Breastfeeding...sometimes sucks

May 19, 2014

Don't get me wrong I truly enjoy nursing my little guy most of the time but there are some things about breastfeeding that really suck!

Things that suck:
1. Pumping to maintain a supply
2. Missing out on conversing with your co-workers in the break room because you have to pump (this may be a pro for some of you!)
3. Constant worry that you don't have enough milk even though evidence points to the contrary through the number of wet/dirty diapers
4. Leaking
5. Constantly wearing a bra so that rough fabrics don't touch your nipples
6. Nursing in public when your kiddo is in a phase of latching and pulling off every few second because the flow isn't to his liking or he needs to burp or he's looking around or some other issue that I'm not aware of
7. Have I mentioned pumping?  Yeah I have a hate-hate relationship with pumping!
8. The initial 6 weeks both sucks and is awesome because you're both learning how to nurse and it's pretty sore!
9. The first couple of growth spurts, they make you doubt your supply and that you are even doing it right because baby wants to eat every 45 min-90 min and it's draining (literally and figuratively).

Things that are awesome:
1. The sweet noises that he makes when he's nursing
2. The powerful feeling you have when you know and understand that your body not only provided a place for him to grow and develop but now it's providing the perfect amount of nutrition for him
3. Not having to get up in the middle of the night to make a bottle (just lay on side, open shirt, attach baby...fall back asleep)
4. When he smiles or talks at you when you are getting him ready to nurse
5. Milk is always the right temperature
6. The special bond that you have with him because of nursing
7. The awesome release of hormones that always remind me why I love this little guy so much!
8. The initial 6 weeks because it's a sweet sweet look that you get when you nurse

Maintaining a supply is not for the weak!  I hate to pump but pumping helps maintain a supply and puts milk in my freezer.  Recently I felt like my supply took a dive.  It was when Liam was so sick.  I was giving him pumped milk in bottles because he had such a hard time nursing and breathing at the same time.  I couldn't seem to get my supply to come back so I started taking fenugreek and blessed thistle.  It seemed to boost me with in a couple days and again I hate to pump so it wasn't as awesome as it maybe should have been.  I had heard about power pumping but was unsure exactly how to do it so google to the rescue!  I found an awesome blog that helped me out!  I power pumped for 3 days in a row and it was awesome (well slightly sore).  I did 10 min on, 10 off for an hour (so I pumped 3 times for 10 min in an hour time span).  I have finally gotten a similar amount out of my left side as my right!  I used to get 4-5oz out of my right (while at work) and 2ish ounces of my left.  Last week after my power pumping days I got 3oz out of each side!

I think I will do this 'power pumping' at least once a week to help maintain this level of milk so I can reach my next goal of breastfeeding...6 months!  Liam and I have been nursing for nearly 4 months now and most days I like it but sometimes I just wish it was a little easier you know?

Breastfeeding works for some women but doesn't work for other.  The key is to find what works for you and your baby and stick with it.  If nursing is something you want to do...make an appointment with a lactation consultant.  That was seriously the best thing I did.  The non-help I received in the hospital would've made me quit if I wouldn't have had the LC I did.  I would've fought to nurse for 6 weeks but I would've been so sore!  I saw my LC 3 different times just to make sure we were still latching alright and doing things right.

The few things I remembered through my haze of early motherhood was this: it will hurt to latch the first few weeks but it should lessen after about 30-60 seconds.  If it doesn't unlatch and relatch.  Use wool breast pads to keep your nipples warm because seriously even the air from taking your bra off will hurt in those first few days!  Use your own breastmilk on your nipples to help with the cracks.  If they don't heal within a couple days ask for a prescription nipple butter.  The cracks in your nipples invite bacteria in and is one of the main causes of mastitis (not awesome!). 

I did get mastitis when Liam was about a month old.  It was just a reddened area on my left breast but it was hot, angry, and itchy.  I drew a line to see if it spread and it was way worse from 11pm to the next morning.  I ended up getting pretty fatigued but thankfully didn't have the whole nausea, vomiting, or fever (although Matt says I ran a fever that night because my skin was really hot!).

Liam is 3 months old!

May 18, 2014

Three months brings us more smiles!  We are getting into more of a routine of sleeping and eating and playing.  This month brings me back to work which is both nice and not awesome all at the same time.  Nice in the fact that this is my chosen profession and I truly enjoy what I do.  Not awesome because I don't like being away from Liam for that long.  Living 30 min away from the hospital seriously sucks because that's an extra hour I am away from home each day. 

Liam is starting to grab at his toys more and more and gets this super cute look of concentration when he is trying to grab at a toy. 

Matt took his paternity leave this month for a week and we got to do a lot of fun things.  We went up to Redmond, WA to visit aunts and uncle.  Liam was not terribly happy about it as his schedule got screwed up too much!  We went to the Brooks outlet store north of Seattle and got a couple pairs of running shoes (super cheap!).  I also got some new non-maternity clothes!!  We learned how to nurse fairly covered up out in public (hey when baby is hungry; baby needs to eat!).  It's not my favorite thing to nurse a baby out in public but it is way better than listening to him scream because he's hungry!

Our third month brought on Liam's first sickness which is detailed out in another blog.  Thankfully this was before I went back to work so I was able to stay with Liam through the duration of his sickness.

The best part about Liam?  He's very vocal.  He likes to carry on a conversation with Matt and I!  When I got home after my first day back to work Matt handed Liam to me and Liam just looked at me for a couple minutes.  Then he reached out to touch me and started to 'tell' me about his day.  It was the absolute cutest thing ever!  He sat and chatted at me for nearly 20 minutes before he got hungry.

Liam also got to meet his Aunt Donna for the first time and his cousin Ethan.  We had a lovely week and were sad to see them go!

 Big Smiles!
 Our week with Daddy at home every day!
Getting his head up off the floor!  Well he's been doing this since birth but now he's doing it more during tummy time!
 Cutie pie!
 How we entertain kiddos in our household.  We run the bulldog on the treadmill!
 Sleepy boy!  Mommy put him down so she could fold his clothes and put them away and turned around and saw this!
 After 4 years of ttc, one miscarriage, several failed fertility treatments, and a surgery...this little guy is truly Mommy's most wanted!
 This dog came down the stairs with Liam's pacifier in his mouth like this.  I was laughing way to hard to even find a camera so we had to recreate this :)
 Got to love mommy/baby selfies!
 Mr. No Sleep on Easter Sunday.  We kept him home because he was still getting over being sick.  I was super bummed because Easter is my favorite church service.
 This was the look that I got when I asked Liam if he was going to miss me when I went back to work.
 My second day back to work

 'Little Hunk' and his Sofie the giraffe (huge hit!)
 Just sleeping next to mommy.  Mommy learned how to nurse on her side so she's getting way more sleep now!

 Real men babywear and play the drums.  Note how the ears are protected :)  Matt said Liam loved the vibrations from the drums!

 Daddy went to Alaska and we prayed for his safe trip and for Aunt Donna's safe trip to see us!

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