While breastfeeding, when did your cycle return?

Did you milk it for all it was worth? (breastfed or pumped)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

tell me about your bra...

Well...what I really want to know is--for you extended nursers out there...do you still wear a nursing bra?

We made it to a year...well, I have--Par still has another month (I started pumping on day one--but Par didn't get any milk (or anything for that matter until he was almost 6 weeks old)...Par still nurses a good bit...and if we are out and he is super tired, sometimes the Mommy Milk is the only thing that will calm him....We nurse maybe twice during the day when I am wearing clothes--and most of the time I am at home and it is when I am putting him down for a nap...otherwise, I'm in my nightgown for his morning and nighttime feedings...So I am curious...is there a point when I can return to a regular bra? Is this wishful thinking? Recently (in the past month) I have stopped worrying about what I am wearing--I don't limit the wardrobe to BF-friendly clothes--I wear what I want. So what about the bra? What have you done?

Please take a look at Par's 1st Birthday pics here...we had a great time!

So I must admit...now that Par is year...I am getting a lot of questions about nursing...I had people ask if he was BF up until about 6 months old...and then no one asked...now when they ask "how old is he" and I say "a year" they always follow up with "now he isn't still BF right?"...so what bothers me is the phrasing of the question. Why can't they say "is he still BF?" or "he's still BF, right?"--why such a negative posed question...not that I really care that much...I guess it just goes to show how extended BF still seems to be a tiny bit taboo still...
Only about 50% are surprised when I say that he is still BF...so I guess that is progress...
I do get a little tickled when I meet someone and we go through the above scenario and then they tell me why they stopped at 3 months or 6 months or whatever...almost as if they need to confess to someone to make them feel better...that confirms something to me...THE MORE SUPPORT YOU HAVE THE LONGER YOU ARE LIKELY TO BF!!! So if you are a BF of an infant and you want to BF for as long as your baby wants to...then surround yourself with good supporters and ignore those who have negative things to say about it...it is definitely worth it.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Not Me Monday!!!

I did not take a pair of pants back to The Gap after they sat through an entire season in the bag with tags on them...and I did not treat myself to another pair instead of just returning them...
While in The Gap, I was not holding my precious son--I was not wearing a cute red top--and I did not realize--I emphasize I DID NOT REALIZE that I was leaking Mama Milk through my padded bra and shirt while up at the register.
I did not become totally embarrassed and blame it on my drooling child--because the perfect ring in the center of my breast was SO NOT TOTALLY OBVIOUS!!!!!!!
Nope, not me...that sort of thing never happens...
For more things that never happen...head over to MckMama's blog--our Not Me Monday queen!!!!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Remember me?

Where have I been?...well...check out my post at FoR for my excuse...sorry...

There are times--even after over 11 months of breastfeeding--that I still feel like I am a novice. I feel strangely overwhelmed by my "lack of experience"--I am not aware of what "this" means and how it will balance with "that"--and with God's unique design of little Par's insides--it can be frustrating. Yet, as I have seen the other side of the "BF mountain" since my frustration began last week--I can tell you---DON'T WORRY! Your body just knows how to respond to your baby(although I have read this works best with exclusive/demand BF). Yes...after Par kicked his appetite up a bit with regards to solid food--our BF sessions plummeted. I realize that this will happen at some point--but with Par's medical issues, the best thing for him is breastmilk (it has the highest calorie/fat content)--so it is frustrating seeing him blossom with eating but the best thing for him is breastmilk and he just wasn't BF as much...
So thankfully--it leveled out--his body realized that it still needed the breastmilk--and he's drinking a little more than even before--just different timing. Long mornings and long evenings--only a few times during the day (it was every 2-3 hours).

So...I've almost made it a year. I'll admit, it hasn't been difficult. I know a lot of people find BF this long hard--and I don't minimize your feelings one bit--but after pumping for 2 months--this is a breeze (and I am blown away by anyone who pumped for a year)--plus, my lifestyle has really be catered to my son and his health issues, so thankfully I didn't see it as difficult or I may have been resentful...I pray that I can say this with as much enthusiasm with my next child.

Which reminds me...I totally have baby fever...as Par nears one year old...I want a little baby to cuddle--so when did your cycle return? Were you exclusively BF? Were you still BF?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Not Me Monday!

No...not me...I didn't sit on the kitchen floor BF my son so that my dog would see and want to nurse her own 4 week old puppies. Nope--that would be absolutely ridiculous.

And no...I didn't put par to sleep 3 times this week without a bath--and if I did--I would never have done it with him obviously dirty--because that is gross.

And finally, I didn't look at the vet this morning (after he gave the puppies and Tiffany a check-up) and tell him that I'm not ready for them to wean because "we" believe in long-term nursing. If I had, he would have told me it doesn't work that way with dogs and to give them dog food. Thank goodness I am not that crazy!

Don't forget to check out MCK Mama--our Not Me Monday founder!


My little nursling got a dinosaur today has a little "happy" from his Boo (grandmother). When we got home from lunch it was time for a nap so I had to nurse both of them down at the same time--Par and his new dinosaur--I held Par and he held the dinosaur up to my other breast (which was covered, but still). Thankfully he fell asleep pretty quickly--because that was pretty creepy...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Not Me Monday!

Our sleeping saga with Par has not repeated itself--thank goodness. But Par is definitely changing--and my tender heart fears too quickly! Par has become very independent during the day and is less interested in BF for "meals" and is preferring "snacks"--which is fine--I'll do whatever it takes, but take a gander at this scenario.
Par is playing with a book. He'll stand up and bring me the book and grunt. The grunt means many things, but in this case it means "show me/read me the book." So I oblige, pick him up and begin to open the book. Then another grunt and his face is buried in my chest. He wants what I would "affectionately" call a sip of mommy milk. So I readjust, undo my clever nursing bra and Par takes a sip. That's it. Now he is ready to read. So do I put the mommy milk away? I do not dare. If I do then he'll grunt and want a sip. So at any given moment--much like his first few months home, I am semi-topless in our house. I've noticed that he doesn't do this in the bed--morning or night. My guess is that he knows he can easily access "it" without my help when I'm wearing my nightgown. But when I am dressed--it is the scenario I mentioned. Thankfully, he doesn't do this when we are out.
Par is my first, but I assume it is just part of becoming more independent. He wants to know that he can have mommy milk WHENEVER he wants. He doesn't need to worry, I have rarely denied him--just on few occasions I have had to delay it 5 or 10 minutes because we are in the car or church is just about over...so I'm guessing he just wants to make sure his new independence in playing isn't confused by independence from mommy milk.

But wipe those tears away---because today is Not Me Monday!--posting a tad bit early--because--well....everyone else is...

Not me--I am not posting early because I want to have a low digit when it comes to Mr. Linky on MckMama's blog--that would be stupid.

I did not feed my son instant oatmeal for dinner because I was tired of making a real dinner--that would be selfish.

