Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Breastfeeding Woes

This past week was my first full week back to work.  I was fortunate enough to only work 3-4 days the first two weeks back.  This week, I'm definitely noticing a change in our nursing relationship, and not a good one.  R2D2 takes about 4 bottles a day and then I nurse her 3-4 times when I'm home.  This week the first feed she's almost always not taking a big enough latch and then often biting and pulling away.  Not fun!  I know that with her age, it could be that she's more easily distracted, but I definitely think it's laziness/nipple confusion because by our morning feed she has the pattern down again.  To help support my worries of laziness/nipple confusion so more, after having only the breast since Friday night and it's now Sunday, she's back to efficient and effective nursing.  I adore being able to nurse her, so I'm determined to make this work.  I have a medela pump, so right now we're using the medela bottles.  I thought about buying Calma Nipple but reviews state babies generally won't take it if they're already had other nipples since it's so much work.  Plus that darn nipple is expensive!  Others have recommended Avent, so last night I bought some Avent Natural bottles from Target.  The nipples are definitely wider than the the medela nipples so I'm hopeful.  I've also heard good things about Breastflow and Tommee Tippee, so those are options too.  I never thought I'd spend so long in a bottle aisle analyzing the shapes of nipples.  Again, such is the life of a working breastfeeding mom.

Oh! My other breastfeeding excitement for the week, I left my pump supplies home Friday!  Friday morning I pumped before going into work, washed my valves and flanges and put them by the sink to dry.  At work I go to pump in the morning and uh oh, no flanges and valves!  There was a Target about 15 minute from work, but I was carrying three pagers and it wasn't quite feasible to leave work for an hour.  Fortunately our hospital uses Medela for our breast feeding moms and our lactation consultant had extra parts.  That being said, we couldn't meet up until about 7 hours after my last pumping session.  Yowsers.  I know some moms hand express, so here I am in our resident work room looking up a you tube video on "how to hand express."  Thankfully no medical students walked in while I was watching that video.  But again, a breastfeeding mom does what she needs to do.   For some relief, I ended up trying to hand express.  Yeah, hopefully that will be the last time I have to do that.  It's not very easy trying to contain the milk and it's definitely a lot of work to get a little bit of milk.  All in all, I was still able to pump what she took by the bottle while I was at work, so that worked out and now I'll be carrying an extra set of pumping supplies in my bag.

Friday, September 21, 2012

I'm a Breastfeeding Mom

I love that I'm able to breastfeed.  My milk has come in, the baby has a good latch, and we've been successfully breastfeeding for 2 months now.  Our relationship has changed since I have returned to work, but so far so good.  Breastfeeding is important to me and I'm learning a breastfeeding mom does what a breastfeeding mom needs to do.  It's an amazing feeling knowing that my body continues to provide all of R2D2's nourishment.  Our bodies really are wonderful things.
 I have pumped in a public bathroom at Camden Yards.  The ballpark did say I could use the family bathroom at guest services.  Yeah, not very nursing friendly.

I then proceeded to pay $4.50 for a cup of ice to store above pumped milk.  Yes, ridiculous.
 I have nursed in a fitting room, but the furniture section is much more comfortable!

In an effort to help spend as much time as possible with my little one, I occasionally pump while I drive.
 And the car's cup holders make a perfect place to store my milk for the rest of the drive home.
I've always found a place to pump at work, even if it's a patient room during our lunch break.

It's not always easy, but breastfeeding is important to me and I hope I'll continue to find ways to make it work.

2 Months Old!

Our baby girl turned two months old this week.  I continue to be amazed at how quickly she changes.  She is much more alert and continues to stay awake for longer periods of time.  I think one of the best things now is her smile.  She hears our voice, looks us in the eyes and gives us a huge smile.  Talk about melting my heart!

I've since returned to work and that has been a transition.  Before I went back to work, R2D2 was sleeping for approximately 5-6 hours overnight.  Since going back to work, she now wakes every 3-4 hours again.  I think she prefers to nurse rather than take the bottle as much during the day.  While I miss the longer stretches of sleep, I love our nursing sessions. I'll eventually get used to this constant state of fatigue.

At her doctor's appointment today, she weighed 9 pounds 2 ounces and was 21.6 inches.  About 5 weeks ago she was 7lb 9oz, so I'm quite happy she's gained weight.  Her current weight is only about the 5% on the WHO growth chart, so she's quite petite.  I admit, it's been tough determining exactly how much to put in her bottles for the day.  Joe says 3 ounces seems to be enough and she's not looking for more.  Some days I pump more than she eats so I've been freezing that milk.  I'm going to start putting at least another 1/2 ounce in her bottles (when I have the pumped milk).  Hopefully that will help her move up on the growth curve.  To think of it, perhaps she is nursing more overnight because she's not getting as much during the day.

