Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ode to the Boob

It's been almost a month now since I stopped breastfeeding, and I don't know that I could be much happier about my decision.

When I had Em I wasn't sure if I'd be able to breastfeed.  My mom had problems with it (production issues) and I wasn't sure if that was a genetic thing or not, but I wanted to try and figured I'd do it as long I could... not just for the health related reasons, but also because it a whole LOT cheaper!

Emily was a natural breast-feeder and didn't have much trouble latching on at all.  While I was home on my maternity leave, nursing was great.  It was easy, and available and free.  When we would leave the house, I wouldn't have to worry about bringing a bottle/formula because I was biologically prepared.  And, much to my surprise, it was working.  She was gaining weight.  She was happy and healthy.  And, aside from frustration from time to time that I was the only one who could actually feed her, I was doing ok, too.

And then I went back to work... and had to pump.  Pumping is no fun what-so-ever.  It's especially no fun when you have to find the time to do it... on your breaks and lunch... meaning that I got no breaks or lunch... for almost 4 months.  I locked myself in a single bathroom, with harsh lighting and a loud fan for 20 minutes or so 3 times a day.  I FINALLY figured out how to use rubber bands to attach the cups to my nursing bra so I could read a book while I was stuck in there, but it was still an uncomfortable, unnatural, inconvenient activity... but I did it, for my daughter.

And then, one day, somewhere around the 4 month mark, I got an e-mail from our daycare provider that she had run out of milk... and it was only about noon.  I had a mini-meltdown at my desk.  Thankfully, we had some formula packets in the diaper bag as a "just in case" so there was an option available for her last couple afternoon bottles... but she had never had formula before and I didn't know if she'd take the bottle.  I was angry and frustrated that I wasn't able to provide for my daughter.

I was religiously taking fenugreek to help with my supply (SEVEN pills a day), but, even though I started to smell strongly of maple syrup, it did not appear to be helping and I was still quickly running through my freezer we started to supplement Emily's bottles with 50/50 milk and formula mix.  At first she was a little annoyed, but she took to it, and I continued to feed her when I was able, and pumped at work... but I was pumping less and less every day.

Then one day I forgot my pump at home and went all day without pumping... I realized that I didn't physically NEED to pump anymore (i.e. there was no "uncomfortable" feelings if I didn't do it), and I was able to take an actual lunch break!  I decided that I would stop pumping at work, and try to do it once at night, and again first thing in the morning.

This went on for a couple of weeks until Emily hit what must have been a 6 month growth spurt.  One days she nursed, and nursed, and nursed and was not getting enough to satisfy her.  I felt horrible.  I felt like I wasn't doing my job... and that something was wrong with me.  Finally I succumbed and gave Emily a bottle of formula... and she guzzled that thing down... which made me feel even worse about my own inabilities.

At that point, out of anger and frustration, I told Jacob that I was done.  I couldn't handle the stress of it anymore... but I still continued to nurse about once a day (always supplemented by a bottle directly afterward).  Until, one day, I didn't nurse... and then two days... and then three.  I didn't intentionally stopped, I just kind of forgot about it.  And I am so relieved.

I feel like a giant weight has been lifted off of my shoulders.  No longer am I the sole food provider.  No longer do I have to worry about what I eat (or drink!) and how it will effect the little one.  No longer do I have to worry/feel guilty when she has bad gas because it must have been my fault for eating the bean burrito for lunch.  No longer do I have ti find a comfortable, somewhat private place to sit down and nurse when I'm in public... I can give her a bottle... anywhere!

For the first 6+ months of her life Emily got at least SOME breast milk, and, for that, I am proud of myself, but I am perfectly happy not to go another 6 months. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

My Baby the Model!

Now that Emily has hit the 7-month mark, I guess that I should finally get around to showing off her "official" 6 month photos... yeah... I'm a little behind (I still have posts waiting that I meant to write in September. lol  One of these days I'll catch up!).

