Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Baby-Wearing

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!
This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is Wordless Wednesday: Babywearing Photos! Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st! 




I really wish I could give credit where credit is due...I did not take these pictures! :) Well, obviously, since I'm wearing the baby. :) A. was about 3 months old here. We were at the zoo, it was HOT and she loved to sleep in that mei tei. Whew!




 Here are more posts by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Why I Chose to Breastfeed

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!


This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on The Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is about Importance of Breastfeeding. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!


I've been a little SWAMPED with school, so I didn't post the previous two days. Here's what you missed:
Wordless Wednesday...ironically, I have two pictures of myself breastfeeding. TWO! And, they're both mostly head shots of me. One is at a restaurant and you can only see my face. The other is an extremely adorable picture of my daughter's head and me. Her foot is up on my chest. That's it.  Maybe with baby #2, I'll be brave enough to take more pictures!


Yesterday's Carnival post should have been about how my birth experience impacted nursing...
I really thought I had written about my "birth."   I guess I have not shared that here.  But, that goes along with the importance of breastfeeding and why I chose (and committed fully) to nursing my daughter.
When I was pregnant, and even before, I knew I'd nurse.  I have an awesome sister-in-law who was an excellent example.  She nursed her first daughter for a year.  It could be done.  Women in Oklahoma do breastfeed for more than 6 weeks! 


Then I got pregnant.  I did not take breastfeeding classes.  I thought I knew it all (yeah, right!).  No one prepared me for how hard breastfeeding is.  It's truly an art.  Then came A's birth.  A. was born via c-section after 24 hours of labor (induction for pre-eclampsia) and 2.5 hours (included in the 24 hours) of pushing.  I was devastated.  Heartbroken.  Fortunately, I had the most awesome nurse, who, despite my post-partum hemorrhage (the real deal, lots and lots and lots of blood) got Addison to latch on.  Not only did she did A. to latch on within, probably, less than 1 hour from her birth, she did so as I was actively bleeding.  That simple act helped me so much.  The bond was formed.  The connection was made.
The next 48 hours were a totally different story.  I got 2 units of Hespan (a starch that is used as a volume expander...trying to avoiding getting blood), was on Magnesium Sulfate, was out of it, and got 2 units of blood.  My blood pressure was 140s/40s...for real.  That's because my hemoglobin dropped dramatically. I felt awful.  A. got very little, if any, of my milk in that first 48 hours.  Daddy (and the entire family) learned to syringe feed (formula) during this time.  


At 48 hours, I went to the mom/baby unit.  I struggled over the next 48 hours.  I got 2 more units of blood.  I saw every lactation consultant (almost) employed at the hospital.  I pumped.  I resigned myself to being okay with formula and breastfeeding.  My nurses (who happened to be my employees, as I was their manager) comforted me, consoled me, told me formula was okay.  I was heartbroken.
But, somewhere...maybe the ride home...maybe the first morning we woke up to a room full of bottles...I don't really know.....somewhere though, it hit me.  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  I did NOT have the birth I wanted.  In fact, I despised the way my daughter was born.  I felt respected.  I loved (and still do) my OB.  She was so awesome and encouraging and supportive.  She told me I'd VBAC next time.  So, it had nothing to do with the way I felt during surgery.  I hated my recovery.  I hated having MY child cut from me.  So, I decided I would NOT give up on breastfeeding.


Then, I had milk supply issues.  Huge issues.  As in, my milk didn't "come in" for 2 weeks.  For 2 weeks, I breastfed, pumped, and fed A. formula.  No wonder I was exhausted and had a horrible recovery.  I was always feeding or preparing to feed my daughter!  When I saw my OB at my 2 week visit, I nearly begged for her permission to quit breastfeeding.  After all, I thought, if she thought it was okay, it would be okay.  Well, she told me it would be okay...but to keep breastfeeding.  Grrr, not what I wanted to hear.  But, I did not want to disappoint her.  Or myself.  Or my daughter.  (Probably in reverse order!)
Little A did not get the birth she deserved.  She would get the food she deserved.  So I nursed.  And nursed.  I took fenugreek (per my OB's recommendation).  At about 6 weeks, it all sunk in.  Nursing was suddenly easy.  I vowed quitting at any time, was still indeed quitting.  And I vowed never to quit.  (On a side note, I think it's okay to quit at 3 years...where we are now!)


Other than psychologically mending my relationship with my daughter...it has helped her health.  She has been a healthy little girl.  Compared to my nephews, who only got a little breast milk (less than 1 week), she is absolutely healthy!


And, I'm frugal.  And green.  Think of all the money I saved!  And water!  


And, that, is how breastfeeding became so important to me. 



 Here are more posts by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.





Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Post-Milk Sleepiness


This was taken when Addison was about 14 months old (I'm guessing...we lived in that house when she was between 12 months & 15 months).


Pure Happiness!

Pumping Sucks

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!


This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com


For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is about breastfeeding and employment. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st! 

