Friday, November 23, 2012

What I Wish I Had Known

Here are a few little tid bits I have learned in my 5 weeks of having my sweet boy.  Men should stop reading as I am going to whine about many things baby body related.  Tomorrow I will be over it.  Promise.

1.  You will do anything for sleep.  I break all the rules.  Sleep with me, sleep on the couch, sleep upright.  I don't care.  If he will sleep, I will do it.  Sleep deprivation is a strong tool and babies know how to work it.

2.  While I can toot my horn about how I am saving the planet with my cloth diapers, I am killing it with all of running water.  Grayson stops crying when the bath runs or the dishwasher.  I am considering taking up sleeping on the kitchen floor.  Sorry fish, this momma gets desperate.  For a while the YouTube video of running water worked.  It's starting to lose it's appeal to my lovely, at times cranky child.  We need a new trick, we need a new trick right now.

3. While I would say that I am a more cautious driver, I more often appear like I am driving under the influence.  I also despise red light cameras.  My child is not a lover of the car.  He will tolerate it, and he tolerates it better when we are moving.  Therefore, I sway back and forth and blow red lights like it is no one's business.  Evolution was wise in that baby cry.  I will do ANYTHING to soothe the beast.

4.  Breastfeeding sucks, or it is at least not easy.  I am still hoping it will get better, and I am guessing a lot of it is situational for us.  Let's just say I am not the most endowed person on the planet.  And apparently stress can affect your supply.  ha. Let me just get rid of all of that in my life.  No problem.  Sure I will rest more with my screaming child because sleep can help you successfully breastfeed, you bet.  So between the nursing, pumping, and the fact that we are still supplementing, I am feeling a bit defeated.  I have been in contact with all my lactation friends and we are doing everything to make it work.  I keep telling myself to be flexible and that hopefully my boobs will magically get on this boat and it will be easier.

5.  Poop explodes.  I knew this.  One morning I hear from Grayson's room, "UGH, I covered the rifle, and not the cannon."  Jon learned.  Since then we still have had poop and pee his the wall.  Nasty sauce.

6.  It takes a long time to feel like yourself again, physically.  From the extra fluff to the healing parts, having a baby is hard.

7.  Hormones are a beast.  My kids hair is falling out, I might as well cry about it.  I can't do the laundry one day, more tears.  My poor, poor family.

8.  Remember that I am not well endowed.  The very expense Pea in the Pod store does not make B cups for nursing bras.  Yep even when nursing some people do no get huge boobs.  It's quite the bummer. And while I can fit in the bigger sizes now, I am still hoping to drop some of these lovely extra lbs, and which point I think those expensive bras will be too big. I went there the other night to buy a nicer nursing bra since my target ones are getting beat up in the wash (and since I cannot manage do to the laundry with machine there is no way I am going to hand wash my bras).  So I went to the store all ready to spend too much money on a bra, and what do I learn, they don't make my size, so I am relegated to the bras that come in S, M, L.  jerks.  (Side note, the make 34 EE.  Seriously?  So I need to get some implants to successfully feed my child.  Noted.)

OK, I am done with my T.M.I. rant.  Going to write about our wonderful Thanksgiving in the next couple of days when my lovely child gives me a few moments of peace to do such things.  Everything is a season (deep breath) everything is a season.


  1. Stop supplementing! It seems counterproductive but you need to have him at the breast constantly for a few days then your supply will adjust and you won't even have to pump (unless you are working and trying to get a stash).

    The more the baby is sucking even if it's for comfort, the more it stimulates milk production. Takes about 3 days for your supply to adjust. Also make sure you drink 8oz of water for every 1-2 hours of breastfeeding :)

    It gets so much better once your supply has adjusted. Get ready for the 6 week growth spurt he will want to nurse constantly for a couple of days, he's trying to adjust your supply for his growth. Let him. Even if he just got done nursing follow his cues he's trying to sync with your body. It seems tedious but in a few weeks he will go longer spurts between nursing sessions. You are trying to establish your supply and supplementing is counterproductive. :)

    Sorry if this seems preachy I don't mean for it to I BF my son for 2 years and I try to give the advice that no one gave me and I struggled the first few months because I was making all the common mistakes.

    As for nursing bras girl if you can get you some camisoles instead with a shelf bra :) I have massive boobs and lived in camis because it was just easier.

