Tag Archives: breastfeeding

On being done with nursing the second time

I’ve figured out that my milk supply is all dried up. Sprout is not a happy camper.

I had suspected as much the last week or so. I stopped feeling letdown and I have a strong one. Many times he would latch on, try for a few seconds and then get frustrated. Sometimes he didn’t even want to try. He definitely wasn’t getting full or satisfied.

My plan had been to get him through cold and flu season and then gradually wean him, more as he led than me, before the new baby arrived. I definitely wanted to get him through the current cold he and his sister are sharing.

I feel torn about introducing cow milk right now. It seems like good timing since he can’t get it from me. I have been so afraid of food allergies this go round. A few weeks ago I tried to give him some yogurt and he wasn’t a fan. I also made him a smoothie with some raw milk around the same time, the same smoothie I usually make with almond or hemp milk, and he didn’t like it either.

I stopped getting our raw milk from our CSA because dairy doesn’t seem to agree with me at all this pregnancy and Stephen doesn’t drink enough to justify the additional weekly expense. It just kept getting sour anyway.

Plus, cow dairy products increase mucus production in humans which he doesn’t need considering his nose is already a dripping faucet and he has a junky cough going on.

Then our most recent pediatrician wasn’t a fan at all of milk or dairy products, even the alternative ones. She said after weaning they were completely unnecessary and more of an American cultural diet than anything.

I mean he could definitely use the extra calories. Much like Bean did around this time he has basically dropped to the bottom of the growth chart. Though I don’t even know if I believe in or trust the growth charts anyway.

I wish there were an easy answer. Meanwhile poor little guy is frustrated and very upset about this sudden loss.

I am sure this all sounds very melodramatic to some of you and you are saying, “He was over a year, time to pack those girls up and move on,” but maybe that isn’t the case either. I think those of you that have stuck with me this long already know how these things go with me.

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My milk is fattier than a cow’s


Bean at 5 months


Sprout at 5 months

People comment and ask about the rolls and cheeks on these two all the time. Want to know where they come from? Check it:

On the left we have the raw, unhomogenized milk that comes from grass fed cows and on the right we have my milk. The cream lines are denoted with permanent marker lines on the bottles for extra clarity since the contrast in the photos isn’t super evident. I suppose for more scientific accuracy I should have put some of the cow milk in a Madela bottle.

Most pumped breastmilk I have seen from other moms (which I haven’t seen a huge amount) has a cream line much thinner than what you see in the above picture, we’re talking maybe half a centimeter at the most, usually much less than that.

So there you have it. That is why my kids have so many rolls, pudge and those puffy, soft, munchable cheeks.

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Panda Bear Nurse

Breastfeeding (and pumping breastmilk) has made quite the impression on Bean, I think.

In her own words:


“Panabear nursing”


“[Bean] punking (pumping)”


“Panabear dink it. Milk. Mmmm yummy!”

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Sprout – month five

Dear Sprout,

You are five months old today. What? Where did that time go? I’m not sure.

At five months you:


-You are just a happy guy. Your giggles fill our home and we love it.


-Have five teeth poking thru (you can really only see three). Go figure. You don’t bite during nursing though so it’s all good. You actually handle teething very well compared to your sister. If it is really bad you might fuss a bit or not nap, but some teething tabs or Ibuprofin usually take care of that.


-Knees? What are those? Yours got lost somewhere in those rolls. You are still thriving solely on Mama Milk. You have shown no interest in big people food unlike your sister who was ready to go at it around 4 months and we waited until 5 months to start it for her. I did get you a high chair though so that you can sit with us at the table for meals. You seem to like it and being up high where you can see everything that is going on.


-At your last doctor appointment you were 25 1/4in long, weighed in at 15lbs 4oz, and your head circumference was 16 7/8in which makes you about average (55th percentile) except for your head which is a little bigger than most (in the 70th percentile).


-You still flail your arms about quite a bit and don’t seem to have the best control over them, but your control has improved enough that you can now suck your thumb while sitting up. You love your thumb. You love it so much that you even try to sneak it in there when we are nursing. I often have to hold your hands down so it doesn’t happen.


