Monday, March 28, 2011

Breastfeeding tip of the week 3/28

My breastfeeding tip of the week is to find a sling or baby carrier in which you are able to feed your child. I have several carriers, but have only been able to successfully nurse Milk Dud in my Mei tai style carrier. I'm not feeding him in this picture, but I can quite easily :)

Why do I watch this crap?

I hate it... I got sucked into "The Secret Life of the American Teenager." Why do I watch this crap? I did the first season, but when she didn't give the baby up for adoption, I decided I was done with it. I felt so bad for the gay couple who wanted to adopt her baby. Now, some other girl is pregnant on the show. Things certainly have changed since I was a teenager. Maybe I should watch the news instead.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My breastfeeding journey

Okay, so with a blog entitled "Trapped Under a Milk Dud", I probably should blog a little more about breastfeeding.... So here goes my experience...

Breastfeeding did not come naturally to me. I am adopted and was not breastfed. I don't remember seeing anyone breastfeed until I was 28 years old and my friend Jen was nursing her daughter at a table when we went out to lunch one day. I never even really thought about it until I was pregnant with Squirty.

I have a degree in food science and human nutrition and another in biology. I know that breast milk is full of all kinds of immune boosting factors and that breastfeeding can help keep your baby from getting sick or having allergies. A large chunk of your immune system is based in the intestinal tract. When I was working, my last job actually involved studying the immune response when formula had probiotics in it.

When I got pregnant with Squirty, I decided that I would at least try to breastfeed. My friend Julie is a dietitian and I knew she would want me to at least try. I took a breastfeeding class that I found to be a complete waste of time and money. The instructor was this creepy old lady and it kind of was weird to try and breastfeed a doll that didn't wiggle and move.

Unfortunately, I got very sick with HELLP syndrome and ended up having Squirty at 33-weeks 5-days. He went straight to the NICU and I don't remember really seeing him for 36 hours. I was under the influence of magnesium sulfate and in a total daze for 24 hours. I do remember that I insisted on seeing a lactation consultant to teach me how to pump. I couldn't do it much the first day... healing from the c-section and being loopy. I did start doing it every 3 hours as soon as I was able to get out of the bed. You'd think without having a baby in my room that I'd want to sleep, but I didn't. I wanted to do EVERYTHING I could to help my little 4-lb guy's immune system.

He was so tiny and needed to gain weight to go home, so we bottle fed him expressed milk at the hospital. At 13 days, he was able to come home. I figured I'd work on nursing when it was just him and me. It sucked. I HATE the pump. I tried so many times to get him to latch and just nurse. I tried a nipple shield. I tried pumping a little to get the milk going. Nothing worked.

Then he was diagnosed with reflux. Poor little guy couldn't keep anything down. He would arch away from his bottles and throw up all over me. The put him on Zantac and later Prevacid. That worked in keeping him from throwing up all the time.

I went back to work for 4 weeks. During that time, I would pump in the morning before leaving and a few times at work. My mom came to stay with us during that time. She would hold him off until I got home and I would try and nurse him then. I honestly think that was the best thing for us. He wanted to snuggle up to me and nurse. He got to the point where he wouldn't take a bottle if I was around. It was a lot of work, but about 3-4 months after he came home, I was able to just breastfeed him. I nursed him until he was 17-months old and I was in my second trimester with Milk Dud.

Milk Dud was easy. He latched on right away and nursed like 8 times in his first day. He still likes to snuggle and nurse all the time. I went out a couple of weeks ago and he would only take one bottle for his dad before throwing a fit until I came home.

My breastfeeding journey is far from over. I'm not sure when I will stop with Milk Dud... I'm hoping for 18+ months. I hope everyone who reads this will be inspired by the adversity over which I was able to come.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Why yes, he is really only 7-months old

When we were in VA this past weekend, my mom gave us some new clothes for the boys. This morning, I broke out a new outfit for Milk Dud. He needed clean clothes, I didn't want to wake his brother, and I had just done a load with the new stuff yesterday. The new outfit was 9-12 months. The shirt did not cover his gigantic tummy. It was fine for the house, but not for running out in the cool, rainy weather. My mom had given him some other stuff, too. I put him in an 18-month shirt... It's none to big... Actually, the sleeves border on being too tight. My 7-month old is wearing clothing meant for a much older child. It's scary.

Everywhere I go, people think he is significantly older than he is and wonder why he can't crawl or walk yet. First of all, he is ONLY 7-months. Second of all... How do you expect him to lift that gigantic belly off the ground? He weighs about 26lbs. I think he will outweigh his brother at the 9-month appointment.

I do love that the first question I get from some people is "You're breastfeeding, aren't you?" Why, yes, I am. I am very proud of the fact that I have made it 7-months. We have really started with the solids in the last week or so, but he is still only getting them at dinner. He is liking them better, too. He loves to feed himself peas and Cheerios.

