Thursday, October 18, 2012

Nursing at the babywearing picnic

Happy Elaina

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Elaina latches on pretty well after I pump. She seems to like the left breast when it is soft. I am having some soreness on my right nipple so I don't offer it to her much. I went up a size on the flange I use on the right and that is helping. I was pumping only twice a day for a few weeks but I have added a short pumping session in the middle of the day when I can just to feel better. I have started working regularly at a daycare for 4 hours in the afternoon so it helps to pump before I go to work.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Elaina latching on

This is a big deal. Elaina like so many of her siblings seems to have a high palate and has a horrible latch. We have been pumping... OK, I have been pumping and she has received most of her breastmilk from a bottle. Lately she has been fussy even after she has finished a 4 ounce bottle (come on girl you are only 5 weeks old you don't need that much milk..) so I have been offering her my left breast. Come on ladies we all tend to have a more cooperative side. If I have just pumped and the breast is soft she latches really well and since she isn't starving she falls asleep with that dream feeding rhythm. I feel fine. There is no pain. She seems happy. All is good in boobie land. It is a start. I wouldn't even mind just feeding her on the left side and pumping on the right. We will see what happens....

I have really been struggling with my feelings about breastfeeding Elaina. Of course I want to "do the right thing" but I feel like such a hypocrite. I am a CLC who is supposed to help moms learn to breastfeed. And here I am having troubles myself. I bond differently with each child and maybe I just don't feel super close to her yet. I see that as normal. Every mother child relationships forms its own rules. I don't feel you HAVE to bond immediately with a new baby. Think about it. In the distant past and not so distant past and in certain countries today babies die. It is a fact and it happens everyday. Babies die. By not bonding with a baby right away a mother in a way is protecting herself from a grief filled moment when her child does not live. She then is able to make it through her day taking care of other children and finding enough food to survive. I am an evolutionist and I feel this delayed bonding happens for a reason. In our Western culture we have outgrown it, or so we think. I feel that post partum depression is so high in our culture because Mothers are pushed to BOND BOND BOND with that baby and if they don't they see themselves as a failure and the cycle of depression begins. Why is it that PPD is virtually unheard of in some more simpler cultures.....

I have a very dear friend who went through CLC training with me and let me go with her to help bring her adopted daughter home from Eastern Europe earlier this year. She never judges and she is so supportive... Take a moment to go look at her video talking about the daughter she left behind in Eastern Europe. Just click on the link below to see the video. If you don't feel compelled to donate please at least share the video with your friends and family. Please consider donating to their adoption fund to give a child her forever family....

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A struggle

I never know how I will be and what kind of mother I will be with each new child. It seems like I bond with my boys easily but with my girls it takes longer. With that being said I don't really feel compelled to breastfeed Elaina. Of course I am pumping and she has only had breastmilk but I rarely put her to the breast. Maybe I will wait till she is older like 3 months to try more to latch her on. I don't know. It looks like our finances won't allow me to stay at home much longer so maybe this is all fate. I feel like I am on such a roller coaster.....

Friday, June 29, 2012

Skipped a session

I was so tired last night and did not feel like getting up to pump. So I just popped Elaina onto the boob. She nursed well on one side and a little on the other. She was still restless and it was after 2am so I handed her off to Dad. I fell backdead asleep. Dad didn't have to give her a bottle till after 7am. At 7:30am I pumped 13 ounces.....

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

26 ounces

That is how much I have in my freezer stash. I may hold onto it for Elaina later or I may donate it. My supply is doing fine and I am pumping more than she needs. I need to slip Ben some when I get a bit more extra to play with. On average I am pumping between 6 and 8 ounces at a session. She takes about 3 ounces on demamd give or take. I am not feeding Elaina on a schedule. Even though her milk is in a bottle I want her to regulate her own feeds.