 

I had a very demanding job when my daughter was born.  I was the nursing manager of a very busy unit in a large hospital.  I had over 100 employees that reported directly to me.  I was acquiring more responsibility when I went back to work.  The deck was stacked against me.  When I returned to work, I had only been breastfeeding comfortably and easily for 6 weeks.

Within the first few weeks of returning to work, I attended a breastfeeding symposium.  I learned, in Oklahoma, a very small percentage of women still breastfed at 1 year of life.  My heart was broken.  I really felt I was up against all odds.  I was determined though.  I was NOT quitting breastfeeding for my job.  Fortunately, my boss was incredibly supportive.  No questions asked, I pumped when I needed to.  Actually, I think it made her a little uncomfortable, so she let me do it when I needed!  It doesn't matter, I got to pump.

Also, very luckily for me, I had a private office.  I was able to close the door and pump.  I also worked with a great group of lactation consultants, so they totally supported me.  I quickly learned, although the statistics and my job (sort of) were against me, I had a lot on my side.  So, I pumped.  I pumped and pumped and pumped.  When I returned to work I pumped 3 times a day (and that was in only 8-10 hours). It decreased to 2, then finally to once per day.  I actually started enjoying my pumping time (although I never enjoyed hooking myself up to pump).  It was nice to close my door and have some peace.  It was lovely.  Quiet...except that stupid sound pumps make!

Now, actually breastfeeding after returning to work was a different story.  I was so exhausted from working so much, I could hardly stay awake when my daughter wanted to nurse at night.  We, out sheer exhaustion, began to co-sleep.  It saved my sanity.  My daughter began to cluster nurse at night.  She would take a bottle during the day, but much preferred momma to that bottle!

I was also finishing graduate school during my daughter's first year.  I remember sitting in our living room with her nursing and me reading article after article.  What fun that was!  Breastfeeding while working is completely possible.  If you're returning to work, pumping provides you some quiet time.  Some time to think about your baby.  Some time to get away.  Think about that while you're pumping, don't think about that silly pump!





 Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Nursing in Public



Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!










This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com.  For more info on The Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is about Nursing in Public. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!



I will never forget the first time I nursed in public.  It followed the last time I tried nursing in my car in July...with a 6 week old baby.  We were in the tiny town of Eufaula, Oklahoma.  We were there for the weekend.  My mom and I had taken my daughter to a cute little cafe in town for lunch (for us, not her!).  This little cafe (sadly, now closed) was also the town flower shop.  About half-way through our lunch, like any good little baby would, mine decided she was hungry.  I tried nursing her there, but it was awkward.  I have large breasts and was just figuring out what to do (yep, it took me about SIX weeks to figure it out!).  So, I headed to my BLACK car in July in Oklahoma.  On a side note, I'm not sure if you know anything about summers in Oklahoma...but, it's HOT! In fact, yesterday Oklahoma City was the 3rd hottest city in the country, right behind Las Vegas and Phoenix.  Now, they're in the desert, so they don't have all the lovely humidity (and mosquitoes) we do.  So, it's HOT here!  Back to the story....


I'm headed out to my car with babe in tow.  I attempt to get all cozy in the backseat.  Of course, the black leather interior does not help the fact I'm already drenched in sweat.  About this time, this cute little woman comes running out of the store.  She was one of the waitresses.  She told me the owner of  the store (a man, no less) saw me going outside with my baby.  He knew I was taking her outside to feed her and he thought that was not right. (And, I sit here sobbing, thinking of how his grace and kindness changed my life...and my daughter's...literally.)  She told me he insisted I come inside.  He would find a private...albeit strange...place to nurse my daughter.


And he did.  He brought me a chair to the flower shop part of the store.  Strangely enough, the man loved birds.  I don't.  I sat their among flower, birds, and one lady making arrangements and nursed my baby.  What happened that day changed my world.  I am forever grateful to him.  His beautiful act of kindness made this momma proud. 



And so, at dinner that night (on a dock) I nursed my daughter.  Now, I was not about to walk all the way back to the car (and down the pier) to feed my child.  Other people were eating there.  My dad (who was seated across from me) said many women were looking at our table...some in support, some condescending.  I don't really care about the naysayers.  A kid's gotta eat.  But, I was saddened.  I had entered the dinner so proud and confident of myself.  I thought everyone should be supportive of nursing in public.  And, I did use a cover-up...because I exposed no less than half of my upper body when I nursed!  Women giving my family dirty looks, like I was some kind of heathen.  It was amazing the difference in two meals in one small town.



I learned a lot that day.  Unfortunately, I learned people can be mean.  People can be unsupportive of women feeding their children the best food possible in public.  I learned, more importantly, people care.  For every one person that gives a dirty look, there are dozens more that don't give a hoot what you're doing.  And, there more supporters than not.  People do care.  The tide is turning.  Nursing in public is accepted.



I have nursed in some crazy places too....the state fair, in a car (she stayed in the car seat!), at Sonic (I took her out of the car seat for those), and many many more! So, go in peace, nurse in peace, nurse where you feel comfortable!











 Here are more posts by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.