Unfortunately, Milk Dud is not sleeping through the night. he will go down around 8pm, but wakes up at midnight and won't go back to sleep unless he is nursing. I'm tired and worn out. Squirty didn't sleep through the night until he was 10-months. I don't consider this to be a big deal, but I would like them to share a room.

This morning, Milk Dud noticed the dog and reached out to touch him. I wish I had my camera on me at that point, but I didn't. I do have this cute picture of him in his 18-month shirt :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A birthday, Lent and The Shred

Last weekend, we went to Va Beach for the second birthday of my miracle niece. It was the first time we had Milk Dud in the car for more than 90 minutes. He did great. We stopped outside of Richmond so I could feed him. He was remarkably pleasant in spite of the large group of people and crazy schedule. He ate when he needed to eat. I was able to get away from the craziness for a few minutes to feed him.

I gave up bread for Lent. No bread, biscuits, English muffins, bagels... It is going pretty well. My husband complains about it. I think he intentionally wants to go to burger places to see what I would do. Easter morning, I'm going to make French toast.

Before we left, I was doing The Shred. I could feel it working, but I am taking a break for a few weeks until we go to Florida. I'm going to do Leslie Sansone videos in the meantime. I want to lose 15lbs before I go to the beach this summer. I hope I can do it.

Oh, and happy 7-months to Milk Dud!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Baltimore Mommies Goes to the Fire Station

So back in January when I was still an area-group moderator for Anne Arundel County, I decided it would be fun to set up a trip to the fire station. We had it yesterday. I opened it up area-wide so if people wanted to drive down from Towson and the like, they didn't feel excluded.

We had a great turn out. I got to meet some moms that I had yet to meet and put faces to names.

Almost as soon as the paramedic took us into the room where they get their dispatches, the printer started printing out a call. Someone had fallen 20 feet through a roof. The paramedic told us we could wait for the fire truck to come back if we wanted, so we did. About 20-30 minutes later, the fire truck did come back. The poor firemen on it were on loan from a different station and weren't expecting to give a tour. That's okay. They did a decent job. All you really have to do to entertain 2-5 year olds is to turn on the siren and show them the ladders and stuff. Of course, they finished the truck and were about to show us the rest of the station, when they were called out again. I know my son had fun. I hope the other kids did, too. I might try to do another one later in the year.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Green Beans or Pears? No Thanks, I'd Rather Nurse

For a little over a month, I've been trying to introduce solids to Milk Dud. I was going to do baby-led weaning, but I figured I'd do some purees, too. He will eat these things called Baby Mum Mums. They are basically rice cakes that dissolve. He can feed them to himself, so they are great for a distraction before dinner.

So, I started doing purees. Peas, Squirty's first food and still a favorite... I was covered in green spit. Carrots... orange spit. Green beans were a little better. Pears, he actually ate a teaspoon it. Every time I feed him, he wants to immediately nurse afterward, no matter if he nursed right before he was fed. It's a good thing he is gigantic, because he would probably start losing weight... Oh, I forgot... he's basically permanently latched on... That's how you get an almost-25-pound 6-month old. It's a good thing I'm not planning to wean any time soon.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Happy IBCLC Day!

Happy International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Day!

With my Squirty, I had a rough breastfeeding journey. He was born at 33-weeks and spent 13 days in the NICU. I was determined to breastfeed, so I pumped. I actually did this almost exclusively for the first 3 months. Somehow, with lots of work, I was able to transition him to the breast. I nursed him until he was 17-months old, when I was pregnant again.

Milk Dud was much easier. He wanted to nurse very soon after he was born. The lactation consultant came to see me the first day and when she found out I nursed a preemie who came home on bottles, I think I met all of the LC's at the hospital. Obviously, an almost 25-lb breastfed baby is a good nurser, but I know many people who have had issues.

Poor latch, slow weight gain, tongue tie, etc. An IBCLC can help you try and work through your problems. I'm glad we have a day to celebrate them. Maybe one day, I will go back to school and become one myself.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Poor Milk Dud... Last night, I woke up when he was fussy at 4am. He was boiling hot. I took him downstairs. He had a fever of 103.5F. I gave him a dose of Motrin. Then I stripped him to the diaper and cuddled him up to my chest to go back to sleep. He slept. I didn't. By 9am, he was back to normal, but he is still fussing. On top of that, Squirty is getting yet another cold. Needless to say, I'm tired.

I don't have a lot to say. Milk Dud had his 6-month check-up yesterday. He was 24lbs 11oz, 28.25 inches long, with a 47cm head. Why do they measure that using the metric system?

I would like to congratulate my friend Jaime on the birth of her 3rd son. I hope he is able to come home soon. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as he is in the NICU. I've done that... It isn't fun.