregnant. Let's see if I can plant a seed of change!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

World Breastfeeding Week

In celebration of World Breastfeeding Week I am working on a submission to a blog carnival. The big girls are working on essay and artwork submissions too.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

In the grocery line

For once I was in the grocery line by myself today. I was getting WIC for myself and Evan. I didn't need all of the milk on my voucher. I was making small talk and told the cashier that I didn't need all of the milk that they give me for being a breastfeeding mom. The cashier said, "You must have a newborn". I looked at her for a split second and said with a smile that my baby turned 6 months old this month. She looked a little confused. I guess she didn't ever consider that moms nurse after a few weeks.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Nursing at the pool

I wore a suit that was easy to pull down at the pool last Sunday. I was all prepared to nurse Ben at the poolside if need be. He didn't act hungry at all till it was time to leave and we were all in the family change room. He ate away privately there and slept all the way home.

Baby food....

I did end up getting the jars of baby food on WIC. The other kids got into them. Evan and Eliot wanted banana applesauce. The older girls even wanted to try it. They all liked the fruit but the meat and veggies did not really find any fans. I will try Ben on some organic baby food a little at first. WIC doesn't let you get organic food except for the fresh fruit and vegetables. We'll see how all of that goes.

Food time?

Ben was 6 months old on the 18th of this month. He is starting to show some interest in food. He watches my spoon or fork as it goes from my mouth to my plate. He has reached for my food several times. And everything is going in the mouth. He is gnawing on everything.  Dad informed me yesterday that my freezer stash is running out. I probably only have enough milk to last out the week. I pump everyday but Ben is drinking and sometimes wasting about 4 ounces more than I pump. I either need to add more pumping sessions to my routine or come up with some other solution. I do not want to add formula into the mix. I have my bananas, rice, and avocados ready to offer him. I think we will start with the bananas tonight. I want to see him in action trying to eat before I turn that job over to Dad during the day. I don't want to use a lot or any processed foods. I think I will stay away from the baby cereals right now. All of their "fortified" nutrients can be found in real food if you pick the right foods. Besides, breastmilk is and still will be his main nutrition. Food right now is just extra for practice. I do hope to use food as a bit of a staller for Dad till I get home. I want Ben to nurse more at night but he is all about sleeping instead of eating at night right now. I usually feed him around 4:30 am or 5:00am. He just doesn't want to eat right before I go to work anymore. If I could only reason with the little man. I'll let you know how eating food goes tonight!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

To nurse in public today or not...

All of the big kids are with someone else today. Dad wanted to go out for breakfast for pancakes so that is what we did. If you knew him you would know it is rare that he requests outings. Evan, Eliot, Ben, dad and I headed for IHOP. I was prepared  to feed Ben if needed during breakfast. Ben got a lot of attention form the waitresses. He is pretty cute if I say so myself. He started to get fussy and everyone was about done at that time. I was about to feed him there in the restaurant but I decided to wait. I felt like I should make a stand and nurse in public to support the 'cause" but I did not feel totally comfortable in that setting. I left Dad with the other kids and paid the check on my way out to feed Ben in the car. All of the waitresses came running to say bye to the cutest baby in the room. I had mentioned to the hostess that took my money that I was going out to feed the baby she spoke up to the other staff and said good naturedly, "let her go, she is going to feed the baby." In the end I did not feed Ben in public but I didn't  hide the fact that I was a nursing mom. In the end everyone was happy. I got to eat, Ben got to eat and all the ladies that work at IHOP got to fawn all over Ben!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Got milk?

I actually had to stop pumping because one of my bottles was overflowing. I knew I should have packed the big bottles today! Ben has been snacking off and on all the time. My supply is showing that! I had to pump 3 hours early today just to keep from spilling out of my shirt.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What are you feeding him?

Ben visited today at work. I love these opportunities to be able to nurse him in the middle of the day during the week. It is not throwing my supply all out of whack as it used to do. My supply doesn't seem to be going anywhere so I don't stress over having to take a day or two to readjust the supply and demand mechanism. As I was showing him off a little bit I was asked, "What are you feeding him?" I answered with a smile, "Just mama milk". The response I got in return was, "Well, I guess that is enough.". This was said as Ben was having his chunky thighs squeezed by a well meaning "grandmother". He is a prime example that most babies do just fine on breastmilk alone.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Ben's WIC appointment

Well, Ben had his WIC appointment today. He weighs 16 pounds and 5 ounces. Milk does a body good! There were a lot of new moms there with little babies. All of them were bottle feeding what i presumed was formula to their babies. One of the moms even got up to smoke twice while she was waiting. When I got to see the nutritionist she asked me if Ben was eating food yet. I said no he doesn't seem ready yet. She gave me the new vouchers for 6 month old infants to start next month. For Ben he is allowed to get 64 jars of vegetables or fruit, 31 jars of meat (yuck), and 3 boxes of infant cereal. I may offer him some of the fruit later when he is ready but the rest can wait or never be bought. I am sure when he is ready to eat food he will pull it off of my plate. On another note the nutritionist wanted me to start him on a sippy cup so that he would be off of the bottle by a year old. I told her that I was hoping that he would nurse till he was done and then just transition to an open cup. She looked at me like I was crazy. To me a sippy cup with a valve and a soft spout is still just a bottle. Most children are older than one when they no longer need to satisfy a sucking need and can turn up a cup to drink. If we all were meant to drink without sucking there would not be any sports bottles or straws!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

La Leche League meeting

Today's meeting went great! There were two leaders there, me, and a new mom with a 3 week old baby boy. One of the leaders had to leave early so the other leader and I talked with the new mom. I really think I will like being a leader of a group one day. I am going to try better to get all my ducks in a row so I can get going with all the requirements needed to be a leader. Now I need to see about which area I want to lead in.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Good to see

I attended a Birmingham Birth Stories meeting today. It was great to see so many mothers nursing their babies. I need to put myself in more settings where it is acceptable to nurse in public even though a mothering group of like minded people is scarcely  the typical "public" arena in Alabama. Still, I had fun. I met a lot of moms who feel the same way I do on a lot of issues. I am sure I will go back. Since the meeting took place at my regular pumping time I had to pump a little early so I would not get too uncomfortable during the meeting.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Another day..

I have no concerns with my nursing adventure right now. I really couldn't ask for anything better. Ben nurses well. He is growing well. I still haven't gotten a period yet. All is good! I do have a WIC appointment coming up soon for Ben this month. I know they will try to get me to add solid foods to his diet but I plan on waiting a while longer. He is almost 5 months old. He is not showing any signs on needing more than "mama's milk" so we are just going to keep it that way for a while longer. I am going to wait at least 6 months till I even try to introduce some fruits.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ben's first cold

Ben is not nursing as much as usual. He won't hardly take a bottle of "mama milk" for Dad during the day. I was afraid he may have croup. Eliot had RSV when she was about his age so I was afraid of that too. It was neither. We went to the doctor today and it was just a cold. His appetite should perk up in a few days. He is still nursing it just isn't very much. He does weigh 15.2 pounds as of today.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Talk about the good

I need to celebrate the good as well as lament the bad. Ben and I are a great nursing pair these days. It is like they rough beginning was just a dream or a nightmare at times. This morning before I left for work I tried to get Ben to nurse and he just flat out laughed at me. He is always in such a good mood in the mornings. Hopefully our nursing relationship will be a long one.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Oh my goodness!!