-Now that you no longer have the very strong startle reflex and you can roll from belly to back, you have decided that you prefer sleeping on your back or side.

We just love you chunkster. Can’t get enough!

Love,

Mama (Papa and Sissy)

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Just some randomness…

Kids are napping in the back of the van and I’m sitting here in the parking lot of Whole Foods enjoying their free wifi so I thought I’d share what’s been on my mind this week besides Spring Fashion.

-Went to Babies & Books this morning at the TO Library. Parents talking on their cell phones during events like this really piss me off. It’s like you are there doing this activity with your kids(s), so be there, be present. Don’t sit in the corner talking and expect everyone else to watch and play with your kids. Ugh! Two parents did this and it happens pretty regularly. I always put my phone on silent during B&B, I think it is only polite.

-We tried potty training yesterday. Basically so I could just get it out of my system and give myself the satisfaction of knowing that we did try and that I didn’t hold her back because I was too lazy/preoccupied to deal with it.

We got the thick training undies, potty seat that fits on our toilet, lots of drinks, gluten-free gummi bears for treats, step stool, the whole nine yards. For the first couple hours I was tricked into thinking this would be so easy that I basically wouldn’t even have to “try”. Just after I put on the undies she said “potty potty” and pulled them down. Put her on and she did a little #1. A little while later the process repeated with a successful #2. Then she peed three times all over the floor right after that without saying anything and I was done. This morning she asked to go again and did a successful #2 on the potty after I took her diaper off. But I’m not doing undies again. If she wants to tell me she has to go and asks to go I’ll let her go, but I’m not going to camp out by the bathroom and try to watch her like a hawk or clean up accidents. It’s just not what I’m up for.

-Just read my pediatrician’s book. I started it Wednesday afternoon and finished it last night right before bed. I just really think it is the best. It basically articulates and explores everything I think about why I am doing what I am doing and then backs it up with scientific, medical, anthropological and psychological research.

-Um hello dream house. It really exists and not too far from where I live.

-Made the best bread ever yesterday.

Bean just woke up though so I’ll have to share the recipe at a later date. So good though.

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“Sounds like my morning, minus the urinating.”

It all started at 1am. After a nice four hour stretch, Sprout decided thereafter that he needed to wake up and be fed just about every hour. I think there is a growth spurt at three weeks if I remember correctly, but it didn’t stop me from muttering in exasperation at 6:30am, “Every hour! Really!? I’m just. so. exhausted!” By 8:30am when Bean’s laughter, singing and animal noises were no longer enough to keep her entertained and had instead turned into whining and cries for, “Nummy-nummy,” I realized any hope of meaningful sleep really had escaped me. So I was up.

Even though I was quite grumpy about it, it is hard to remain so when upon entering her room with Sprout in my arms I am enthusiastically greeted with a cheerful face and exclamations of, “Bebe! Bebe!”

Bean has become more and more interested in and concerned with her little brother of late. If he is crying and I can’t get to him right away she goes over to him with a very concerned look about her, sometimes she’ll try to pat his back or tummy and then proceeds to look at me with a very serious, “Aren’t you going to do something about this?” expression on her face. When I have him out in the swing or on a blanket, she parades around him pointing and saying, “Bebe,” or trying to point out the body parts on him that she knows the names for such as hair, ear, toes and eyes.

We’ve figured out that Sprout likes to be in a more upright sitting position and prefers bouncing to swinging. So yesterday I had scoped out some chairs at Target and talked over their prices and features with Stephen that night. I had decided on one after our discussion and planned to get it in the morning before the kids’ appointment with the pediatrician. The appointment was on the cusp of Bean’s naptime so I didn’t want to go afterwards.

There really wasn’t much to eat in the house except cereal, but we ran out of paper bowls yesterday and the regular ones are all packed because we are moving this weekend (crazy, I know because, hello, we just had a baby, but our lease was up and we didn’t want to keep living here anymore and we found a place in a better area that is cheaper and had a garage). So I packed up the diaper bag with diapers for each kid, my wallet and breakfast goods for Bean before heading over to Panera to get something for myself.

