Saturday, June 30, 2012

Meet My Nurslings

These two precious babies are the reasons that I care about breastfeeding so much. Since August 2009, when my big boy came into this world, my entire life has been devoted to being the best mother I can be. I have done a lot (and I mean A LOT) of research on parenting practices and choices. I have looked into all the issues and made my decisions accordingly. My wonderful husband helps me make these decisions but I'm the one who takes the time to do the research so, in most cases, I get the final say. He trusts me and usually just goes with what I say is best.

This is my big boy, Jackson

Jax was born at 10lbs, 13oz (by csection in case you were wondering) and has been my little muncher ever since. He had the appetite of a 6 month old the day he was born and my big ole boobs could barely keep up. I went through a long, emotional battle with my supply but I stuck to my guns and did not offer him formula. Well, he did get a few bottles while we were waiting for my milk to come in, as his blood sugar was dropping and the doctors insisted. For the record, I most certainly would have given him formula if he was hungry, I would never EVER try and make a hungry baby go to sleep. I do not think formula is a horrible poison, but we'll go into all that in another post. Jax kept me on my toes and I soon developed a taste for oatmeal. I also relied on beer to keep my supply up, which was enjoyable :) I eventually got my supply up and by the time he was on solids, we were good to go. He was a distracted nurser which made things a little difficult and he ended up with a dairy allergy which also threw a kink into my plans, but it all worked out and he nursed for 17 long months. It seems like it went by in a heartbeat when I think about it, but there were definitely days that seemed to last for an eternity. Now that I am nursing his baby sister, and I'm dairy-free for her, he drinks a cup of pumped breastmilk every morning for breakfast. 

And this is my darling Angelina

Ange is the world's easiest baby, despite the fact that she has severe reflux, and a suspected milk protein intolerance. When Ange was 2 days old, the scariest thing in my life happened. My husband called my name in a panicked voice and I ran into the room to see my baby girl completely blue. She had stopped breathing! After a call to 9-1-1, a trip to the ER and a 3 day stay at the hospital (complete with a bazillion tests) they determined that she has reflux and had aspirated on the reflux. Essentially she breathed in the spit up and choked on it. I was beyond relieved that she didn't have any "serious" medical condition! Just as the relief finished sinking in, I was hit with a ton of bricks. I could not breastfeed her. Ever. My breastmilk was too thin and liquidy (as all breastmilk is) so I would either have to switch to formula or pump and add a thickener to my milk. Of course I chose to pump but let me tell you, exclusively pumping for a newborn is hard core! I give MAJOR credit to exclusively pumping mamas. Major credit! If you exclusively pump for your baby, let me know and I will come to your house and clean your bathroom for you. Those two weeks that I was pumping were hard, and having to hold her upright for 30 minutes after each feeding didn't make it any easier. I would pump for half an hour, feed her for 15 minutes, hold her for half an hour and an hour or two after that I would have to start all over. All day and all night long. That schedule also doesn't account for washing bottles and pump parts which are a pain in the ass, to say the least! Did you know that if you plan to exclusively pump, you need to pump a minimum of 8 times a day for the first 6 weeks? Skipping even one pumping session can affect your supply. Not only was I exhausted from the insane pumping schedule but I wanted to breastfeed my baby so badly! I craved the bonding, skin to skin, special time and I hated that just anyone could pick up a bottle and feed my baby. I'm supposed to be the one feeding my baby! I'm the mama and mamas feed their babies. The emotional toll this took on me cannot be put into words, so I'll stop trying. Anyway, after 2 weeks I took her to our pediatrician to see what she thought. The pumping recommendation was given my the ped at the hospital. Well, my ped told me "you might as well try". I almost kissed her. Of course, after seeing Angelina turn blue a few weeks earlier, I was cautious, to say the least. I nursed her in an upright position and then my husband and I watched her like a hawk for hours. She was fine. We gradually weaned her off of the bottle and she is doing wonderfully. As you can see from her picture, she is clearly not having any trouble gaining weight. Ange is now 2 months old and over 16 pounds. She does reflux from time to time and is on meds for it, but she nurses like a champ and we both love it. My husband has offered to take over some night feedings so I can sleep but I turn him down every time. There are not too many things that will get me out of bed at 4am with a smile on my face, but nursing my baby is one of them. 

So those are my babies and that is my story. I have learned so much along my nursing journey and I hope to share most, if not all of my knowledge with my readers. This blog is not only written my me, it's written by Jackson and Angelina too. If it weren't for my kids and the challenged they have presented me with, I wouldn't know half of what I do about breastfeeding. 

1 comment:

  1. I love your new blog, Alana! I don't know if you remember, but I exclusively pumped for Bekah for 9+ months after having severe issues with latching at the beginning. I think I was pumping 10-12x per day at the beginning, down to about 7-8 at the end. Thank you for the shout out to pumping mamas!! It was SO hard, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat (and longer, if I could). Your kids are so beautiful.