I forgot all of my breast pump parts at home. I washed them and set them to dry this morning and grabbed my bag. I left all the parts sitting by the sink. I got set up at work to pump and opened my bag and ahhhh!! I forgot everything at home. I was supposed to work late today because I went in late because of Evan's doctor's appointment. Now I am all out of whack. I can't stay late if I can't pump!! I'll have to head home by 2pm. I feel like such a blond. (I did highlight my roots last night :) .)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Come on Ben...

Ben is just not wanting to nurse very much right now. Maybe I am just paying too much attention to all of this. His weight is good. (He doesn't quite have enough room for another chin!) He is happy. I just have so much milk I don't know what to do. It is like when my milk came in. I don't want to pump more because then I will just make more. Yesterday i met Dad with Ben for lunch. Ben ate pretty good but he only emptied one and half breasts. That is half more than he usually does. I guess I sort of force fed him hopping he would give me some relief. No such luck. I refused to pump when I got back to work because I didn't want to keep this over abundance cycle up. Since my pump was clean I left it at work. When I got home Ben was asleep. This is too much. He nursed some before bed and a little at night. I am going to pump today a little early just to get some relief. I guess this is all better than not having enough milk. Now, in two months when he has another growth spurt I will be singing a different tune!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What, again?

Ben didn't really nurse much last night again. I am a little worried about him. If I were with him during the day I wouldn't mind as much because I could catch him up on his feeds. But because I am at work I am worried. Dad has plenty of milk to feed him from a bottle but it is just not the same. I want to be in control. (It's strange, most bottle moms think they are in control with the bottle.) I guess he is just not needing as much milk. He is not acting fussy so I don't think his ears are hurting him when he sucks. I don't think he is teething and not wanting to suck. He is happy. I think he is just not hungry. I miss our night time feeds though. That was our total mama and baby time with everyone else asleep.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sleeping through the night?

Ben started off the night in the boys' room. Usually when I go to bed he needs to nurse and then he just stays with me. Well, last night Dad slept with him in the boy's room and he was never brought to me. I finally couldn't sleep without him in my arms so I went to check on him. I was actually anxious that something was wrong and that he wasn't breathing. I rubbed his back firmly and he wiggled. I scooped him up and told Dad I was going to feed him. I snuggled down with him and fed him. He nursed pretty well and then went right back asleep. But it was 4:30am and almost time to get up. I can't believe he slept so long. I was so worried about him. I guess I will see how he does tonight.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Everything is going fine

Ben was weighed at Granny's house today. Unofficially he weighs 15 pounds. He is doing great. Nursing has been going along like clockwork. We haven't had any problems for quite a while now. Looking back it was really hard but it was definitely worth it. I am so glad I did not give up!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Breastfeeding vs. Play

OK, this post is a little different. It is not so much a bit of my own story as it is about my ideals on nurturing children and helping them become the best they can be. As a part of my job I evaluate children under three years old for developmental delays. And if they show delays I provide services for them to help their development. Breastfeeding comes up fairly often. Some moms have special needs children that are born with a diagnosis and they need assistance in establishing or supporting a breastfeeding relationship. Others have a toddler that they want to wean and because that child has a delay they do not know how to go about the process, child led or not. (How do you let a child lead his own weaning process when he is incapable of communicating needs beyond a 6 month old developmental level?) All in a day's work.

But where did the title of this post come from? Because I come in contact with so many families with infants and toddlers I do see a lot of breastfeeding moms (not near the amount I want to see!). Well, occasionally I see a child that nurses ALOT and I evaluate their needs. They sometimes end up showing a measurable delay in their social, communication, and cognitive skills. This happened with one family I met. After I get a family history and observe the family for a while and ask what they feel their most frustrating moments are they share a surprising thing. The mom is tired of nursing. My gut response is to remind her that her child is only 18 months and that it is still OK and healthy for him to be nursing. Then I find out that that is all he does. He isn't interested in trying new foods (he does eat chicken nuggets and cheese). He nurses all night and doesn't play by himself. Well, my testing showed that he does not know how to play. It turns out that the only interaction this toddler receives from his mother is while he is in her lap breastfeeding. She does not get on the floor to play with him. She does not read to him. They do not go outside and play. She says that when she places him on the floor with toys he just sits there and doesn't know what to do. When I ask what he does when she plays with him with the toys on the floor she tells me that she has never tried that. Well, the problem here is not that the child is nursing too much it is that his mother is not guiding him in the way that is natural for so many of us. A lot of mother's don't know how to "play" with their child. This family had fallen into a rut. I gently brought all of this to the mom's attention and encouraged her to just spend time with her child and then he will be too interested in the world to be nursing all day. I never suggested that she wean her child but I gave her all kinds of "homework" to teach her how to support his needs to catch him up developmentally.

Breastfeeding is one of the best gifts that every mother should try their best to provide for their child. But it is not the only thing that makes a nurturing supportive mother.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Night time nursing

Ben is getting a lot better at self serve at night. My guess was he would be about 4 months old when he would be able to scoot up to me and latch on on his own. He will be 4 months old soon enough. he gets a little frustrated though when he finds a pesky night shirt in his mouth. Large tank tops that can be pulled down are the easiest to wear. There is nothing more frustrating than an infant trying to suckle your shirt.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The bride's room

I attended an EI conference today. I brought my breastpump along for the ride. The conference was at a fairly large church so I was confident that there would be a room available fro me to pump. I was even going to pump in the dreaded bathroom if need be. There were no outlets in the very clean quiet bathroom so I went hunting for another spot. I guess I looked like I was looking for something so someone who worked there asked me if I need something. I told her what I needed and she directed me to someone who could literally unlock doors. I was allowed to pump in The Bride's Room. It was a room where brides who are married at this huge church get ready. It was something out of a movie. There was a 360 mirror in there and plenty of light. Not quite the angle a mom likes to see herself in with bright lights! I set up and was about to pump. Then I realized I had left one of my phalanges at home. I pumped on one side and then the other. It took twice as long and since I was in a new place I didn't want to take up the room so I cut the session short. I only pumped about 4 ounces. Everyone was nice though and did not even blink at my request. All in all a good day!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Donated milk

A friend of mine has a family member with a new baby. The mom is not breastfeeding because her doctor recommended that she did not so she could stay on a needed medication. The baby has been switched to all kinds of formulas and now they are suggesting Alimentum. That formula is really expensive. When I asked my friend if the mom has tried donated milk she said she was pretty sure the mom had never even heard of it. I offered to donate her some of my frozen milk to help the baby get over his digestive problems right now. My friend is going to ask the mom. In my neck of the woods not many people breastfeed let alone use donated milk. It is rare but it does happen.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Wasted milk

I pulled a bag of frozen milk out of the freezer last Thursday. I thought Ben would need it when I was at work Friday. He never needed it. It was a good thing that he is nursing more but I hated to waste hard earned breastmilk. Thawed  milk doesn't keep long. I ended up throwing this bag out. That was not a good feeling. 