I did not enlist my husband to help with dinner and bath time for Par so that I could clean the kitchen and the bathroom--all so I could enjoy tomorrow without having to clean the house. That would be terrible and also pretty selfish since my husband goes to work each day. So don't worry--I know better than that--even if I did want to spend all day outside tomorrow--I wouldn't even dream of it!

And finally--I did not once (or everyday this week)get down on the floor so Par could climb on me for a mini-massage (much like my not me monday! from last week).

Friday, September 26, 2008

I scream, you scream!

Check this out!

Ice Cream anyone?

Monday, September 22, 2008

"Not Me!" Monday

Enjoy each Monday--and add to it! Check out MCK MAMA--she's a riot!

Not me...no, I would never pretend to be asleep while my 10 month old son pinched and hit me in the back trying to wake me up. And I would never adjust my position just a tad to make sure he was hitting just the right spot...no, not me...never. :)

Friday, September 19, 2008


We aren't quite sure what happened last night.

I put Par to bed around 9pm--he went right to sleep. Rusty and I were still up at midnight in the den--I heard Par starting to wake up so I walked in the room. He looked at me and started screaming--not crying--screaming--screaming for his mama. I kept trying to tell him that I indeed am his mama--he can't even look at me--he seems terrified. I scoop him up (he screams louder) and take him to Rusty--he lunges for Rusty and clings to him while looking at me and screaming as if I am poking him with needles. We did our best to get ready for bed quickly--which is difficult with a child screaming crying--I thought maybe he was just overly tired. I hoped into bed and offered him my breast. He rejected me. He screamed louder. Rusty had to come get him because he didn't want to be near me. Go ahead, insert a fork in my heart and twist. Oh--it was so sad--I was sad for him because it was as if he didn't recognize me--and sad for me because he has never not wanted me. And sad for Rusty--because as great as it has to feel to have your son reach out to you--I know he was worried that something was wrong. Par screamed for about 2 hours. The screams would lull at times--if we showed him something interesting--but he'd get bored and start screaming. I offered the Mommy Milk a number of times--all rejected. After 2 hours of offering, being rejected and hearing my precious angel crying--I was leaking A LOT. Par finally fell asleep next to me--but I was afraid I was going to wake up engorged so as soon as I knew he was really asleep, I nudged him and he BF for about 20 minutes in his sleep. Thanks be to God!
He slept until 9 am--and I had to wake him up because his diaper looked like it was about to explode.
It was the strangest experience. Any ideas what might have happened? Was he sleep walking? He is totally normal today/tonight. I hope it doesn't happen again...

(our first thought was reherniation or some sort of issue like that--but we ruled those out after he seemed to be able to turn the screaming off and on at will)

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Giggler

Par is an official giggler.

I nurse Par down for naps and bed (that means I BF until he falls asleep)and lately he has been overly tired and started giggling while BF before naps.

While this is cute in so many ways--the bigger the smile the more I feel those pearly whites--and he has 4 now! It doesn't help that I start laughing at the situation which only makes him giggle more. Ouch.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Are you kidding me?

Warning: This entry may include violent tangents without clear transitions. Careful while reading.
My husband LOVES Mountain Dew. Ironically, I love Mountain Dew too (my high school friends may remember my addiction--but I gave it up at some point in college and I have avoided it except on very rare occasions). In fact, I have given up soft drinks (cokes, sodas, colas, etc.)altogether and haven't had one since the night before Par was born. I allowed myself to indulge in a coke now and then while I was pregnant (I know, not a healthy choice--but I did say indulge)and I have decided to only indulge in one while pregnant from now on. I'm less likely to over-indulge (abuse) these unhealthy devices whilst pregnant--and I know it won't work to say "never again"--so this way, it is more likely than not that I'll get to have another one some day...so if you see me taking a swig, you'll know I'm preggers. (Thankfully I want a lot of children--because I love me some coca-cola.)
So...like I said, Rusty loves to do the Dew. Rarely is he without one. So it was no surprise as we were entering the hospital to visit my new niece that Rusty was armed with a fresh 20oz Mtn. Dew being kept cool by a koozie. I was pushing Par in the stroller--he was fussing a little because it was close to bedtime--in an effort to distract him, Rusty handed him his Mtn. Dew bottle with the top screwed on tightly. Par seemed very happy with his new toy and we continued on our way to see Baby Frances.
We strolled in just as Julie's nurse was finishing up her vitals. The nurse looked at Par and smiled and said, "Oh! Is he a Mountain Dew Baby!?!"
Yes, you read that right. A Mountain Dew Baby. A Mountain Dew Baby? Does that really exist. And is it actually endearing as her joyful toned implied?
I was upset by this insinuation-I quickly corrected her and said, "No, exclusively BF" not quite explaining why he was playing with a Mtn. Dew bottle. But I was shocked. Surely a nurse--a nurse in the hospital touted for fantastic BF support here in Birmingham--wouldn't think feeding a 10 month old baby Mountain Dew is cute. Or would she? She then told us of how her daughter was a Mtn. Dew child and she just thought he looked so cute with the bottle. I quickly gave the bottle back to Rusty.
Really? Are you kidding me? This makes me sad. Here I am trying to promote the healthiest choice--thinking our adversaries are formula and (gasp!) cow's milk. Little did I know...
Little did I know that I would ever prefer a child to embibe hormone infested cow skim milk--but in this situation, get yourself a gallon.
Check out this sad sad picture...
Mountain Dew Baby? Really?
I feel certain--you can't grave what you've never had. Sorry Par.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

So scared.

Back in January, I had a bad kidney infection and was in the hospital for almost a week. They had me on some strong medication and I wasn't able to BF--thankfully, I had loads of breastmilk in the freezer and it wasn't a huge deal (well, it was--but everything ended up being ok).
I don't have any back up breastmilk--I have a kidney infection--I pray that we caught it in time--but I am so scared of having to go back in the hospital and not be able to feed Par.
Please pray that the antibiotics they've given me are strong enough to knock it out!
I already know not to take BF for granted--especially since we had such a rough start--but this is a big reminder of how our health is SO important to our babies!!!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

I'm excited...

to have a Lactator in the White house!
It seems that many (online) articles cite that Sarah Palin is still BF/pumping for her son Trig. Way to go!!
She briefly discusses pumping here in a recent People article.

Does anyone know...

if Sarah Palin is still breastfeeding?

