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.