Evan and his Froggie!

I am a big fan of dramatic play. That being said Evan said his Froggie was hungry and that he was going to give him "micky mouse milk". I am not sure where the "micky mouse" part came from. I turned around and saw that he was "nursing" his baby froggie. I told him he was doing a great job. I reminded him that mommies were the ones with milk and I asked him if he was the mommy or the daddy? I was on the fence on wanting to totally support his imaginative play and to have a biology lesson. Play won out and my 3 year old son was fully supported in "nursing" his baby froggie!!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Lunch break!!

I had to take Eliot home from daycare today because of a stomach bug. She was not happy about it at all. (Who likes to leave the playground under any circumstances?)Since I had to hand her off to Dad I woke Ben up while I was at home and nursed him. He nursed so well from one side that I went back to work lopsided!! So worth it though! I may not need to pump at all. I like to breastfeed from one side at each feeding. If Ben is still hungry I'll offer the other side but generally I don't have to. Especially at night I don't like to switch sides. Hook up and go back to sleep is the name of the game. Ben is almost able to snuggle up and latch on without any help if I don't have shirt on. I give him one more month and he will be a pro.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Refusing the bottle

OK, this is actually a good thing. Ben is almost 3 and a half months old. He has been nursing well for a few weeks. I have plenty of milk in the fridge and I am pumping at work. He has started to not drink a lot from a bottle with Dad. Dad is a bit worried. I am happy! He would rather wait for "ninnies" from mama!! As long as he takes an ounce or two of breastmilk from something while we are seperated to stay hydrated I am fine with this new development. Annika did the same thing. She was a bit older though. Ben eats all night long so I am sure he is getting what he needs.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Pretty much back to normal

I am back at work after a successful weekend of nursing. Baby Ben got one bottle of expressed breastmilk to give me a little break but that was it. I am pumping at work right now. Mondays are always the worst. have to get back in the swing oj pumping after having the weekend off. I have noticed that he will nurse real quickly and be done in about five minutes and be good for hours sometimes. I wonder if he is really getting enough. Then I step back and remember that even if he eats less it is of such high quality he doesn't need as much. I still keep those formula checklist in the back of my head. I need to clear them out!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The effect of pain

I have had a sensitive spot on my right breast since Friday night. I am not sure if it is a blocked duct or something else. All I know is that it feels like a big bruise that keeps getting pressed on. My mood has been horrible. I had a very short fuse on Saturday and just wanted to stay in bed all day. I am better now but it is amazing how a little pain can effect all those around you. Ben got a bottle of expressed milk to give me a break yesterday.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Wow! Almost 2 weeks..

It has been nearly two weeks that Ben has been nursing for all his feeds when I am with him. He still gets one to two bottles of expressed breastmilk from a bottle when I am at work but the rest is fresh from the tap! What's going to be interesting is that this Sunday I will be working in the nursery at church. I want to take him but I will be working and not be able to just ignore the other children and feed him. I may have other infants to hold. I will definitely bring my sling but I am sure my hands will be full!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


My supply was all over the place today, literally. I was so full at work that I actually had to pump early because I was starting to hurt some and it was distracting. I guess I was thrown off from yesterday. I nursed Ben at work and didn't pump at all. He snacked this morning but didn't do much for emptying my breasts. So I was on overproduction overload. I was checking a favorite site I follow (The Leaky Boob) while I was pumping at work and woe and behold I looked down and I had pumped nearly twice as much as I usually do. Oh great.... now I'll never get all this milk everywhere under control again. (I say all of that with a light grateful heart that my supply is so abundant!!)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ben, you're all wet...

Since I didn't pump at work today I was a bit overfull when I got home from work. Ben was asleep and I considered pumping before he woke up. I didn't though. When he did wake up I fed him and then we played for a little while. I looked down and saw that Ben's clean shirt was all wet. I was frustrated that he had wet through his diaper. And apparently he had wet all over my shirt too. Then I realized I had it wrong. I had leaked all over his shirt!!

Hanging out at the playground

I took the kids to the playground yesterday. I am not overly modest and I don't mind nursing in public. We were at the playground for over an hour. Ben got hungry so he got fed. Plain and simple.

Baby Ben came to work today!

I have been wanting to show Ben off at work lately. I finally got the chance. I brought him in and let him visit with everyone. When he got hungry he got a little snack before I took him off to meet Dad at Grandma's house. Since I fed him once at work and again at Grandma's house
I didn't pump at work at all. I don't think I will stay and work late today. I am a little overful.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The two year old said what?

This morning before I left for work I nursed Ben one last time. I was already dressed so I had to take my nursing pad out of my bra. I sat it next to me on the bed. Eliot, my two year old, came up to me and picked it up. She said "Mama, your boobie hat" as she tried to hand it back to me. She knew what it was for (sort of). I laughed pretty hard!!

Picture of the day (Ok, it was actually taken yesterday)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

We made it to 3 months!

I can hardly believe that Ben and I have made it to 3 months. I know I already celebrated the 12 week mark but the actual 3 month mark means so much to me. Ben has not needed a bottle at all this weekend. He is doing great. I do get some pain when he latches on if he isn't positioned correctly but other than that we aren't having any problems. I still have a lot of milk in the freezer. I have let go of my anxiety over thinking I don't have enough milk saved up. That is no longer a problem. Ben will need some thawed milk tomorrow because I haven't pumped any this weekend. When I do pump at work I have been pumping about 2 to 4 ounces more than what Ben needs for the next day. That extra milk is still going into the freezer.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I haven't had to pump at all today. Ben has gotten all he has needed nursing. I haven't had to offer any expressed breastmilk either. I am comfortable too. I haven't been engorged or anything. It has been so nice! We should be able to keep it up. I am trying to come to terms with my weight though. I want to aggressively diet but I know it will effect my supply. (It's happened before.) I just need to accept my weight and increase my activity level. Hopefully I will be able to loose weight slow and steady. I have 10 pounds to loose to be where I was before Ben. 16 pounds to loose to be where I was before Eliot. And, 27 pounds to be at my ideal weight. (What I weighed before I had Connor.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pumping once a day

I am now only pumping once a day. It seems like everything is going well. Ben nurses before and after work and during the night and takes two bottles in the middle of the day for Dad. I am pumping the exact amount he needs at noon for his next day's feedings. It was a hard first 12 weeks but it was worth it. I almost gave up there for a minute. I am not going to rush to food with Ben. With Eliot, my 2 year old, I waited till she was pulling food off my plate to start her on food. I stopped nursing her around 4 months old. There were a lot of reasons for that. She wanted table food around 6 months old and was eating most soft table food by 8 months old. She did that without any coaxing. She rarely had baby food. Unless Ben starts to pull it off my plate I am not going to offer him any food until he is 6 months old. Even then I am not going to push it. We will see how he does. I just hope I can keep him supplied with plenty of breastmilk when he gets bigger and needs more. I would like to try to cut out my midday pumping session one day. Maybe he will be like his big sister Annika. I didn't have to pump when she was over 6 months old. She just adjusted her schedule to nurse when I was at home and ate some food when we were separated while I was at work. My supply was fine.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A good night