"We don't gnaw on our mommy"

Austin Powers movie lines seem to play a large role in our family banter. I know--quite bizarre--but I have noticed that men have an amazing ability to remember movies line for line--yet, important conversations seem unheard. So--this happens to be a movie that I've seen (and there is nothing worse than hearing lines from movies that I have NOT seen)so I go along with it. My husband is hysterically funny--he has pretty good timing when it comes to inserting lines that coincide perfectly with Par's actions.
Anyway, I had mentioned that Par has started helping himself to the morning buffet. I had opened my eyes just briefly to see him eating away. As usual, he grin at me--as if to say "good morning mom! I was hoping you'd wake up!" and then I shut my eyes again. Then--HE BIT ME! This was no accident--he was definitely trying to get my attention. So what do I do? I looked at him and said, "we don't gnaw on our mommy!"
I couldn't believe I said it--and in a Dr. Evil voice! For those of you who may not know--Dr. Evil has to tell Mini-Me not to gnaw on the kitty. It is a pretty funny line. We joke that Par is Rusty's mini-me--so it is not so surprising--but still. Speaking to my child using Austin Powers' movie lines is not something I'm proud of. The good news is--he didn't bite me again (yet).

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"Now you nurse me down to sleep"

Do you nurse down?

I do. I love putting my son to sleep. He seems to fall into his nap or bedtime so peacefully. It seemed a little too easy--and I wondered if I would be regretting this decision later on (imagining a five year old who won't go to sleep without being nursed down). I've committed myself to BF and I want to do it as long as Par wants to do it. What I didn't imagine was that Par would want to quit before me.

For the past couple of nights Par has remained awake while I feed him before he goes to sleep. I was so confused/frustrated. Why was he still awake--now he's full--what do I do? It didn't occur to me to try another way to put him to bed. But...as I pondered this while nursing an alert child at 11pm I realized that maybe his needs are changing--maybe BF is becoming less of a comfort to him. Don't get me wrong--it is still the easiest/quickest/best way to calm him if he hurts himself. So in that aspect, BF is definitely a comfort. So I have started rocking him while singing Edelweiss to him (just like my mom did for me)--and what do you know--He falls to sleep!

I realize this sounds ridiculous to a lot of people--of course you should rock your baby to sleep! Well...for me--this has never been part of our "routine" (see previous post).

Funny thing is--I read something about this a few months ago. It reminds us BF moms that our babe's needs change--and although he may be pulling at your blouse acting like he wants some Mommy Milk--this might be his way of saying "play with me"--the article encouraged us to try to meet needs in additional ways. It makes sense--I wish I had remembered that the first night I was perplexed.

So--although he still nurses quite often--this little piece of his life is changing...like everything that reminds us that our little ones grow up too fast...I end this post with a deep sigh.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I like routine. I probably like routine too much. God designed this universe to be constantly living, growing, breeding, wilting, dying, etc.--change is a part of that--it is natural. Yet, I fight it daily.
If I had my way, I would get up each day and BF Par while checking email and drinking my morning cup of joe. Ideally, Par would remain 9 months old--but maybe I would be 15lbs lighter and with longer hair...anyway, I like the routine we've made.
But things change--and nothing says this more than watching a baby grow.
At this point, Par really doesn't need "me" to eat. A few times lately I have woken up and he has already helped himself to the morning buffet (remember, we co-sleep). I look down at him and he just grins. He's a good boy--he didn't want to wake me.
This morning while checking email, Par managed to kick my coffee onto my computer--he's getting so big--this part of my day is going to have to change.
And now I'm here, sitting by myself because my little boy is sound asleep in his bed--I spent a good bit of his morning nap looking at pictures from his 1st month of life. I do this a lot--but today was especially emotional as there are 3 new little babies born within a day--all afflicted with CDH. I have been praying--begging--looking at my son awe struck at how far we've come.
I know this blog is about BF--I really don't think I can clearly explain how truly amazing it is that Par was able to BF. God gave me the perseverance--I know that much. But Par's ability to BF and without reflux or intestinal issues is miraculous. At this point, I do try and use the words miraculous/miracle conservatively--mainly because I now know how powerful it is--the word alone proclaims God's Glory! So thank you Lord for your gift of breastfeeding my son.
For those of you who have been blessed to breastfeed your little ones from the beginning--praise God! I ask that everyone will offer prayers up for these 3 new little babies--that they may be healed Miraculously by our Father in Heaven. That their parents may know the love of our Lord and find rest, peace, hope & understanding as they endure this roller coaster like journey of CDH.
May they be encouraged by their family and medical team in breastfeeding/pumping for their baby. I know that my success is definitely a product of prayer and encouragement of many people.

Monday, August 18, 2008



Many of you know that CDH (Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia) is something near and dear to my heart since our son Par was born with this defect in November of 2007. Since his birth, I have felt that it is part of my mission/goal/responsibility to educate and support people facing a CDH diagnosis since it is such a little known defect.

My outreach is small, basically the individuals that I meet through my blog, but it is important to me.

There is currently an organization that has filed an application for trademark ownership of the phrase “Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness”. This means that anyone (an individual or an organization) who wishes to use this phrase or its likeness, must receive permission from this organization before using it or risk being sued. While this organization has done a lot to raise awareness and show support of some families who have suffered from CDH, I think that a trademark of the phrase is irresponsible and ultimately will work to decrease awareness of CDH.

For me, this means that I would need to have special permission to have the descriptions on my blog or links to information about CDH Awareness. This means that the organization Rusty and I support, Real Hope for CDH (made up of patients/families of Dr. Kays) would also have to get permission to use such phrases. In my opinion, this is absolutely ridiculous; you cannot own a defect or awareness of it. For so many families who have suffered because of CDH, helping to raise awareness about this little known defect has become a personal passion-- a way to help heal and grieve in a healthy manner. This trademark would make that difficult or impossible for so many, at the same time limiting awareness, rather than helping to spread it.

No one owns Breast Cancer Awareness or Cystic Fibrosis Awareness, it just doesn’t make sense that an organization could own CDH Awareness either. Even if awareness is part of a campaign, it doesn’t need to be trademarked. The goal is “awareness of a defect”, not “awareness of a defect by individuals associated with a particular organization.”

If what I have said makes sense to you and you agree, please sign an online petition! This trademark application is currently before the U.S. Patent & Trademark office for review so the sooner that you sign, the better. There is also an option to sign anonymously in case you would not like your name available for privacy/security reasons. Here is the link to the petition with more information. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me. Also, please feel free to forward this to anyone that you think may be interested.

My goal is not to be divisive about this issue or in regards to this organization. My goal is to keep “CDH Awareness” available to all of the many families and individuals who have suffered because of this defect and who wish to work towards educating and supporting people who face this diagnosis and its many effects.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hungry Babies?

Well...there must be a lot of REALLY HUNGRY BABIES out there--our virtual nurse-athon barely exceeded 1.5 days in total BF hours--and we didn't make our goal of 50 participants--so this mommy will not be taking home any medals...so sad.

I waited a few days because I had some late entries--and if you want to still turn in your hours--shoot me an email today.

Our t-shirt winner is Beverly Norwood of Bessemer, Alabama! Way to go Beverly!

On another "hungry baby" note, my baby is eating all the time. I think he must be going through a growth spurt, but he seems to have picked up an additional feeding. Keep in mind, he has started eating solid food at dinner (but that wasn't replacing a BF meal, it was an addition too. So basically, he is just one HUNGRY HUNGRY hippo. I'm fine with that--if you've read Par's story, you'll see why this isn't a bad thing.
So here is my question for you veteran BF mommies, why do my breasts (as of this week) seem smaller?