Ever the charmer, Bean quickly won over the affections of a really interesting couple in the next booth. She’s a former opera singer from Israel and he was from Australia. They had the most lovely accents. Bean kept flirting with them through the whole meal.

We made it to Target after that. I opened Sprout’s door, put on my sling and as I went to lift him into it I discovered that his pants leg felt warm and squishy. Gross. Because I very rarely have blowouts with cloth diapers, I of course had not packed a second outfit for my boy. So, I opened up the back hatch to the van, got set up for a diaper change and then delved into a very, very disgusting diaper and clothing situation. I used every single wash cloth I had and it still wasn’t completely enough. Luckily Sprout was wearing a jacket and I did have the sling so he was covered enough that I could still head into Target without feeling weird about my mostly naked baby. Since I planned the Target trip with just enough time for Target and then to head straight to the pediatrician’s office, I was going to have to get Sprout something to wear in addition to wipes and the bouncy seat that was the whole reason for the Target trip in the first place.

I found a few cute options in the clearance section including a vintage-y looking Star Wars onesie and a Dodgers outfit. Got wipes from the diapers and wipes aisle to further take care of cleanup when we got back to the van. Then I headed to the aisle where they had the seats. Of course, just my luck, yesterday they had two of the seats that I wanted and today both were gone. I thought about asking if they had anymore in the back, but really didn’t have the time for them to figure it out and so I decided against it. I went back and forth on whether or not to get a Bumbo instead, but decided that $40 for just a plain seat that really doesn’t do anything was not worth it.

So I left Target $20 poorer and headed back out to my van where I proceeded to dress my son and finish cleaning up his minor explosion.

Then it was on to the pediatrician’s office. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this yet, but since our last appointment I changed pediatricians again. I just felt the last one had a personality that didn’t mesh well with mine and found it very hard to talk to her or have my opinions heard. So, while she did have some similar opinions as mine (homebirth is OK and breastfeeding is great), those we disagreed on (like the AAP vaccination schedule) I just couldn’t get my point across easily. This other doctor was also recommended to me by the same parenting group that recommended the other one as well as one of my real-life friends. We were able to get into his practice because of Sprout since he only accepts newborns and their siblings.

There were a ton of sick walk-ins when we got there so even though I was on time for my appointment I waited nearly half an hour past that time before getting called back. Got the kids undressed, weighed and measured. Bean is still “petite,” but moved up from the third to the fourth percentile. She managed to grow two inches (now 28 3/4″) and gain about a pound (now 19lbs 12oz) since her last checkup in September. Sprout, on the other hand, is in the 75th percentile, gaining three quarters of an inch (now 21 3/4″) and 17 ounces (now 10lbs) since birth.  

When the doctor came in to check them both out, Bean started crying and screaming as soon as the stethoscope touched her chest. He wanted to see her walk and said she pronates a bit (which I do too). Upon reaching the side of the room I was on, not being diapered or clothed and more than a little upset and stressed out, she grabbed onto my leg and started peeing on the floor next to me. Lovely.

He said we could go without the flu and MMR shots because of her egg allergy, but he did want her to get two other shots today as well as a TB test and another anemia test since she was slightly anemic at her last checkup. I wasn’t exactly looking forward to it though since now that she’s weaned it isn’t as easy to calm and comfort her and she was already really upset from the examination.

I did manage to get her calmed down during our conversation about shots, but then as soon as the doctor started examining Sprout and he started crying she lost it again. Usually when she cries she also says, “No!” or “Mama!” over and over again and we usually say something along the lines of, “I know sweetie, I’m sorry,” while we are trying to comfort her. Well, lately she has started saying, “I know, I know” over and over while she’s crying about something, parroting back what we usually say to her. It’s so sweetly sad. She picked up the doctor’s reflex hammer and became enthralled with it and calmed down on her own while her brother continued to be examined during which he also peed all over the examination table.

The doctor left the room, I quickly nursed Sprout a bit to calm him down and then got him dressed. The nurse came back in the room with Bean’s shots. I think the thing I hate most about shots is that the nurse usually needs your help as mom to hold down your child or hold their arm steady, etc. I’d honestly prefer it if they could spare an extra nurse to do all of that and then I could just give cuddles and loves afterwards instead of being associated with the pain, too. We found out right there that Bean is no longer anemic, which is good.

