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.