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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Things I’ve learned since having a baby #2: Breast Milk is Best… but a little formula won’t hurt now and then.

I know I’m going to be crucified for this by the Nursing Nazis but I’ve spoken to so many women who have had this same issue, I know I’m not alone here.

Colt was 9 lbs 4 oz  and 22 in when he was born. That’s a pretty big baby. My brother and I were both big babies (10 lb/22 in and 9lb8oz/22 in respectively). From the moment he was born, I could not feed him enough. It didn’t help that I was induced and given Pitocin for 48 hours. I had been told by every lactation consultant that my milk would be in by 2 days post-partum.

It came in a day 10. And even then, we’re talking about 2 oz.

During that time, I was pumping what I could and supplementing with formula (under doctor’s order), looking forward to the day when I could just straight-breast feed my son. Yet, even when my milk did come in, it still wasn’t enough for the baby. I saw the lactation consultant numerous times, hoping for some magic trick to keep him satisfied and produce more milk. I took the fenugreek supplements, I drank the mother’s milk tea, I pumped before and after feeds in order to stimulate production. No luck.

When he was three weeks old I went to a La Leche League meeting. Colt had begun clamping down on my nipples to the point where he was causing blisters. While there, the women were all very nice and helpful. I asked questions, got some advice and finally learned how to latch him. I was actually a little sad that I couldn’t attend their meetings more regularly since they were during my normal working hours.
While I was there, I spoke to a mother whose daughter was a couple days younger than Colt. She said something that really spoke to me when I brought up having to give formula to Colt.

“My mom attended La Leche League meetings with me. I remember going to them as a child. There is a lot of good information here, but you have to do what you have to do. Don’t worry so much about it.”

She was basically saying that if it comes down between only breastmilk and and fed, happy baby, take the happy baby. After that Mike and I began feeding Colt a bottle of formula a night before bed. Now when he goes to daycare, I send him there with formula and feed him breastmilk at home. So, yes, I supplement. I have to. I have seen that child at 6 weeks old take down 10 oz in one sitting. I can’t even produce that in a day.

I recognize the benefit of breast milk. It is absolutely the best thing a baby can have, and believe me, my son is getting every ounce I create. I refuse to feel guilty about supplementing. Oh, believe me I don’t like the cost or the smell (truthfully, I don’t care for the smell of any type of milk), but I don’t feel guilty about supplementing his diet. Colt will be 2 months on Friday. In that time, he has gained 3 lbs and almost 3 inches. Not bad for a baby who was still under his birth weight at 2 weeks old.

I still hold out hope that my milk production may one day catch up with his appetite, but I’m not holding my breath. I still pump. I still breast feed him. Yes, breast is best and for the most part easier, but when he’s screaming and I am physically, mentally and quite literally drained I need to be able to feed him somehow.

A Meme for Crafters

I like the “What my friends think I do” meme, so I made one of my own for myself

Yeah... we all eat paste

Trying a New Thing

Colt turns 6 weeks old on Friday. I can honestly say I am absolutely crazy about him. I get little smiles from him now and then, he can follow things with his eye, and we’re even making progress on tummy time and holding his head up a little.

When I was pregnant, there were about 4 or 5 other couples who were due about the same time as I was. I was the last one to have my baby of that group. Now, there are about 4-5 other women who are due around April/May. Most of these ladies are 2nd time moms, however there are a few first-timers like myself in that group.

There are a lot of lessons I’ve learned in the 5 weeks since Colt was born regarding pregnancy and dealing with other pregnant women. Lessons I wish others would have taken into account when dealing with me.

10 Things I’ve learned since having a baby

(BTW, this is going to be the running theme of the blog for awhile)

Lesson #1: Buy Off the Gift Registry

At my shower, I received clothes. A lot of clothes. Oh, I received other gear as well (bouncer, diaper cake, the diaper bag I’d been drooling over), but mostly clothes. So many adorable little outfits that I could not wait to dress my little boy in.

Now, though, I’ve come to the realization that, as cute as those little outfits are, Colt might never be able to wear them. Why? They are almost all for cold weather, made for 3-6 months, and we live in Florida. It’s only February and already it’s 75-80 degrees everyday, too warm for long sleeves or pants. Mike bought colt the cutest little flannel shirt and overall set. It breaks my heart that he might only get to wear it once or twice. It was my favorite outfit.

What does this have to do with anything?

I never registered for clothes, not one stitch, and now all the well-meaning gifts may go to waste if Colt won’t even be able to fit into any of them until it’s too warm to wear them.

It’s always tempting when attending a baby shower to buy loads of cute little outfits, but always remember that clothes on a baby are temporary. If you have an extra small child, she may be in 3-month outfits at 9 or 12 month. A big baby (like Colt) may never be in newborn clothes (Colt didn’t). When shopping for a shower, think of items moms could use for awhile: burp cloths, receiving blankets, level 1 or 2 diapers, etc. None of these items are expensive and usually all of them are on the Mom-to-be’s registry.

Always review the registry and see what Mom has asked for. Some of it may be superfluous (I’m so glad no one bought me this), but much of it may be needed almost immediately (I made Mike bring me my Boppy while I was still in the hospital). The registry will also give you idea of what mom doesn’t want. Does she not have any bottles on the list? That may be deliberate. Has she registered for cloth diapers? Avoid the Huggies.

My friends Ruben and Emily are having their first in a couple months and I bought them this. This. Is. Awesome. Emily, you will thank me. When changing a poopsplosion, and organized changing table is Fuckin’ necessary.

Always buy off the registry, or at least take a look at it. If you can find something better that is in the same vein, more power to you. We always want our gifts to shine, but the ones that usually do are the ones that you can use for awhile.

(Full Disclosure: This is not me being ungrateful. I really do love every baby gift I received. From the Baby Tylenol to the Breast Pump, everything is thoroughly appreciated. Some of the gifts which I thought “When will I be able to use this?”, like the chenille blankets, have become my favorite items. I am truly angry that the weather won’t cooperate so that Colt can wear his stylish winter wardrobe longer. Maybe they can blast the AC at daycare)