It was a good night last night.I almost couldn't sleep because I wanted Ben to wake up and need to nurse. Dad asked me how many times did he wake up. I said none really because he would just nurse and go back to sleep. He nursed about four times last night. It was great. I think we may be on the road to getting to a normal nursing relationship. What I was doing before was normal too but I just don't want to have to wash breastpump parts all day long anymore. I am pumping right now for the first time today. My goal was to have a midday session and nurse Ben as soon as I get home. I nursed him before I left for work. I soaked through I mean all the way through my cotton nursing pad. My shirt was even wet. All of this nursing has increased my supply again. It will probably take me a good week to get everything under control. I just hope I don't get too sore. Ben likes to bite.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Way to go Ben!

Ben has only had about 2 ounces of milk today in a bottle. All of the rest of his feeds have totally come from the source. We will see how tomorrow goes when I go back to work. I'll try to nurse him before I leave and as soon as I get home. Maybe I can get away with only a mid day pumping session at work. Hopefully we can get on a normal schedule.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Nursing like a pro

Ben nursed last night a few times. I was comfortable and he knew just what to do. Today I ended up nursing nearly all day. I had to work a little in the morning. Dad gave a bottle of expressed breastmilk before I got home. It is 7:15pm right now and I haven't pumped today at all. I'll probably pump tonight in a little bit and freeze it. I have three bottles of breastmilk in the fridge that need to be used. Because they have some thawed milk in them I can't refreeze them. I hate for them to go to waste. We will see how tomorrow goes. I won't be separated from Ben at all. I always tell moms to be that the first three months are the hardest. If you can make it till then things get better. I would love to stop pumping three times a day. I have plenty of milk in the freezer for when I am at work. I'll just have to take it one day at a time.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Sweet baby in the middle of the night...

Ben latched on fine last night. I had to lighten this picture a little just so you could see him. Such a sweet boy.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Breastmilk makes my tummy yummy

This book always causes a stir when friends of mine who have never breastfed see it. I like it!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Milk, Money, and Madness

This book helped steer me on the path that I am on. I came across it randomly at the library when I lived in Charleston, South Carolina. It is not a how to breastfeed book but rather a WHY to breastfeed book. It helps detail the ins and outs of the World Health Organization's (WHO's) policies on breastfeeding. I reread it every few years. I have reviewed it on You can go to amazon and read my review if you like. I need to buy the updated version and see if I am missing out on any new information. Anyone who is considering breastfeeding and wants all of the information should definitely read this book.          

Friday, April 2, 2010

Keeping up with Annika

Annika, my fourth child, was born at 28 weeks. I breastfed her three older siblings and was familiar with using a breastpump. I never thought I would be using it exclusively for nearly three months as I waited for her to come home. I was lucky enough to qualify for a free rental hospital grade breastpump while she was in the hospital. I had complications from the emergency c-section I had to welcome Annika into this world. I spent a few weeks in the hospital and missed a lot of time from work after the delivery. It seemed like the only constant for me sometimes was my pumping schedule. I always pumped at 2am. Annika was always weighed at 2am. When I was finished I would call the NICU to see how much she weighed. Since we lived nearly 30 miles from the hospital and I had other children to care for I didn't get to visit Annika as often as I wanted to. This 2am check-in meant a lot to me. The house was quiet and the nurses had the time to talk to me. To help bulk her up they requested that I bring in some bottles of hindmilk. I was producing so much milk that my freezer was packed and the nurses asked me not to bring anymore in because their freezer was full and they needed room for the other babies' milk. Annika came home 2 weeks shy of her due date. She started nursing just fine when she came home. She nursed till she was about 14 months old. She is a happy 7 year old who has a seizure disorder but other than that healthy and not worse for wear from being born early.

Latching on today

After a busy day at the park Ben latched on great for an afternoon nursing session. He did fine on the right side. Last night he was able to latch onto the right side without any problems. Instead of taking away milk from my pumping sessions theses nursing moments only seem to be increasing my milk supply. As I type this post I am pumping and cuddling with my 2 year old as Ben is asleep in Dad's arms. Life is not too bad at times.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Danny's first Thanksgiving Day

I was working full time at a gambling game room Thanksgiving Day 1996. My husband at the time brought my oldest and at the time only child to have "dinner" with me. As part of my job I was not allowed to leave the room that I hosted. (It was South Carolina law that stated every 5 video poker games had to be supervised by one employee. ) It did not matter that there were no people playing the games at that time. My husband left Danny with me and went to go fix us a plate of food. My supervisors had set up a buffet style Thanksgiving dinner. I sat on the floor and started to nurse Danny. He was about 7 months old at the time. My boss came around and saw us. He didn't say anything derogatory but he just looked at Danny and me and then said "Oh, I thought he was a hand baby." When I started work there I informed them that I needed to pump on my lunch break. The only place I had to pump in private was the bathroom. I had to use a battery powered inferior pump to pump in there because there wasn't an outlet. Because I was still breastfeeding in my boss's mind I must have a newborn baby at home. That is where the "hand baby" comment came from. It may just be a southern saying but it means you have a baby that you would hold in a cradle position in your arms. If it is an older infant that is looking around and awake they don't qualify as "hand babies". Wow, I didn't think a 7 month old was considered too old to be nursing till he made me think about it. This event pops in my head all the time when I am reminded of where we all feed our babies and how old they are at that time. Danny will be 14 years old this month. I have grown so much as a woman and a mother but he will always be dear to me as my first nursing baby.

Down to two pumpings a day...yeah right

I have skipped my 2pm pumping session for two days in a row. I was able to pump more milk at my 8pm session for those two days to more than make up the difference. Today may be a different story. This morning I only pumped about 9 ounces where I had been getting close to or more than 12 ounces. I am afraid if I wait till 8pm to pump again I'll continue to go down. Yeah, I know a few posts back I was complaining about milk everywhere!! Maybe I am just paranoid. My main goal is to be able to pump enough for Ben to have the next day when I am at work. My secondary goal is to have extra milk to freeze for the future. I am off to pump right now. We will see what happens!

Stop looking at the numbers on the side...

Ben gets the majority of his breast milk from a bottle. Lately I have been paying way too much attention to how much he drinks. Some times he will only take 6 ounces in a 10 hour period when I am work. I forget that the nutritional value of breastmilk is higher than formula. To get what his body needs he does not need a lot. A child on total formula would actually need more formula to make up for the inferior nutrition it contains. And there is the whole topic of poopie. Look how much literal crap is produced by a formula fed baby. It comes from somewhere. Ben poops every 2 to 3 days sometimes. It is never very much unless he goes for longer than that. I need to just stop thinking about the numbers. He eats when he is hungry whether it is from a bottle of from me. Even though my expressed breastmilk is very valuable to me I need to stop trying to get him to finish that last half of an ounce. Even when he takes his milk from a bottle he can demand feed and be held to a schedule or to my agenda.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Root canal led to what?