Afterwards when we got back to the waiting room, Bean whined when she tried to use the hand that got the finger prick for the anemia test to touch any toys and just about lost it when the band-aid on that finger came off, but was happy again when I put it back on. We made our way back out to the car. I put her in her seat and gave her the snack trap from earlier in the morning with the rest of her cereal and then went to the other side of the car to put Sprout in his seat. During which time, Bean dropped the snack trap so that it was wedged between her leg and her seat, but she would only be able to get it by picking it up with the hand that had been pricked. She also lost the band-aid again. So she started crying again. After buckling Sprout I went back over to her side of the car and placed the snack trap between her legs and convinced her that since her finger was no longer bleeding she didn’t really need the band-aid anymore.

Back to the front seat. Then a FedEx truck drives up and blocks me from getting out. Bean and Sprout start crying again because it has been far too long since we’ve been moving. So I pull out the iPod and blast Raffi’s “Down by the Bay” and everyone is happy again. The FedEx truck finally moves and we can pull out of our parking spot too.

Made it back home. Bean throws a fit when we get to the strip of grass that runs along the walkway to our apartment because I won’t let her sit in it (I never do because our neighbor has dog, even though we’re not supposed to have dogs in our complex, and he always takes it to do its business on that strip of grass). We finally get back inside after the tantrum. Sprout is asleep so I place him in the swing and proceed to fill Bean’s sippy cup with milk prior to her nap.

She gets mad and starts throwing another fit because I won’t give her the sippy before we get upstairs. Then when we get upstairs and she finishes the sippy she starts crying again because she’s finished it and she knows that means I’m going to put her in her crib. So I indulge her a little bit and keep rocking with her in the chair until she calms down. I get her into her bed and she closes her eyes immediately, exhausted from a stressful morning.

I realize I haven’t peed all morning and of course, just as I get into the bathroom Sprout goes from peacefully asleep to full blown hysterics in a matter of seconds. After I’m done I head back downstairs, pick him up and start nursing him while calling Stephen because I just needed to talk to him after all that. So, after I’m done telling him all about it he says, “Sounds like my morning, minus the urinating.” Things have been pretty stressful at work lately too because several projects they’ve been working on are coming to a close all at the same time.

This is what we keep telling ourselves: I wasn’t pregnant forever and just like that came to a close so will the other uncomfortable/painful/stressful things in our lives. We won’t have a colicky newborn forever, there won’t be nighttime feedings forever, the stressful projects at work are coming to a close and won’t go on forever, we won’t be moving forever, etc. Seasons come and go in our lives. God gives us strength, patience, grace, children that nap for 2-4 hours several days in a row, and anything else we need to get through them.

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So not AP.

While I’m at it with the being honest business, here’s a few more things I’d like to confess:

-After the initial first week of cute cuddly baby wears off, I pretty much hate cosleeping. Why? Well, it gets hot for one thing, every single noise (and this kid is a particularly loud one, he grunts pretty much non-stop all the time) keeps me awake, they can’t resist the all-you-can-eat buffet 2 inches from their face, the babe’s head starts to smell like armpit, and my sleeping positions are limited. Thankfully, Sprout has done just fine in the pack-n-play at the foot of our bed the last two nights. I hope this is a continuing trend.

-I think the Back to Sleep campaign is total bunk. Even though it’s a Wiki article, I felt more justified in thinking as such after reading this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudden_infant_death_syndrome and no longer feel worried or guilty for putting the kid down on his stomach. Sleep wins.

-As big as I am on breastfeeding, I actually hate to do so in public even though I have a nursing apron and have never encountered conflict over such things. It stresses me out. I feel like everyone is looking at me. I worry that I am going to flash somebody because the kid will throw off the apron or pull up my shirt or because I have a hard time getting them latched on quickly and discretely. I know such things are somewhat ridiculous thoughts and worries to have. I know that this is natural. I know people should be more supporting of breastfeeding moms and that doing it in public encourages others and increases awareness, etc. But I have these thoughts and worries even still.

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