Happy BF!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Mommy wants a medal!

It is World Breastfeeding Week--and our virtual nurse-a-thon is into day three--and I've been informed that if we have 50 participants (or more) then we are qualified to when a BRONZE medal.
So email all of your pumping and BF friends and tell them to send me their bf/pumping hours!!!!
Remember--to send me your hours, all you have to do is post a comment below--but don't worry, no one else will see it since my comments are moderated--I'll share the total of all the entries at the end of the week!

Remember--YOU COULD WIN a t-shirt!!!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

surely there are more than a few...

mothers still BF that read this blog!

August 1st kicked off World Breastfeeding Week--For our Virtual Nurse-a-thon,email me your hours of BF (or pumping) for each day from August 1 thru August 7--and the winner will get a Mommy Knows Breast t-shirt. Good Luck!
I'll post the total number of hours at the end of the day August 7th! Go Mommy Milk!

Someone thought I might clarify how to email me with your hours of BF...(great question)
Just post a comment below--my comments are moderated, so I won't post it on the blog, I'll just keep track and then post the TOTAL of EVERYONE at the end of the week.

Note any BF in public hours--they'll count double!

Come on...don't you want a free t-shirt!?!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Would you? Could you?

I'm watching Martha Stewart right now (a rerun) and it has moms with babies on today--hooray for the BF mom--she's using a Hooter Hider--and I know no one would notice if they weren't looking...
Could I BF on Martha Stewart? Sure...I could.
Would I? probably not.
Would you?

Today kicks off World Breastfeeding Week--For our Virtual Nurse-a-thon,email me your hours of BF for each day from August 1 thru August 7--and the winner will get a Mommy Knows Breast t-shirt. Good Luck!
I'll post the total number of hours at the end of the day August 7th! Go Mommy Milk!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Go Alabama!

I've been meaning to post this article. Thanks to a friend who emailed it to me this morning--way to go Alabama! Keep up the good work!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Wow. Traveling is a challenge.
Thankfully, Par is a pretty good sport when it comes to going places. He doesn't always fall asleep--but when he is awake, he seems pretty content watching the trees go past.
We were in Asheboro, NC from Thursday to Sunday--this is about an 8 hour drive. On the way there we stopped 3 times--45 minutes each. It may sound like a long time, but it didn't feel like it--they all felt like pretty quick stops--each stop consisted of me first BF Par while Rusty walked Tiffany. Then after Par was finished I would put him in his new favorite toy and Rusty would push him around while I went to the bathroom. Then I would change his diaper and we'd get back in and hit the road. We got gas on one of the stops, ate lunch on another and got a snack on the third--but that didn't really add to the break. The drive up there could not have been more ideal. The drive back to Birmingham could have been ...
As I have said before--Par doesn't have a schedule--more of a routine he has made for himself--but a long car ride doesn't play into it very well and I knew it was going to be a tough ride home. He did better than I expected until we hit Atlanta. Then he was hungry--but we were stuck in traffic--slow moving bad traffic--and he was crying, "Mamamamamama" which is what he does when he is hungry. I was sitting right beside him trying to console him--wishing I could take him out and feed him right then. If that was bad enough, he stopped calling for me and just kept crying really hard--but we couldn't do anything about it. I was able to distract him a few times (and I knew he wasn't really starving--he had eaten really well just 1 hour prior to this event)--but would then start crying again. After an hour and a half, we were finally moving and pulled over to the first safe place. He ate really well again and slept the rest of the way(2 hours) home. (FYI-I did offer him some fruit, but he wanted the Mommy Milk)

I was so glad we were home--at 11:30pm--and Par seemed fine when he woke up and was back to his "routine" by the morning.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Expiration Date?

While pouring my morning cup of coffee I checked the expiration date on the coffee-mate. I ALWAYS check expiration dates and I am hesitant to ingest something if it is nearing or on the expiration date shown. I toss it as soon as I won't eat it anymore--which isn't the best for a family trying to go green--but we're taking baby steps.
Anyway, I noticed the expiration was 10/24/08 (we don't need to discuss what agent is allowing this to stay "fresh" for such a long period of time). This is my husband's birthday and just a week before Par's first birthday...anyway, my mind drifted back to the NICU (it doesn't take much) and my stream of thought brought me to this precious mother I met in the NICU waiting room. Her child was also in the NICU (I don't remember the situation). When I got up to pump she was confused since I had just told her about Par and asked how I was pumping. I didn't understand her question and asked her to clarify. She then told me that when she talked to her nurse about breastfeeding the nurse discouraged her by saying that the milk can only sit at room temperature for a couple of hours and then it "expires" and you have to toss it. I told her that was correct, but that you just put it in the fridge (or in my case, the freezer). She looked very confused. She then looked really sad and I could tell she had just realized her confusion. When the nurse was talking to her she just assumed this new mom knew all about breastfeeding (because we all become experts as soon as conception happens, right?!) and was just saying how pumping is hard because you have to be diligent about not letting your milk sit out- it needs to be properly stored. She hadn't meant to be discouraging, she was just trying to be realistic since this mother obvioulsly had other important issues to deal with (her child in the NICU). What this mother had heard was that her milk would go bad in her breast (room temp) if her baby didn't nurse--and since her baby couldn't nurse, she didn't even try pumping.
It seems impossible to a BF mother to make this sort of mistake. How sad this woman missed out on such an important element of motherhood because of a misunderstanding.
Their are many misconceptions about breastfeeding for the new mom--so encourage your new mom friends to ask lots of questions...
as for my absence...our computers have been down--I feel so lost...we are out of town and I am using my husbands work computer--so I'm not sure when I'll post again...but stay tuned!

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I’ve now had 2 people ask me this week if I am still BF. Because Par was in the NICU in Gainesville for his first 2 months—I never went through the “are you still BF” questions that I understand most moms go through—but now I have entered the world of “how old his he? Oh…are you still…?” Thankfully, one of them was so proud of me and very encouraging when I said yes. The other…well, let’s just say I don’t have to worry about her reading this blog.

I think my mother’s generation is still uninformed about BF—when they were having us they were told 3 months BF is enough and then switch to formula because it is better for the mom and baby. Well, this is not so! Slowly it has evolved to 6 months of BF—but now it is 12 months. We know now that breast milk for the first year of life is best—and longer if you can.

So…to everyone out there who isn’t familiar with this info-- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby's life and continued nursing until one year.

Here are some interesting BF question/answers…enjoy!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Whiny Wednesday

Did Tuesday and Wednesday really already come and go?

Although I am a WAHM- I don’t actually always “work”—I spend a lot of the time loving on my baby boy—and lately, trying to find a gentle way to convey that when he clamps down on me to break in those pearly whites—it really hurts. But most of what I have tried has only been met with a grin and a giggle—and somehow that takes the pain away.