Yesterday I went to the dentist to get an old filling replaced. Well, the dentist found the tooth was in need of a root canal. My dentist just kept going and two hours later I was maxed out on my dental benefits and the proud owner of a new big filling and two smaller ones. Well, this threw off my whole pumping schedule. I ended up skipping my 2pm pumping session. I went ahead and waited till 8pm to pump to see if that affected my supply at all. I ended up pumping more than I would have at my 2pm and 8pm session combined. So, it all worked out in the end. I am debating whether to try that again today. I am just afraid I may loose my supply and rev up my fertility. I am one of those lucky moms who do not have a period while they are nursing. I am not ready for that to resume. We will see what happens.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I took my time...

I used my new bottles today and I was able to pump 12 ounces total. One side was an ounce behind but I still think that is not too bad. I am not going to push myself but we will see how much I can work up to. I am still only pumping about 6 to 8 ounces at my 2pm and 8pm sessions. I have been able to keep up with Ben and still have some left over to freeze for the future.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I did it....

I was able to pump what I expected to this morning with my new bottles. I was a little rushed because I had to go meet Dad at the pediatrician's office for Ben's 2 month well visit and immunizations. I pumped about 11 ounces and I know I could have gotten at least a half of an ounce more from each side if I would have had the time. We'll see what tomorrow holds.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How much milk?

Lately during my early morning pumping session I have been filling up the bottle on my right side. The left still has room for about 3 more ounces. It is so weird because in the past it has always been the opposite. I need bigger bottles. The bottles I use now hold about 6 ounces maximum. I have a few bigger bottles at home that will fit my pump but they are made of glass. They are just too heavy for my band to hold up hands free especially when they are full. So, I bought three big plastic bottles today. They should work just fine. I'll wash them tonight and try them out in the morning. I am still pumping a lot more at work than I am at home. I think it is because I am not distracted at work. I have my quiet little storage room where no one bothers me and my book and I pump away. At home on the weekends or on days off I have all these little people clamoring for attention. My plan was to take off some more days this Spring but maybe I'll go to work in the mornings and just take off early so I don't mess up a good thing. That would have to be the strangest reason to ever want to go to work!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Clogged again?

Last night I was very uncomfortable. I had a blocked duct in my left breast. I have been lucky enough that I haven't gotten an infection yet. Hopefully I won't. I have only had mastitis once and never want to go there again. I didn't want to pump extra to try and work the blockage out because I would just end up with more milk. By the morning I was miserable. I was achy even when I didn't move a muscle. I put Ben to the breast to nurse hoping that would help some too. He nursed OK for a bit and then I pumped. I made extra sure to empty my breast and voila the blockage was gone and I felt pretty good.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Remembering when....

A memory of my breastfeeding journey always comes to mind when I think about Lyn (she's my 11 year old daughter). I was separated from her when she was less than a month old. I had to travel nearly across the country by car to pick up Danny from his dad. I was pumping along the way. I was just dumping the milk because I did not have a cooler or anything with me to keep the milk cool. My brother was actually doing the driving. I had a pitiful battery powered single pump that really was worthless. On the ride back after I picked Danny up I tried to give him some of the milk in a sippy cup (he was 2 and a half). He didn't want any part of that. I was able to maintain my milk suppy OK when Lyn was a baby. When she was about a month or two old I was separated from her again. It is a long story that doesn't pertain to breasfeeding so I'll spare its telling. We were separated for weeks and my pitiful pump finally gave out. I did not think to go get a professional grade one. I was 24 at the time and not the old experienced mom I am now. I had not pumped for about a day and a half when we were finally reunited. I put her to the breast right away. She seemed to try. She remembered what to do a little bit. My heart was just in it at that time. I weaned her shortly afterwards. Looking back I know I would have nursed her more if I would have had a better pump. Oh well. When she was about 9 months I did order a good manual pump with the thought of relactating. I was in nursing school by then and had become a little bit more educated on breastfeeding. I knew it was possible to relactate. I tried but not very hard. I ended up giving the pump to my boyfriend at the time's sister who was about to have a baby. She knew nothing about breastfeeding. When I visited her a month or so after she had her baby I saw the pump on the table with a full bottle of pumped milk in it and it did my heart some good to think I influenced her a little bit to try breastfeeding. She did not even try with her older two kids. That was my memory of nursing Lyn.

Nursing Connor

(This is a repost from my main blog)

Connor is my third child and my second son. He was born December 21, 2000. This post is about his early breastfeeding adventures. I had already successfully breastfed my older two children. I was confident that I would have minimal difficulties nursing Connor. Connor's delivery was fairly uneventful. I labored as long as I could at home and made it to the hospital in time. As soon as he was born and cleaned up a little bit I put him to the breast. He had no trouble figuring out what do. He was almost a pro from the get go. We went home and continued to enjoy a productive nursing experience for a day or two. Then I noticed I was getting more than sore. No matter what strategy I tried nothing helped. I looked up all kinds of information and read every book I could get my hands on to try to figure out what was wrong. Finally I discovered that Connor had an unusually high palette. The roof of his mouth was so high that he was always pulling unevenly when he nursed. I tried rotating him around for each feeding. I tried to give each side a rest periodically and alternate pumping. My only hope was for him to grow into his high palate. As his mouth got a little bit bigger his seal was more even and everything healed up and we had a good stretch nursing. All of this took about two weeks. When Connor was three weeks Christmas break was over and I had to go back to college. I was one semester from completing my associates degree. I found a daycare that would accept infants 3 weeks old. He was the only baby in his class so he got a lot of attention. I hated to leave him but I did not feel that I had much of a choice at the time. He did well switching from the breast to the bottle. None of my kids ever had the "cursed" nipple confusion. My supply was pretty well established. He usually had mostly breast milk in his bottles. Occasionally he had half formula and half breast milk in his bottles. I did not let this trouble me. I have always felt that any amount of breast milk is better than none. I was waiting for Connor to reach 6 weeks old so that I could move him to his brother and sister's daycare. They did not accept children till that age. It was a fairly decent daycare and I was comfortable having the kids attend. Right before Connor was set to move to his new daycare a new nursing dilemma arose. Connor had thrush. This is a yeast infection that invades mucus membranes such as the mouth. Well, during breastfeeding Connor transferred this infection to his mama. And so the cycle began. I figured I needed to be aggressive to break this cycle. Creams just didn't cut it. My doctor and Connor's doctor both prescribed us an oral anti-fungal medication, (fluconazole). We ended up having to take four doses to knock it out. By now Connor was 6 weeks old. My milk supply was steady. School was going well and Connor was thriving. He was a chubby little boy. I always tell moms to be and new moms that ask that it usually takes a good solid 6 weeks to get to know your nursing baby and establish a good breastfeeding relationship. Connor was my most challenging beginning nurser but we enjoyed a good run till he was 11 months old.