Monday, June 25, 2012

First pediatrician visit

Elaina weighed in at 8 pounds and 1 ounce today. She had a diaper on so I am sure that accounted for a little of that weight. She has had nothing to eat other than breastmilk. I am starting to get a bit of an oversupply. I put her to the breast yesterday ones and she latched OK and fell asleep. Well, that sure did jump start my production on that side. I have pumped at least an extra ounce on that side and had a lot of fullness all night last night and all day today. I could easily increase my supply by at least 6 ounces a day if I wanted to. I need to get some freezer bags. I have found a couple of families that could use some donor milk so I need to put my milk in something disposable. Right now I have 8 bottles made up in the fridge. And I am about to pump as I sit here and type.

I do plan on trying to get Elaina back onto the breast but I am trying not to stress about it. Having a newborn in my house with my responsibilities and obligations and all of the expectations of my culture and my personal beliefs can all be a bit daunting. I am hard on myself to practice what I preach when it comes to breastfeeding. I need to try and relax and just take everything one day at a time.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Two and a half weeks

My baby is growing. I am pumping and it has been abput two days since I tried Elaina at the breast. I am getting a bit gun shy. She is taking the new Platex nipples well. They simulate a latch bwtter than the tiny fast flow nipples I was using. We go to see our new pediatrician tomorrow. I can only guess what little girl weighs. She is fitting into the cloth diaper covers better so I know she is bigger. She still spits up a lot but I am not worried. I know I am pumping a lot more than she needs because there are 6 bottles in the fridge with 3 ounces or more in them. Sometimes she will take 3 ounces but usually she only has about 2. I almost want to get upset when there is milk left over in the bottles or she spits up a lot and wastes my milk. And yesterday while I was at work Dad forgot about the bottle I had ready for her so he gave her one amd a half new ones. Of course she spit that much milk up and the one I set out was wasted. I only pump 4 and sometimes 5 times a day and have extra milk. I pump about 20 to 40 minutes. I really need to limit it to 20 minutes so I don't go overboard and get an uncomfortable amount of oversupply. I haven't started to freeze any milk yet. I almost get sad to know I am killing some of the live properties in the milk when it is frozen and thawed. After her appointment tomorrow and after next week I am going to try really hard to get her back on the breast. I have to work everyday next week so it will be hard to focus on latching all day if I am not at home. I need to find a local mom who needs fresh milk...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pumping and holding

When your baby needs to be held she needs to be held. Thanks to my hands free PumpEase band I can pump and hold Elaina on my chest in between my breasts. I just place a cloth diaper on top of the band to cover the clasps and tuck her in under my chin. If I were more well endowed with larger breasts I don't think I could pull this off. Elaina always goes straight to sleep when I hold her like this. I bet the swooshing of the pump sounds a lot like the rushing blood she heard in the womb.

To read more about Elaina's first days with her family and to see what the rest of the gang is up to check out my main family blog The Life and Times of Susan B.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Last night

Last night I was feeling pretty good and offered Elaina the breast several times. I thought she nursed OK. Her latch was halfway decent. I thought she was getting enough milk. She started to breathe funny. It almost sounded like she has aspirated some milk. She eventually fell back asleep and I offered her the breast when she started to show some feeding cues right before dawn. She fought me big time. I finally gave up and Dad gave her a  bottle of expressed milk. I did not pump in the middle of the night and when I did pump around 8am I pumped over 8 ounces. I am not in a good place emotionally. I am good at making milk and I am good at nursing older babies but I am not great at nursing my new babies.....  I am feeling a bit like a failure. I help moms through this as a CLC but I can't help myself.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Elaina's latch

The honeymoon is over... Elaina is still in her sleepy newborn stage. But, she is struggling with her latch. Her mouth is so small and her mother is so tired and frustrated. I have been pumping to give myself some relief from pain and to ensure my supply maintains up. I offer Elaina the breast but I am so anxious over the pain and her frustration that I can't relax. I am still having some bouts of afterpains too that are really intense when LO nurses. They aren't as bad when I pump. I am keeping up with Elaina just fine with the amount of milk I produce but using a manual pump has taken a toll on my wrists. I have arthritis and my right hand is just about frozen. My mother is so supportive. She knew all I needed to use my old electric pump was replacement tubing. She headed to the nearest store that sells them 10 miles away and bought them for me. I am getting ready to use them tonight. I hope my pump can hold up till I get a new one. I got this one when I had Evan nearly 6 years ago. The hospital he was born at provided them free to breastfeeding moms. Hospitals don't do that anymore.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