But I do work—I have a few “jobs” other than taking care of my son and my husband—and yesterday and today have been consumed with my real estate career. My precious baby’s non-scheduled “feeding on demand” was more like “feeding when I have time”—or at least that is how I felt by the end of the day. Don’t worry—he ate—and he ate frequently—but I hated that I felt “obligated” that I had to stop what I was doing or excuse myself from a client or business associate I may have been meeting with to feed him. It doesn’t happen often (that I feel this way) and when it does, I spend the rest of the day beating myself up.

But as I look back on the day—Par was always cheerful and playing and easily soothed. When he was hungry, he wasn’t bashful about letting me know—and usually my exit to feed him was welcomed since he was asking for mommy milk so loudly. BF my little one is nice on days like today because it reminds me to not get so caught up in what I am doing and to take a break every now and then during a hectic day. BF allows me to sit and collect my thoughts and regroup—who knew BF could be so mentally healthy for the working woman!

Everyone needs a BF break.

Monday, July 7, 2008


I almost let the day get away without a post…I’ll admit, the holiday with the family was nice and I have been looking forward to today for a while—the season premier of The Bachelorette! I was on pins and needles just hoping DeAnna would choose Jesse—and she did!!!!! But it was so painful to watch…
You see, as I was watching with my mom and sister, Par wanted to eat and I wasn’t giving him the attention he needed—(I know, I’m just terrible!) I was feeding him and he was gazing up at me and just as I turned the television up he bit me. At first I didn’t realize it—but he clamped down and just stared at me. Lesson learned, believe me.

Funny—because I had planned to write about how the BF act is part of God’s design for creating families. Seriously, I had already written something—but I wanted to share the biting incident. But what I wanted to convey was how I do think BF enhances the desire for more children—I know my desire is enhanced and I have other BFF who feel the same way. Of course we all know that some hormone is released while BF that creates a sense of pleasure and well-being, and I am sure this has something to do with it—but I also feel like the bond formed from extended BF paired with the unlikely chance of getting pregnant immediately for those EBF creates a desire for more—sort of like, we want what we can’t have right away. So--I love my baby and I can't wait to do it again! Thankfully I get to enjoy my BF relationship for many more months.

Well,I’m sure it doesn’t help that my dog Tiffany just returned today from “Love Camp”—we are breeding her—and we’ll find out if she is pregnant in 3 weeks…Oh, by the way- Tiffany does plan to breast feed.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Engorgement or leaking…

One is painful and one is painfully obvious. But which would I rather have?

I could kick myself for touting “I don’t wear breast pads anymore…”—well, I should.

I was doing a good thing—buying balloons to welcome my sister home from Mongolia. I was holding Par in line at Party City. I knew it was time for him to eat—I thought it was a little strange he wasn’t diving for my breast as he usually does. Did you know it takes 20 minutes to blow up 12 balloons? Anyway, it took a while and Par was such a good boy—but he was scratching me on my collar bone over and over again. I guess his scratching caused a let-down because before I could do anything about it—I had a giant milk ring around my left breast.

I tried to strategically hold Par in front of the left breast—but I am left handed and needed to sign my credit card receipt—I know I looked so awkward!

I’ll be taking a break for the holiday weekend—look for a new post on Monday!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Getting Dressed

Par is my only child—so the BF is very new to me. I look at my closet in a completely new way. Before I would look for the outfits that were the most flattering and I never wore low cut tops. Now I’m looking for shirts that make it easy to feed Par—and for the most part—they are all low cut. Seriously, all of my tops seem to be borderline offensive now that I’m full of mommy milk—but they are so easy to BF in. I do have some BF tops that were made specifically for feeding your child easily and discreetly—I save those for church, parties and other outings.
Easy access is important—but fast access seems even more important. The best think I’ve found is just wearing layers—a tank top underneath and any shirt on top.
But, if you are looking for some BF clothes…these are some good places—



One Hot Mama (she was on A Baby Story)

But what if you don't have the option...what if you are in...a wedding!

A scary thought for some--myself included! I was asked to be a bridesmaid in a close friend/family member's wedding before I knew I was pregnant. The wedding would be after I gave birth--yet they needed measurements around the time I gave birth. I was so scared--bridesmaids dresses are already a different species all together--now I was having to guess at my size. Yikes.

Thankfully, I loved the bridesmaids dress-- it was two pieces and very easy to feed him in (in the lady's room, of course). But I did have to deal with some pretty intimidating cleavage.

I've heard from some people that their breast size goes down after they quit BF all their children--and from others it stayed the same. I wouldn't mind a little reduction by mother nature...but we are a long way from that.

The Pacifier?

I don't like pacifiers. Regardless of intent--they are a pain. We used one in the NICU to develop and encourage the sucking reflex to enhance our chances of him latching on once he was well enough. In my case, it was helpful and I am thankful for them in that regard. But now, our pacifier is more of a chew toy now that Par is teething. We've never used it for crying (and my biggest pet-peave are people trying to stick it in when he is crying)--instead, I like to figure out why Par is crying and go from there--he is yet to cry because he wants his pacifier--usually it is because he is hungry, wet or just wants his mama.

But this past week, I found myself reaching for the pacifier to pull the switcher-roo on Par after he had fallen asleep. Obviously the sucking soothes his little gums--he wasn't actually drinking--and so I would slip the pacifier in there and he would suck away on it! I don't know how I feel about it--I hate to develop a pacifier habit after avoiding one for 8 months--does mommy know breast?

Curious what you all think...

Monday, June 30, 2008

It Doesn’t Hurt So Much

I’m posting this information as much for myself as I am for anyone else—so that with future children I can remember that there is relief from teething.

Par has been BF 24/7 for the past week (well, it seems like that anyway) because of his teething. I’m happy to say that after many days of being very sore—I finally have relief. They are bottom teeth, so I can’t even tell while feeding them—but sticking my finger in his mouth, they are sharp!

His constant BF has definitely been for comfort and not because he was hungry—I actually am able to tell the difference—it surprised me that I could. Anyway, I was afraid that a week of constant BF would start some new “habits”—but if it did, today definitely broke them!

We had to take an emergency road trip (check out FoR in the next few days for the full story) and of course, Par had to come along with us! Being strapped in—the mommy buffet wasn’t very accessible and although he cried some—it definitely was because he just didn’t want to be in his carseat anymore or because he was so tired. So hopefully, we are back to normal—still on demand feeding, but with actual “full hours” between feedings!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

You have a baby...in a bar

I know most everyone has seen Sweet Home Alabama with Reese Witherspoon—a funny part is when she (Reese) shows up at a bar and sees her high school friend and says, “you have a baby…..in a bar.”
I laughed at how ridiculous that is—I’d never do that (would I?).

