Stories of life in the suburbs with Husband and our daughter Squishy and son Button!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Reflections on Breastfeeding

Husband and I were talking, and I mentioned my two goals for breastfeeding Button: Exclusively breastfeed for 6 months (perhaps an occasional bottle of pumped milk) and continue breast feeding until at least 12 months.

Husband's lack of enthusiasm and support prompted me to reflect on my breastfeeding adventures with Squishy.

Welp, it turns out I was doing it all wrong.

I never pumped in the hospital, a lactation consultant never met with me to talk about breastfeeding. I never took a class. My mistake. It was after Squishy's stay in the nursery, my milk came in, my boobs were the size of planets (pick one, they're all fairly large) and I ended up getting what I thought was sound advice about breastfeeding.

I pumped after every feeding. I pumped every four hours. I pumped until both sides were empty. I had an industrial strength pump and I used it. Within a week I was exclusively feeding an infant and pumping an extra 60 (sixty) ounces of milk a day. It would take hours out of my days and nights. Pump, pour, mix, store, label, freeze. Repeat. When Squishy was 3 months old, I had a four month supply of frozen milk. I did not know this was not normal.

For those of you that don't know (back then that would include me), a baby needs about 25 ounces a day. If you're home with baby (which I was), there really is no need to pump unless you're skipping a feeding or want to slowly make an emergency supply. I was producing enough milk for triplets. I had created such an enormous (36F) supply/demand situation that I was spending enough energy nursing and pumping to feed three babies. When I learned that, I felt like I was hit with a truck. A big truck.

I got a lot of feedback from online forums that I frequent, and I was filled with a renewed confidence that it's not supposed to be that hard. I feel like I can really accomplish those goals for Button's health. I'm also planning on taking a class for added support.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Button Blogs! Viable and Shopping

I'm 24 weeks today, marking 6 months of blissful pregnancy. Among the never-ceasing cravings for sugar (mark of a boy) and my constant stuffy nose, I am thinking of something else this week. 

Button is officially considered viable. This is a big week for Button, as his lungs are starting their rapid development of surfactant and blood vessels are growing all over his lungs so he can breathe in the fresh air when he's born. However, this process just started so I'm by no means encouraging him to be born now. His chances outside my cozy womb at this point is only 50%, and that is with major medical interventions, serious risks, and months in a NICU. In another 4 weeks his chances go up to 85%.

Button is a constant mover. I have a posterior placenta this time, which allows me to really feel Button's movements in full force. Squishy's movements were always so muffled, and I never could discern her body parts. Button seems to be always rolling around, and I love it. I do complain a bit when I'm trying to fall asleep and he starts a disco, or when I put Husband's hand on my belly and he suddenly get's stage fright. Oh well, it's nice to know that he's in there and liking his surroundings. 

I have inherited my mom's paranoid? cautious? superstitious? nature when it comes to growing my babies. I'm excited for Button's new status as a viable fetus, but I won't start setting up furniture or washing tiny tiny socks until at least 30 weeks. My comfort level only goes up as the weeks go on, and I've told him to stay in the uterus crock pot until at least mid-May. Of course, I have very little control over these things. But I feel like heartbreak would hit at a monumental level if a mommy and daddy had to donate clothes never worn, and stare at a nursery that a baby would never use. Sorry, that's a bit morbid. But it's better to be practical and logical at times, even though I just want to be excited.

So to celebrate Button's viability, I did a little Craigslist shopping. I got Button's first haul of clothes, and it's a good one. They will remain packed and stored until his dresser is ready. I heard that girl clothes are cuter and more fun to shop for than boy clothes, but this stuff is just adorable!! I'm having just as much fun sorting through as when I did Squishy's first big buy. 

Hopefully the fun will continue...