One lovely October afternoon Jacob helped me get some photos taken before the rain came back... here's a sample...

I have one darn cute kid! =)

Seven Months! (Yesterday.... oops!)

Weight/Length- According to our home scale you are weighing in at 17 lbs., 13 oz!  (It took me about 4 times trying to weigh you... you just wouldn't hold still!)

Eating- No more boob for you!  You made the transition to formula only a couple of weeks ago... and I really think that we're both happier about it.  You are starting to eat a lot more now, too.  Mostly 4 oz bottles through out the day and a 6-8 oz right before bed, but now you've started to have another 8 oz bottle in the middle of the day, too!  And today you drank 12 oz within 1 hour of bedtime! 

Sleep- Dad and I decided to do the dreaded "sleep training" a couple of weeks ago.  Funny thing is, it wasn't that bad at all.  You never really got "mad" at us when you cried in the middle of the night (which made it easier on Mom!), and you "got it" after waking up only twice on the first night.  You're sleeping now from 7 pm to sometime between 5-6:30 am now.  We are quite happy about this! =)

 Clothes-You're wearing 6-9 month stuff right now.  You're "outfits" have gotten much cuter now that you have so many different sets of clothes to choose from! lol

Personality- You are a smart, happy, independent baby... and very active!  You want to be exploring new things constantly, and get really excited when there's something new to check out! =)

  • You like swim lessons.  You're take it VERY seriously! lol  But you're also have funny in the water.  You are definitely a water baby!
  • You like bananas... a lot!  Avacados, potatoes, and strawberries have also been hits!
  • You like feeding yourself your bottle... you can do it one-handed, too!
  • You like riding on Mom's back in your Ergo!
  • You don't like sitting still... even when you're having a bottle you are a mobile, squirmy active baby.  It's gotten a little difficult to change your diaper/get you dressed when you all want to do is roll around!
  • Now that you're getting into everything, you don't like it when Mom/Dad move you away from something that you shouldn't be into.
  • You don't like that the kitty won't sit still and let you pull his fur.

    You can crawl!  ALL over the place!
    Not only can you crawl, but you are already pulling yourself up on your feet!  AND you've started to take little steps when Mom or Dad are holding your hands!
    You have TWO teeth!  Both on TOP (which apparently is not "normal"... usually the bottom teeth come in first apparently).
    You celebrated your first Halloween AND Thanksgiving!
    You also went to ZooLights for the first time.  I think Mom had more fun than you did, though. ;)
    You have started saying "dadadadada".  Dad swears that this is your first word... I told him that it doesn't count until you use it appropriately! lol


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Another Wedding!

It's been almost two months since my youngest brother married his high school sweetheart... and I am just now getting around to blogging about it. lol

Every summer for the last three years there as been a wedding in my family.  August 2010 - Jacob and I, October 2011 - my brother Dustin and his wife Brittany, this year we celebrated my brother Scott and his now-wife Jennifer!  The ceremony and reception were held at my parents house (which stressed my mother out to no end!) and it was gorgeous.  My mom, dad and helpers put a lot of work into the hard and the house to transform it for Scott & Jennifer's special day.

(I don't have any photos of the back yard, where the real magic happened, but I took advantage of the landscaping for our family photos earlier in the summer!)

It was a great (busy) day.  I think it was my first day (aside from work) that I was away from Emily for the majority of it.  Between hair/make up, dressing, decorating and photos I didn't have much time.  Jacob did an amazing job keeping her happy and entertained... even took her out to breakfast. =)  We had to leave the reception earlier than I would have liked to get back to our hotel as it was Em's bedtime and she was not sleeping very soundly at my parents place, but we had a great time when we were there... I sure do miss the days of staying out late and dancing!

Front yard, reception area
My nephew, Satori. =)
Emily and Grandma!
My brother Scott, checking out the awesome wedding cake!
The bride and me! Check out my earrings! lol
I love this photo of my little bro singing to his new wife during their first dance. =)
Discovering new things every day!