Yet, just a few weeks ago—Rusty and I strolled down to Crestline Village to grab dinner with friends. We decided on Otey’s—great little eatery with famous grilled chicken sandwiches—but it is…..a bar. Of course we eat outside and I would never take Par there for a late dinner—but Otey’s seems to attract and early crowd of families---all with toddlers and babies in tow. Par decided he wanted to eat too—so I snuck away and “hid” on the other side of Bug’s Boys and fed him while standing up. If you know the area, you know there isn’t really a place to hide next to Bug’s Boys—but there weren’t many people coming and going—and you honestly wouldn’t have been able to tell that I was even BF. It just looked like I was rocking my baby to sleep—thanks to one of my favorite BF tops!

But—at the end of the day—I basically breastfed my baby while eating dinner at Oteys—so did I BF my baby at a bar?

The best part of the story— I was coming back to the table with a very full, calm and happy baby. I loved how nice it was not to have to worry about measuring, scooping, shaking, and cleaning each time Par is hungry. Sometimes I put us (Par and me) in a situation that doesn’t lend itself easily to BF him—but I can say without a doubt—BF is never an inconvenience—it actually makes life TONS easier because of it being SO convenient—perfect temp, perfect amount, perfect taste—everytime!

Friday, June 27, 2008

The First Time

I love staring at my baby. I still don't fully comprehend the miracle of this precious child. His little teeth are slowly but surely creeping in—the bottom two—at the same time! Thursday was another fulltime nursing day—I thank God that I am able to respond to his needs.

I recently had a conversation with a BFF about our birth stories. Ours were very different—she was able to deliver naturally. I delivered via c-section—it wasn't by choice—but in the end, it was the best for Par.

One thing I missed out on during my son's birth was nursing him immediately after (this has more to do with my son than with the c-section). I have heard so many people talk about how incredible it is—and that the bond is amazing—sort of like the perfect ending to the journey of giving birth and the perfect beginning of the mother/baby relationship all rolled into one.

I pray that I will have a chance at some point to share this type of experience with another child. About 2 hours after delivering Par I was hooked-up to my yellow mistress—the Medela Symphony. Then began the "pump, walk milk down to NICU, clean off machine parts, visit Par, pump, walk bottles down to NICU, clean off machine parts, etc" ritual. (They had me up and walking 6 hours after my c-section—but going to see my baby was all the encouragement I needed and I would have gone much sooner had they let me). Much like a mother will start to leak if she hears a baby cry, I would start to leak if I saw a Medela Symphony—and they were all over the hospital!

A lot of people are misinformed about being able to BF their baby immediately after delivery. They also are misinformed about their rights as mothers to decline supplements (formula, sugar water) for their baby. Although your milk doesn't come in for a few days—our bodies are designed to provide enough nourishment for our babies until it does come in. Additionally, most healthy babies are designed to only need the little bit of colostrum from his mother's breast. This decision should be made ahead of time and made very clear with the people who will be caring for you and your baby once you deliver.
Also, there is usually no reason that you must be separated from your baby during a healthy delivery—but you'll need to check your hospital protocol.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

UPS and breastfeeding?

We returned from Gainesville around New Years—and since then, I’ve been camped out on the sofa in the den—most of the time with one of my breasts exposed—and sometimes both. For a while I was sitting there pumping with a baby beside me. Now—most of the time I am actually feeding the little monkey—if I’m not then I have fallen asleep—but I don’t actually “hang out” in the house topless on purpose. Now, I will get up to get something to drink, get the phone or sometimes go to the bathroom—all while BF Par—he’s heavier now, so it is a little difficult. Before I was unable to move around so freely because he was hooked up to oxygen—and so I would just sit there on the sofa for long periods of time.

Well, if you followed my Family of Riches blog you know that I developed an obsession for buying baby clothes on ebay. Because it is ebay—I never really knew when or how my items were being shipped to me. A lot of them were sent USPS and fit snuggly in my mailbox. But some were sent via UPS-and thus were brought to the door. At the same time, people were sending us baby presents—also arriving unannounced and via UPS (such delightful surprises!).
Just a tad more background and then I’ll get to the point…I run a small business out of my house and in the past I had told UPS & Fedex not to leave packages at my door—that someone needs to sign for it—no matter what. I’m sure you see where this is going.

So all these little packages start arriving via UPS and I’m camped out pumping or breastfeeding on the sofa—the only sofa that is in direct view of the front door. For the first month or so the UPS man would ring the bell—we’d make eye contact—he’d smile and wave a package not realizing my predicament. I’d try and motion to just leave it (but there isn’t a motion for “just leave it”) and so I’d get up, get dressed and hobble to the door with baby and oxygen tank in tow. We’d both apologize and he’d leave wondering why I couldn’t leave the baby on the sofa—and I wondered why he couldn’t just leave the package. I got better about getting to the door faster—until one day I answered the door with my bra-covered breast exposed in a nursing top—there is no discreet way to fix that. There have been a variety of other embarrassing moments with this particular UPS man—and I’m not sure when he ever realized what exactly is going on….but earlier this week I was expecting a package—I hadn’t seen our UPS man in a few weeks. I was sitting on the sofa fully clothed watching Par play. I saw someone at the door with there eyes covered with the box and an arm extended to the doorbell. I got up and approached the door. It was a different UPS man—obviously warned about what he might see. He never looked my way—I could have been topless—he never would have known. I thanked him for the delivery and he left—never having glanced my direction.
At first I was confused—and then I realized how sweet that was of our regular UPS guy.
How considerate that someone would take the time to warn them of a potentially awkward situation for all of us. Thanks UPS for going the extra mile!

On a side note, a well-meaning blog-reader commented to me that my new blog is nice and all but I seem to talk about breastfeeding all the time. Good point blog-reader—but this is a blog about breastfeeding.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Whiny Wednesday

Whiny Wednesday

Taking care of our children is hard work—sometimes the world is less than enthusiastic about the decisions we’ve made in raising them. Sometimes our family just isn’t understanding 100% of the time and sometimes our precious little baby is the cause of excruciating pain. Well, it is Wednesday—Whiny Wednesday that is!!! Feel free to share your feelings—get it out so you don’t give up!!!

How terrible is this!?! (thank you Cindy)
Officers tell woman to move to discreet spot while feeding baby at Rutherford County Judicial Building…

Okay…so Par was nursing tons the past few days because of teething…and then yesterday—he not only didn’t want to nurse as much—he just didn’t want to nurse at all! I ended up engorged and with a plugged duct-- it was so painful. My husband was so helpful—and finally—after Rusty had found our heating pad I tried once again to have Par fix my problem—and “pop”—it unplugged and Par was drowning in mommy milk…I was thankful it was over.
So this morning—my breast is SO SO SO sore. I’m surprised it isn’t bruised on the outside—and it still hurts to feed him—but the best thing you can do is keep feeding. Hopefully Par’s eating habits will be back to normal by the end of the day!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

You are Extraordinary

Breastfeeding is an extraordinary gift. Don’t sell yourself short. If you are breastfeeding your child you are giving them nourishment that even science can’t duplicate. How amazing is that?