First pumping session

Wow, I didn't think I would pump that much. The amount in the smaller bottle was just what leaked out while I pumped one side. I am pretty sore so I pumped to give my nipples a break. I am confident that Elaina will be able to latch fine even after taking some milk from a bottle.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Elaina is here

My baby is born!! I was able to have skin to skin with Elaina for abput 2 hours after birth. She latched on very well. She has nursed over 8 times in the past  8 hours. I have drops of colostrum and I can see that she is swallowing Her latch is pretty good even though she seems so small to me ay 6 pounds 13 ounces.

Friday, May 18, 2012

37 weeks

I am getting ready for my newest daughter to be here. As of yesterday I am 2.5 centimeters. I guess I am getting closer.

Friday, May 4, 2012

35 weeks....

I guess I am not as far along in this pregnancy than I thought. Instead of being 38 weeks pregnant I am 35 weeks. Oh well.... I still had a lotto do. I need to find my breast pump and get it ready for a new baby. It just needs to hold out (if I even need it) till the baby is 4 weeks old before WIC will give me a new pump. I have to prove that I don't need formula. I need to find all of my storage bottles and clean them. They are somewhere in the garage. I am sure some of them won't be salvageable. With any luck I should be able to have plenty of milk for little one and pump some to donate....

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Getting closer....

I am getting closer to delivery. I am confident that the new baby will be a good nurser but who knows... I am committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure a good supply and a good latch. I need to get into the garage (OK, send Dad in there) to find my breast pump and all of my storage bottles. I need to do an inventory check and see what I need. Hopefully I will be able to pump some milk to donate as well as have some to store for emergencies. Since I won't be working full time I shouldn't have to pump for daily use.....

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring is here and I am getting ready for baby number 8....

The kids and I hung out at a local part to help celebrate Spring. I cannot believe how big my big kids are. Since weaning Ben in November I have had time to rest and not feel so touched out. I recognize that for me breastfeeding is a wonderful experience but I do like to "own" my boobies again for a while. Ben surprises me though. In the morning when we snuggle he pats my breasts and pokes at some moles (I know tat sounds a bit weird) on my chest but even a week or two past weaning he hasn't really tried to nurse or anything. Now I am looking forward to starting over with a new baby. I know it is a bit coincidental but my girls (new baby is a girl too) haven't had much trouble with latching or beginning nursing. Annika, even with being in the NICU so long and on tube feedings and bottles of breastmilk latched fine when she came home. I don't even stress anymore about latches at the beginning. I know what to do to help a baby learn to latch eventually.... It took Ben 3 months to learn. I think the pump I used with him has lost a lot of its umph. I just found out though that the local WIC office gives new electric Medella pumps to moms who do not use any formula for 4 weeks. I am so signing up for that!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

And it begins again....

I am pregnant. Yes I have 7 children and yes I am pregnant again. Since Ben weaned in November this is the first pregnancy I have had while I was still nursing for part of it. I fully support moms who nurse throughout their pregnancies but I can see how it can be daunting too. Usually the first sign of pregnancy I have is breast tenderness and some breast changes. Since Ben was nursing strong when I got pregnant I did not have all of my regular changes. Now I am beginning to have a few. I am 23 weeks pregnant give or take. I argue with the medical professionals. I was there they were not..... They say I am only 20 weeks. We will let little girl decide when to be born. Yes, we are having a girl. Statistically that is what I should be having. All my kids alternate boy, girl, boy, girl.... We have a name left over from Ben's pregnancy and I think Dad is 70% on board with it. This is the first time I will be working part time instead of full time when I give birth. We will see how the new breastfeeding relationship starts out form the beginning. I can't wait.