  2. I agree don't do nursing bras....I have one and never use it. I live in my nursing cami. I bought mine at Target. I bought 3 white/3 black/ and a gray. I am an "A" cup girl when not BFing.

    I had a similar supply issue with my first child 3 years ago, thankfully this time around things (supply) are so much better. As a nurse, you know its a supply and demand process. If you supplement your body doesn't know to make more. I drank TONS of water for the first two months and I think it made a difference. There was a time around 6 weeks I thought I was going to lose my mind due to lack of sleep and a crying/hungry baby. But I believe it was a growth spurt and we survived. You will too. If BF doesn't work out...don't beat yourself up over it. I did the first time and regret it.

  3. You know where I stand on the whole issue; I firmly believe you have to do what works for you--even if that is something different from what you originally planned.

    Some women can have insufficient glandular tissue, and the fact that you haven't experienced a lot of change in size makes me wonder if this may be a factor for you. As with IGT, some women with PCOS have to supplement because they will never make enough. Unfortunately, many women aren't diagnosed with these conditions until after the fact. Also, you probably already know about this, but since you're sleep-deprived I'll ask, have you had your thyroid checked? Hypothyroidism can cause a lot of problems, difficulty with supply being one of them. And of course, do check Grayson's tongue and both lips for ties; we've found out the hard way that most babies are not evaluated for lip-ties until way after they've caused feeding issues.

    But in any event, please don't think that everything has to be black and white. Sometimes giving yourself permission to do things in a hybrid way, temporarily or permanently, is what it takes to truly make what you're doing work for you. Sometimes extreme stress revolving around making exclusive breastfeeding happen is counterproductive--you're right, stress can make your supply take a hit. Especially with a screaming baby in the background--I am SO with you on the car sway thing!! I know several moms who ended up BFing exclusively simply because they gave themselves permission to realize that no matter what, they are not failures. You're feeding your baby--that is success. There are plenty of women who make supplementing work long-term. They can't make enough supply to nurse 100% of the time (contrary to popular belief), but because they have either decided to supplement long-term or have made their peace with the need to do things this way, they are able to enjoy what nursing they can do.


    1. It's very hard to have a good sense of perspective when you are as stressed, sleep-deprived, and hormonal as you've described, and on top of that, Grayson is a (thankfully) hungry baby who has had some unique challenges to overcome. Taking things one day at a time is very important, but very hard. I remember feeling very panicked every time a feed didn't go well, as if that one incident was going to determine the course of our lives forever. It's out of perspective but it's very hard to have that perspective when you're facing all that you're facing. For a lot of people, breastfeeding is a very worthwhile thing to do, and I think it's important to give yourself the space you need to feel disappointed and grieve when it's not working out the way you'd planned, even if you ultimately BF him exclusively. Just remember you're a loving mom who's doing her best to feed her child. There is no failure there. Grayson will thrive, and will be driving you crazy coloring on the walls or repeating your every word by the time he's two-ish no matter how he's fed right now.

      You have identified several issues that are having a major impact on nursing, and like Kris said, if this doesn't work out, don't beat yourself up about it. Please take it from me--disappointment is natural, but beating yourself up as if you've done something wrong is a waste of energy. I know it's hard not to feel defeated, but ultimately, this is a medical decision like any other. It's an individual thing, weighing the pros and cons and taking into account your own family's health and life circumstances. I would suggest, when weighing those life circumstances, ensuring that you're keeping enough in your own teacup in order to pour of it into others'. You can't pour from an empty cup. You have a lot more going on in life than most and you're coping with that as best you can. There is nothing wrong and everything right with deciding something because that is what works for you, regardless of what other people say is best.

  4. I had issues nursing my daughter as well. Finally after a beating myself up as well, days spent crying, my husband literally saying, "I'm giving this child a bottle of formula!", and having to go for weight checks for her every two days. We started giving her bottles. I just didn't produce enough to feed her. Luckily we live in a country where there are other means to feed our babies and they still grow and thrive!

    Good luck! I wish I could find a way to eliminate stress from life too. Wouldn't that be lovely!

  5. I love that caring for and feeding your babe is such a hot topic. As mommas we all just want to take care of those littles. I'm lucky to have so much support :)