How amazing that the milk of your breast can sustain life (not to mention that you grew that baby inside you to begin with!) Even more amazing to me—the gift of milk to an adoptive mother—how cool is it that God would enable a mother to nourish a child not from her womb—but from her heart.

I wish I could say that each time I feed Par it is an amazing religious experience—but it is not. Sometimes I feel rushed, sometimes I’m tired, sometimes I’m chatting on the phone about The Bacholerette and how I think DeAnna should choose Jesse, sometimes I’m reading, sometimes the tv is on…but sometimes…sometimes I’m still and I can take in this amazing moment between mother and child—this moment can be so powerful. In this one moment I feel so in love with my child, I feel “right” with the world, I am in awe of my miracle—undeserving of him. And then, if I let myself get totally carried away with the moment and there isn’t a telephone ringing or tv blaring—I find myself imagining a most beautiful image—the Virgin Mary breastfeeding the Christ Child.
I love pondering this—such an amazing sight I can only imagine. Here, God has sent His Son so that we may have life—and the Christ Child’s own life is being sustained by the milk of his mother. Wow.
We know she breastfed Him…how do we know? Well, she was poor—so she obviously couldn’t afford Similac and they didn’t have Sam’s club to save money when you buy formula in bulk—right? We know she did because this was the only option.

So I wonder…

What day did Mary’s milk come in? Did she count the amount of times Jesus wet to know he was getting enough? Did He dive for her breast like my own son does when he is hungry (and this only happens when I’m talking to people in a public setting)? Did he fall asleep while nursing and Mary had to just sit there knowing that a hundred things needed to get done before her husband came home? Was Mary ever engorged? How long did Jesus nurse? And my most curious question…Did Mary cry when Jesus weaned?

I feel it is so important to be able to identify with other mothers—that is why I think supporting each other in breastfeeding is doing much more than we probably realize. Society is more understanding of the breastfeeding mothers than they were even 10 years ago—so there is progress. But please encourage your friends in BF—share your intimate nursing moments with each other to help remind yourself that BF is far more than nourishing your baby with the best stuff out there—but BF your baby nourishes both of your souls. Praise God for His amazing design of mother and child.

Now go give that baby some mommy milk!!!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Hot Mommy {Milk}

Looks like Mommy Knows Breast was created just in time!
Why, you ask?
Because World Breastfeeding Week 2008 is August 1-7—and that is just around the corner!
I’m so excited! I’m thinking I might do a virtual nurse-a-thon and see if we can have someone nursing/pumping every hour from August 1 through August 7th—that would be pretty cool. I’m working on plans right now!

Today my perfect husband was game for one of my fun outing ideas. I really wanted to go swimming somewhere—so we packed up the car and headed to Oak Mountain State Park.
I thought this would be great—I’d get to swim, spend fun times with my family and get to practice BIF (because I knew we wouldn’t know a soul). Well, this happy outing didn’t start out so well. I opened my fat mouth and started telling my husband that he wasn’t going the way I would go (note, I didn’t tell him he was going the wrong way). The happy husband wasn’t so happy—and after 27 miles of driving and just as we were 3 miles from the park--we ran out of gas. I immediately started laughing. Of course, we were in my car, so that would have been my responsibility—but I was so excited about swimming—anyway—we were out of gas. Did I mention that I kept telling my husband how to drive and insisted he go through the road block that said “No Thru Traffic”? So here we are, out of gas on a road with no thru traffic! It was priceless.
Onstar to the rescue! I can’t tell you enough how great Onstar is and how I will never own another car without it. They brought us gas and we were on the road in no time to swim—well, about 45 minutes later…but still, not too bad.
What’s the point? The point is that we were stranded and just like I am so thankful that our car had Onstar, I am so glad that we are still breastfeeding—because almost on cue, Par woke up and was miserable. He was hot and uncomfortable—but BF him calmed him immediately and he was fine. And, I got to BF in front of people! I’m sort of kidding—I was already wearing a strapless bathing suit with a strapless cover-up—so feeding Par was easy—but these two 14 year old-ish boys walked up to my window while I was feeding Par and asked us if we needed help. As soon as Par heard the voice he popped off and up to see who was there. Thankfully it didn’t seem like the boy even noticed (which is shocking to me since he was maybe 2 feet away from me)–or maybe he comes from a BF family and knows it is totally natural and normal and he was just being mature about it. I prefer to think the latter.
So I’ve learned something today: I really need to just let my husband be in charge when he is driving—that way the gas thing could have been all of his fault. And I learned that it doesn’t matter how hot it is outside, mommy milk is always refreshing.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Babe is Teething

So here I am, writing the fourth post in a row…do I really have this much to say about breastfeeding? Wow…I am sure my husband is glad I’ve started this blog so he doesn’t have to listen to me anymore…fyi-I’ll take Sundays off.

My little baby is teething now and the last few days have been—hmmmm—let’s just say I’ve been nursing so much that I have been able to catch up on a lot of Law & Order and Without A Trace episodes. All he wants to do is nurse. Par is already a high needs baby and nurses quite often (because of his CDH he will always breathe rapidly and expends calories much quicker, thus needing to refuel more often)—so picking up a few more nursing sessions basically holds me hostage to the sofa or the bed. I feel so bad for him—he looks at me with these pursed little lips almost to say, “Mama! Make me feel better” and then he’ll take a few sips and then pop up and start smacking his lips like it worked and he is ready to go play—then he’ll realize he still hurts and it starts all over. I noticed his tooth creeping in on Monday—and then I noticed another one yesterday—they seem to be taking their time—hovering at the edge as if they might change their mind retract back into his gum line.

I do wonder what is going to happen once he starts to feel better—do I have a few days of uncomfortable fullness ahead of me before I’m back to normal?

As I mentioned before, after pumping exclusively for so long, I did a dramatic switch to exclusive breastfeeding which Par handled beautifully. It wasn’t until this did I realize that being full when you are pumping and full when you are breastfeeding feel very different—even if you are “emptying” your breast the same amount of times each day. Since breastfeeding, I have only felt I was going to explode a few times—and those times were after marathon breastfeeding stints like the one I’m going through now. But with pumping, almost daily I had this feeling at some point—and thank goodness for breast pads or I would have been in big trouble. I rarely wear them anymore now.

While pumping I was engorged many times. It is so painful—but what I think intensified the pain was my inability to relieve the engorgement quickly. I tried everything—hot compress, cold compress, pumping for hours, showers, crying—you name it I tried it. Usually after attempting all of this I would finally find some relief (hours later)—but with so much stimulation, the next day I would be lopsided and fearful of another engorgement. Thankfully that doesn’t happen as much with breastfeeding.

Pumping is hard. Breastfeeding is hard too—but it has a more immediate reward and so psychologically I feel it is easier if your baby latches on well. Pumping doesn’t have this immediate reward and most often you are separated from your child while you are doing it which only makes it more difficult. I am in awe of those moms (working or not) who pump for their babes. I have a DF who pumped for a year while working full time—I don’t know how she did it (Way to go B!)