2 months old!

Ben was officially 2 months old yesterday. I took him to his first WIC appointment this morning. Dad, Eliot and Evan came along too. Evan and Eliot were getting recertified. Ben and I were getting certified as a breastfeeding pair. I don't need any formula provided for us so I signed up for the total breastfeeding package. They weighed him today. He weighs 12 pounds. He just doesn't seem that big to me. His appointment was early this morning so it threw off my 8am pumping session. I almost wanted to whip it out and nurse him at the health department but I knew it would throw me off schedule. I was uncomfortable though. I gave him a bottle of breastmilk sitting in the waiting room. I wanted to scream out to the other moms in the room "this is breastmilk in this bottle!!". So few moms take advantage of the breastfeeding package from WIC. Most moms just take the free formula even though it isn't enough to last their babies all month. They would be better off getting the hybrid package so they could have food for mom AND formula for the baby if needed. Just providing a little breastmilk to your baby can help a food budget go further instead of having to spend money on formula. That stuff can be expensive.

When I finally got to work this morning and was able to pump I was so full that I pumped nearly 10 ounces. Lately I have been averaging 6 to 7 ounces at my early morning pump.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

8 weeks old

Ben nursed pretty well last night before we went to bed. I was even able to nurse him in the middle of the night. I know he was getting some milk because my breast emptied and I could hear him swallow. I could even see milk dribbling out of the corner of his mouth. He must have still been hungry though because both times he took a bottle of expressed breast milk less than an hour later. In the middle of the night I tried to get Ben to hang on and suckle for a while and go back to sleep but he didn't want any part of that. With the other kids that was always an easy way to get them to go back to sleep but not Ben. At least he is able to nurse easily now a few times a day.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Better at work?

It is very curious that I am able to pump more milk at work than I am at home. Even if I pump the same length of time I get less at home. I think it is because I have too much going on at home. The little kids are always running in and out of the room and Ben needs my attention. Stress is a powerful thing. Today being Sunday I have pumped a total of 3 ounces less than I would on a week day. Go figure.

Ben 12 hours old

I took this video myself in the hospital in the middle of the night when Ben was just 12 hours old. He was not the best at latching on even in the beginning. This is the only nursing video I have of any of the kids.

Friday, March 12, 2010

First picture

The picture of Ben nursing on this blog is the first picture I have ever taken of one of my babies at the breast. It was taken a week or so ago. I even wrote about his good latch that day on this blog. I am not an overly modest person. I will breastfeed in public if need be. I can not believe though that I do not have any pictures of my other kids nursing. I feel like I missed out on a piece of their past and their babyhood that I will never get back. I can feel each of them in my arms and at the breast. They were all so different but I don't have any pictures. If I ever have any more children I will make sure to add "booby" pictures to my to do list!

Such a sweet baby (when he is sleeping)

Ben slept so good last night when he finally went to sleep. He has been a bit grumpy lately. He is just trying to figure the world out. He reminds me a bit of Eliot in temperament. She was an extremely difficult baby up until she started crawling. Then she was a breeze. Ben has been having a hard time falling asleep lately. He just seems to be fighting it. Last night though when he fell asleep in the crook of my arm he slept great. He ate and went right back asleep.

I have almost successfully dropped down to 3 pumping sessions a day. I pump at 8am, 2pm, and 8pm. I have been skipping my 2am session for almost a week now. My supply has decreased a little so that I am not supper full all day. In about a month or so I should be totally settled into a good routine until I need to increase my supply to keep up with him. I read from some other moms that they can pump only twice a day and get 40 ounces. I guess I believe them but that is pretty extreme. Total all day I am getting about 20 ounces. I pump the most milk at my 8am session. I usually get 10 ounces or more then. I could definitely get more but I am happy with that amount. Ben takes about 23 to 26 ounces a day in his bottles . We just add a little frozen milk as needed. My comfort level and sanity is worth dipping into our frozen stash. To increase my supply all I have to do is nurse him a few times and I am busting at the seams.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sleeping through the night

Ben slept so well last night. I had to wake him up to feed him around 3am. I did not know what to do with myself. And he went right back to sleep after he ate. Dad had been sick the day before so we had gotten out of the house for the evening to let him rest. Maybe the new setting wore him out so he slept better. I am pretty sure that my milk supply has gone down some more. I have been able to skip my 2am pumping session for about 4 nights now. I can still keep up with Ben most days. We have been using some frozen milk but then I add more fresh milk to the freezer to make up for it.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Peer pressure

Ben came to church today. He slept through most of the service. I took him into the crying room to change his diaper. He was a bit fussy. I had brought a bottle of breastmilk in case he got hungry. There was another mom in the room playing with her daughter who was about 4 months old. They nursed off and on while I was in there. I felt the peer pressure to nurse instead of use the bottle. I caved and nursed Ben a bit from one breast. It's not that I don't want to nurse Ben it's just that I need to get back on my pumping schedule. If I were able to be at home and nurse on demand I wouldn't care about a schedule. I just want to be comfortable. My breasts get overfull when I nurse in between pumpings. I am torn. I know what is best for Ben from one moment to the next. He has a right to nurse whenever I am with him. But then I try to look at what is best for him in the long run. Keeping my supply up and being able to make milk for weeks or months to come is best for Ben too. There really aren't any good or right decisions here.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A good latch

Ben had an OK night. This morning he was a bit fussy and hungry. I dreaded getting out of a warm bed to get a bottle of breastmilk. Dad said "just give him a nipple". I did and he nursed real well. He was able to empty one breast and fell back asleep. I then pumped to empty the other breast. Babies can learn and retain skills. I am still confident that Ben will be nursing enough so that I can stop pumping. I am just not quite ready to stop scheduled pumping sessions yet.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Sweet dreams are made of these....

We slept on our new bed last night. It was great. Ben slept like a dream too. He woke up to eat and went right back to sleep. I skipped my 2am pumping session again. I think my supply is starting to adjust. I wasn't too uncomfortable in the morning and my 8am pumping session yielded about 10 ounces of milk. I have pretty much been keeping up with his needs. I am not freezing extra milk each day like I was. On the weekend I might be able to get a little extra to add to the freezer.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Up from 10pm till 2am

Ben slept a lot yesterday during the day and the evening. I should have know that would lead to no good! He was up and fussy from 10pm till 2am. I had it under control the first few hours and then I had to trade off to Dad. I was exhausted by the time he fell back asleep good. I slept right through my 2am pumping session. I wasn't too uncomfortable thank goodness. I dd not have time to pump before i left for work so I just totally skipped that session since I pump at 8am at work I just held off till then. I was able to pump about 8 ounces at 8am so all was not lost. I have been only pumping about 3 ounces total at 2am anyway. My goal is to be able to sleep comfortably in any position and not worry about over full breasts being in the way. If and when Ben starts nursing at night that won't be a problem. In the past nights were always fine because my babies would nestle down and nurse all night and keep my breasts fairly empty. I love having my new babies to snuggle with at night. Ben is no exception. He will set off a milk letdown when he brushes up against me in the night. Again, I have never had an issue with milk supply. All I have to do is think of nursing or not nursing and there it is. I only wish my letdowns weren't so painful. It actually feels like lightning radiating from my chest wall to my nipple. It usually slacks off some after my babies turn about 3 months old. It just seems extra strong with Ben. Nights should get a little bit more comfortable. We have been piled up in a full sized bed but as I type this a new king sized bed is being delivered. I actually think I have only slept on a king sized bed two or three times total in my whole life. We will see how tonight goes!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What have I been focusing on?

I pump, I feed my son, I am uncomfortable. I am pumping enough for Ben to have total bresatmilk in his bottles. Sometimes I am so focused on the amount I have been pumping. I need to step away from that some. It is not all about the numbers. I think I am going to adjust my mindset. My new goal is to provide breastmilk to Ben as long as possible. I will not freak out if he does not get breastmilk at every feeding. I feel that it will be better if he gets breastmilk for longer as he gets older. I am comfortable continuing to freeze milk and offering a little formula if needed if it means Ben will get my milk longer. Even if he gets a formula bottle here and there it does not seem to affect his bowel movements or cause him any discomfort. I am so uncomfortable during the day sometimes because I have so much milk. I want to decrease my supply to a comfortable level. I am going to try and get only 3 to 6 ounces each pumping session instead of as much as possible. I know I can always increase my supply later if needed. Sometimes I just want to quit.

Monday, March 1, 2010

6 weeks old

Well, I am off to my 6 week doctor's visit today. Ben is doing great. He is filling out real well and being a baby. He has started being a bit more fussy in the evenings. I would not call it colic right now. He is just coming into his own. At my visit today I plan on having a good long talk with my doctor about birth control. I want something that has no side effects and won't decrease my milk supply. I know what she will say, condoms or vasectomy. Oh well, let's see what she says!!

My appointment went fine. I got a prescription for the mini pill bit I am not sure if I will get it filled. I'll hold off a few months. Barrier methods work fine. My weight loss is going OK too. I gained 42 pounds with Ben. So far today I have lost 28pounds. Not enough to get into pre-pregnancy jeans but enough to feel a little positive about myself.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Way to go Ben!

Yesterday Ben and I were hanging out and relaxing on the bed. I offered Ben the breast and he latched on OK. I was so proud of him. I have hope that he will be able to nurse more often in the future. It seemed like he got a good bit of milk. He did take about two ounces from a bottle about an hour later. That made me think he did not get much milk but I could tell he got a good bit. I have confidence he will get better.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Lactation station update

Well, I took about 45 minutes to calm down and then I went to talk to my supervisor about where I pump at work. Turns out that my supervisor and the other supervisor in the building do not have a problem at all with the location where I pump in a storage room. It is individual workers in the building that want access to the room that have the concern. The problem is they are not authorized to access that room so the problem is solved. I can still pump there but some individuals still have a problem with it. The powers that be do not so I am planning to continue with my routine. A comment was even made by these anonymous workers that I may contaminate the food that is stored in that room. Can you believe that? I do believe ignorance is my main enemy here. None of the women that work in my building that had issues with my location for pumping ever breastfed their children. They just don't understand.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

You want me to pump where?

Well, I just received a blow from my supervisor I wasn't expecting. I have been pumping at work in the only room available to me that has a lock. It is a storage room. I informed all that had a key to it that I would be pumping in there twice a day and that if they needed anything out of there around the time I usually pump to let me know so I could be accommodating. I have just been told that I have been inconveniencing others with my pumping so now I have to pump in a room that is used for therapy by numerous other people throughout the day. This room does not have a lock and it has a one way mirror into an observation room. Anyone can be in that observation room and catch a glimpse. I am not a modest person. Seriously I am sure no one wants to see what I have to offer right now. But it will be embarrassing for parents that go into that observation room to observe their children and have to see me pumping too. The observation room is shared by the therapy room and a classroom. I am disappointed and angry. I may start to explore options to pump in my car now.

I have produced breastmilk for how long?

I was looking at a group on facebook that promotes breastfeeding and a question was asked.... "How long have you breastfed your children?". It was going on about the benefits for mom when she breastfeeds for extended periods of time. Some of the moms had nursed for quite a while. Like even 190 months!! Well, I added my times up.

Danny 11 months
Lyn 4 months
Connor 9 months
Annika 14 months
Evan 4 months
Eliot 4 months
Ben 5 weeks and counting

That's 47 months. That is almost 4 years. Wow!! I just never looked at it like that before. Let's see how long I can keep it up.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A decent night's sleep....

Ben had an OK night last night. He was fussy before he went to sleep but he ate during the night and went right back to sleep. I was able to pump at 2am right after he ate so he wasn't fussy and I did not have to wake Dad up to help out with him. Since he is with him all day I like to make sure he gets a decent night's sleep. But then again sometimes I want him up with me all night. Misery sometimes just wants company. This morning he was so sweet though. I had left my pump parts in the sink. Usually I try and wash them at night before I go back to sleep. Last night I just didn't bother. He washed them for me and had them ready to take to work when I got up. Thanks Honey!

During my morning pumping session today I found it interesting that I pumped nearly 9ounces but it was very uneven. One side was only 3 and the other was close to 6. But it was flip flopped from the usual. With all of my kids I have one side that has consistently produced more milk but now it has changed and switched sides. Weird!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hands off...

I just bought a PumpEase band to use when I pump. I wasn't so sure I would get my money's worth. I have used it twice now and eventually I think it will be worth what I spent on it. It allows me to pump hands free. At work it is great because I can read or get some work done. If I had a private office I could get a lot of work done. My work friends are accommodating but I don't think they would appreciate me pumping 3 feet away from them. I got really strange looks from everyone at home. They are used to seeing me pump but trying to work on the computer or hold Ben and pump at the same time threw them off a bit. The two year old really gave me some strange looks. I think I'll use it more at work. I thought I would use it in the middle of the night more but I think I'll just be old fashioned and be hands on at that time.

Oh what a night...

My little man kept me up a good bit of the night. He was just regular 5 week old baby fussy but I am worn out. His eating habits just don't make any sense. He will take one ounce at one feeding and go 5 hours and at another time he will want 6 ounces and I just know he will probably spit that up. I tried to sleep through my 2am pumping. I just don't think I can do it. I need to set my alarm for 2am. At 4am I was so uncomfortable I had to get up and pump and by then it really wasn't worth it to go back to sleep before getting up for work. (I did go back to sleep and yes I was 5 minutes late to work.)I'll give the 2am pumping session a few more weeks before I try again to end it. I did try to put Ben to the breast in the middle of the night. That was a mistake at that time. I did not have the patience to work with him and he was actually pretty hungry so he just got mad at me. We'll try again when we have some quiet time and we are both stress free. Hopefully he'll have a good day with Dad today. Since I did not pump a full 6 to 8 ounces at 4am (I only got 3 ounces)Dad will probably have to use some frozen milk for the first time today. I don't know how I feel about that. I am happy it is there but sad that we have to use our stash so early.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Four or three times?