As I wrap this up, my little one is latched on soothing his sore gums again and I know I’m in for another day like yesterday (and the day before)—except there aren’t 5 showings of Law & Order on Saturday like during the week….oh, the woes of a WAHM!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Not So Easy

I was walking with a friend who I thought was a DF (dry friend—aka-former breastfeeder) the other day. We hadn’t really talked in about a week and she had since returned to work since giving birth to her precious baby earlier this year. I had assumed that she was a DF because, well—she already supplemented with formula and it just seemed like that was the direction it was headed. At the end of our walk I asked her how breastfeeding was going (because we actually had never talked about her plan for feeding when she returned to work). She replied, “I’ve been afraid to tell you.”

Oh! The pit in my stomach!!!! So let me interrupt myself to say this—I know I am passionate about breastfeeding. And when I am passionate about something, I go overboard and talk about it all the time and start blogs and stuff. For someone who doesn’t get it or doesn’t care—it seems obnoxious. But for me, it just seems normal and natural to be excited about something and want to share it with others. But I’m not the BF police and I would never intentionally make someone feel bad about their choice…

Anyway, she said that she tried pumping at work but the accommodations did not lend themselves easily to a comfortable setting, so she is not going to pump—but she is still going to BF mornings and nights.

(cue angel chorus)

How wonderful!!!! I commend her for doing what she can! Maybe one day each home and office and McDonalds will have a lactation room for pumping and feeding—but until then, I applaud those who make the effort to continue feeding their baby breastmilk in some capacity—even it is just once a day! Her plans exceeded my expectations—and I do hope that she will enjoy her mornings and nights with her baby for many more months. But as she has said, it is all day by day. That being said, I hope she enjoys breastfeeding her baby tomorrow morning and night.

On another note, for all you Queen Pumper Pumps-A-Lots out there—is your freezer overflowing with breastmilk and you are worried it may go to waste? Consider donating it to a milk bank. Or do you have a desire to pump a few extra times a day but you know your baby can’t drink it fast enough? Consider donating it to a milk bank. Or—the final scenario—do you need to pump off the foremilk to give your baby the hindmilk quicker (I had to do this for a little while). Don’t toss that foremilk! Consider donating it to a milk bank!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Breastfeeding in Public

It is almost a cliché that this would be an entry on a breastfeeding blog—some think it is so taboo and there are lots of strong women (and men) out there right now fighting for our rights to breastfeed ANYWHERE and ANYTIME
But that isn’t why I’m writing—I’m writing because law or no law, it takes nerve to whip out the boob to satiate a crying baby and for the newbie, this is a daunting task.
In the beginning of my exclusive breastfeeding—it was still quite the ordeal—my son was on oxygen (via nasal cannulas) and I used a nipple shield to assist with latching on. It was quite a production to say the least, but practice makes perfect—right?
So my BFF (breastfeeding friend, not best friend forever) and I scheduled a breastfeeding in public outing. We went to Homewood Park with the intention to breastfeed in public. We had the upper hand because we weren’t caught off guard with a hungry/needy baby—we were prepared and that helped to simmer the fear of public breastfeeding. It went pretty smooth--almost—my BFF had her baby in a sling and you couldn’t even tell she was doing anything. On the other hand, my baby was a bit older and was not used to being covered up by a blanket—so although he latched on quite well, he spent the entire feeding raising his arm up to knock the blanket off. I wasn’t prepared for this—needless to say, I was over exposed. But it wasn’t mortifying. Instead, I felt sorry for my son—he didn’t want the stupid blanket covering his head, he wanted to watch the trees, birds, airplanes. I learned and we have been able to adjust well together in public so he gets to see lots of things and I can remain discreet.
But sometimes public places offer a nice private alternative—or so I thought! I packed up Par and head to The Fitting Touch a wonderful lingerie store with a knack for getting that bra size just right! Anyway, I was in need of some nursing bras that were more supportive. The lady who helped me was great and gave me some bras to try. So there I was in the dressing room trying on bras one after another. And with each new bra the interim was met with baby grunts from Par. Yep—each time I unveiled the mommy milk makers, Par got excited and started grunting to be fed. At first I didn’t notice, until I heard people laughing—it was obvious to them I was playing mean game of Peek-A-BOOB! I had no choice but to take a break and give the boy what he wanted! It was a little weird, but they were so understanding that I think it may happen more often than I realize.
I’m not a BIP (breastfeeding in public) pro— except in my car—I do feed him A LOT in my car. But I would like to master the art of discreetly feeding my baby while enjoying dinner at a restaurant or even better, sitting through mass without having to get up because of a hungry baby. Any tips?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I've Gone to Pump

My son was born in November 2007 with CDH (Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia) and required a lengthy NICU stay and ended up going home on oxygen for a few more months. My first days of motherhood I felt so useless--I was recovering from a c-section, trying to visit my son in critical condition and pumping frequently with not much milk to show for the effort.
As soon as my milk came in--I felt like I was finally doing something. Although I was unable to hold my son for the first 28 days-- I was able to pump milk that I knew he would enjoy at some point. Breastfeeding was something that I had always looked forward to and it was difficult not to experience this gift right away-- but I knew pumping would allow me to feed him once he was healthy enough--and I knew the breastmilk that he would eventually receive through his NG tube was the best thing for him.
During my son's stay in the NICU I kept family & friends (and a following of prayer warriors I have never met) updated through a my son's blog. Each day I would give them the gist of the day--adding in some comic relief when possible--but the gist of the day always included the many times I would have to pump--I mentioned it often. One of my well-meaning blog readers mentioned that I seemed to talk about pumping too much--almost to imply I was mentioning how many times I used the restroom. At first I was embarrassed--and then it occurred to me--this is what it is to be a mother. I was pumping my milk--and if I had been saying "I went to feed my baby" it wouldn't have seemed as crass--but I couldn't say that--my baby was on a ventilator--and the next best thing I could do was to pump. I was a proud pumper. I pumped for just about 3 months until one day I looked at my son and said--we can do this. I have been exclusively breastfeeding him ever since--which is a miracle in itself--CDH babies tend to have major oral adversions on top of reflux issues--I thank God for this gift of motherhood.
So what's up with this blog?
In a word--support. A breastfeeding mother needs support--and a pumping mother needs LOTS of encouragement to persevere--because there is nothing endearing about a breastpump staring at you at 3am.
I am not an expert--I am not a nurse or lactation consultant and I don't claim to have any sort of expertise in lactation or breastfeeding. But I do have a unique experience of pumping exclusively for 2 months for a critically ill child, transitioning to breastfeeding a special needs infant in the NICU and now breastfeeding exclusively for a high needs baby. All this to say--I can relate to a lot of different situations. If you have a question--post it in the comments section below each blog entry--if I don't have an answer, hopefully another blog reader will!