Oh, I slept through my 2am pumping last night. I woke up at 4am a little uncomfortable and got ready to pump. Ben started to wake up so I heated up a bottle of breastmilk and changed his diaper. He had wet through his sleeper so I changed him into another one while his bottle of breastmilk was heating. While I was feeding him I went to wake up Dad so I could pump. He fed him the rest of his bottle. I only pumped enough to be comfortable (about 3 ounces total). Ben went and spit up on his clean sleeper. I took it off of him and decided to just hold him for a while with just a diaper on. Dad went and finished washing my pump parts as we snuggled back down to sleep. Holding Ben in just his diaper skin to skin was such a bonding moment.

Well, I did not pump a lot at this time. Should I try to cut back to just three pumping sessions a day? If I spaced them out that would be every 8 hours. I can't seem to find the best times where I would not be asleep or driving to and from work. Every 6 hours works best. Eight and two eight and two work really well except I keep sleeping through the 2am pumping. Some nights Ben sleeps a good 6 hours at a time. He used to be my alarm clock but now he is a sleepy head. I am not sure if my supply with diminish if I cut back or if I will still be able to keep up. There is only one way to try. Maybe I'll just play it by ear and sleep when Ben sleeps and pump when he wakes. No sense wasting a quiet night.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A new goal

OK, my new goal is to make it to 3 months providing only breastmilk to Ben by way of pumping. In one week I will be half way there. When Ben is closer to 3 months old I want to try really hard to get him to nurse again at least a few times a day. I teach infants new skills all the time in my job. I am confident that Ben can try a little when he is bigger. I want him to nurse for comfort and bonding reasons. The bulk of his nutrition can still come from his bottle full of expressed breastmilk. As long as I can maintain some kind of milk supply till then I'll be happy. I am so sick of pumping though. I am taking things just one day at a time.

Embarrassed to bottle feed?

Some moms feel like a fish out of water if they need or have to breastfeed their infant in public. I have never felt that way before. I am proud to feed my child naturally in public. I am not a big fan of those nursing shawls. I feel they draw more attention to the nursing couple. I am in a new boat now. Ben takes all of his feedings from a bottle and bottle feeding is looked at with some disdain in some settings I am in. I can always pipe up and say it is mama's milk in the bottle but some may not hear me. I did not take Ben to church today. I would have actually been embarrassed to bottle feed him at church. Most moms at the church I visit nurse their babies till they wean themselves and never need to use a bottle. I would have felt out of place giving him a bottle there. I know if I talked to some of the moms I am friends with there they would be supportive and claim to not judge my feeding choices. But I also feel that none of them have ever been in my shoes before. Again I feel like I never fit in anywhere.

Careful what you wish for...

Well, I was complaining that I had too much milk for comfort and BOOM my supply decreased. For my last three pumping sessions I have only been able to pump about 3 to 4 ounces total. Before that I was pumping close to 10 ounces at each session. Ben was taking 4 ounces at a time every few hours. Now he has started leaving an ounce in his bottles so I think I need to go back to 3 ounce bottles.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I didn't know that...

I really am a huge breastfeeding advocate. I have mellowed out some since I was younger. I used to be very judgemental when mothers would choose to feed formula. I try to walk the middle ground now and offer advice when asked and keep my mouth shut at all other times. I am not always successful. This week at work I had a great moment to help a new mom. I am a developmental specialists that works with children and their families when the child is under three years old with developmental delays. When I was meeting with a mom to go over some paperwork for her toddler her new baby woke up. She went to get him from the other room. We started to make some small talk about her new baby boy and mine at home. Mom mentioned that she had weaned him so she could go back to work. I asked her why she did not combine bottle feeding and breastfeeding since she seemed to be sad about weaning. She said she did not know she could do that. I talked to her about all the options out there for pumping and storing milk. She was so excited to reintroduce breastfeeding into her days. Her son was a good nurser so I think he will go back and forth easily from the bottle to the breast. I was a bit jealous. I wish Ben was a better nurser. I am so glad I was able to help that mom.

That's not we planned....

I am blaming the fact that I missed spending this wonderful sunny day with my best friend (my husband) on milk production. I can't even bring myself to say because of breast feeding since I am not actually nursing Ben. We had planned on doing some shopping and just getting out of the house. I chickened out and just stayed at home with Ben and Lyn. Everyone else found something else to do today away from home. I am just uncomfortable. I am not engorged or anything but I just feel like a cow all of the time. I knew if I would have gone out I would be a pill to all of those around me and probably say something I don't really mean to people that matter. I am not resenting Ben but I want my body back. We would have had to cut the day short anyway so I could go pump. I know others who exclusively pump and have to pump every 3 hours. At least I can go for 6 hours so I can get away from home more. I also have to remind myself that a lot of new moms aren't even trying to do much before 6 weeks post partum. I was back at work after 2 weeks. I think my expectations are a bit high. I am still getting my body into this new post pregnancy swing. I am going back and forth whether I should just call it quits with the whole breastfeeding thing. Then I feel so guilty. What right do I have to take Ben's milk away from him. I am the only one who can give it to him. That would be so selfish. This just doesn't make sense. I know how to nurse a baby. One day at a time is getting so old.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Going on week five...

I started this blog as a spin off of my main blog. I have been wanting to share, vent, or just plain rant and rave about my experiences breastfeeding but I did not want to include all of that information on my main blog.

Baby Ben will be 5 weeks old this coming Monday. He has definitely been one of my most difficult nursers. He even has trouble latching onto a bottle. The structures in his mouth are OK. He is not tongue tied or have a weird palate. He just can't seem to suck very well let alone suckle. Since he is my seventh child you would think I was an old pro at this. Well, every baby is different and every mama is different at that point in time. I do think I am more knowledgeable of the nursing dyad and more patient but Ben and I just don't click as a nursing pair. I do feel that we are bonding well though. A big part of that is the fact that he sleeps with me all night. There is something about have the warm breath of your newest creation flowing over your skin to cement a love affair. He did not take to nursing as well as I had hoped from the beginning. I have had them all. One of my babies was a preemie that did not latch on till she was 3 months old and nursed for 14 months total. Even my first born when I was merely 21 years old did alright. He nursed from the beginning fine with just the typical sore nipples and one bout of mastitis to overcome. Oh Ben, what shall we do? I have even toyed with the idea of stopping my breastfeeding journey with Ben. I know that would be rash at this point and is just my lack of sleep talking. My standard goal is to nurse my children for at least a year. That doesn't always work out but it is a goal. With Ben I keep rethinking the whole thing. Maybe I'll make it to one month, OK done that. Now maybe I can make it to two months and revisit the third month as it approaches. I know it takes a while to get a milk supply regulated but I am a little frustrated by so much of it flowing. I have been trying to re-adjust my supply so I am not uncomfortable in between pumpings. This week for a day or two I thought I was getting a blockage. I never want to have a breast infection again so I worked on this problem. It seems to have worked its way out. We will see what happens next.