Last week I packed up her newborn clothes.  Some of the 3 months outfits are still big on her, but she was getting too long for the newborn.  She still fits into newborn diapers, but she'll finish our stash today and we'll stick with the size one diapers.

I love that her eyes are still blue.  Joe and I both carry the gene for blue eyes, so I'm hoping they stay blue since they're so pretty, but we'll see.  Joe says he thinks he had blue eyes until he was about 5 years old.

One of her favorite things now a days is a bath.  She's definitely like her mom and dad in that regard.  She's taken to the vibrating chair a lot more and still loves her swing. And as this photo shows, she does get tired of me taking her picture :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cups

I love fall and I love pumpkin.  I have mixed reviews on this recipe.  I have to note I altered it significantly by adding brewer's yeast and flaxseed meal, so I think that affected the taste.  Brewer's yeast, flaxsseed, and oatmeal are supposed to help increase breastmilk supply, hence adding them.  Now that I'm back to work and have to pump, I want to make sure I'm getting enough milk.  I don't know if it was these "muffins" or that I was less stressed this week as compared to last week (my first week back), but Monday I had these for breakfast and had an awesome pumping session at lunch.  Who knows.  I ended up adding some maple syrup to the second half of the batch.  They are bitter, but I think that's because of the brewer's yeast, which isn't a part of the original recipe.  I don't if I'll make these again, but if I do, I'll definitely add maple syrup and probably some raisins.  I didn't use almond milk and I definitely think I should have added vanilla or almond extract.

Recipe adapted from Green Lite Bites
  • 1 15oz can of pumpkin (420g)
  • 1/2 cup vanilla Almond milk (I used regular 1% milk)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp Baking powder
  • 3 cups (240g) Old Fashion or Rolled Oats
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tablespoon brewer's yeast (optional, for lactation)
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal (optional, for lactation)
  • 1/3 cup of brown sugar or sugar in the raw
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Mix all ingredients together, and let sit while you prepare the muffin pans.
Spray a muffin pan and/or liners with with non-stick spray.
Divide batter into 15 muffin cups. They should be just about filled.
Bake 20-30 minutes, you’ll see the edges just starting to brown and they will be firm to the touch.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Return to Work

My maternity leave has come to an end and I officially return to work tomorrow (rather than casual work from home that I've been doing).  I've only cried once today.  We'll see how tomorrow goes.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

190 Miles

I'm exhausted today.  My mom and I hit up a consignment shop, great deals.  I also had a baby shower today.  Ends up I drove approximately 190 miles (187 miles) today.  No wonder I'm ready to crash!  (Yes, it was quite a tour of the Baltimore Metro area.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Entertaining a Newborn

I'm not one for idle time and some may say I have a difficult time relaxing.  I think it's just in my personality to constantly be doing something.  Since I usually can't just sit in one spot without a book, craft, etc, I worry R2D2 is getting bored now that she's awake for longer periods of time.  When I place her in the vibrating chair, I feel like I'm just setting her aside so I can get stuff done.  I mostly feel that way because I personally would be so bored just sitting in a chair.  However, when I look over, I see her looking around, smiling, kicking, and downright enjoying herself.  I'm realizing that although I may find some of these simple things boring, they're a whole new world for a newborn.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Our First Vacation

Joe was able to take a couple of days off of work, so we took a mini-vacation to the beach before I have to head back to work. It was nice to get away. However, OMG, I had to pack more stuff for R2D2 than myself and I only imagine it gets worse as they get older. We traveled to Ocean City, Maryland. In my honest opinion, I think it has become too commercialized. My mother-in-law went down with us, which was nice and she enjoyed spending time with the baby. Joe and I had our first date night. It was comforting knowing our little one was only a couple blocks away. We did a good job of not talking about her the whole time and enjoyed our steamed crabs. R2D2 was extremely fussy the next morning, which has happened each day following seafood. I'm not certain it's the seafood, but for my sanity, I'm going to avoid seafood while I'm nursing.  R2D2 is 6 weeks old.

 Left: We walked the boardwalk the first night, she loved all of the lights! 
 Right: If only Carter's had snaps on the bottom of the bathing suit.  Who wants to take the whole thing off to change a diaper?
 Mommy and Baby
I braved a bathing suit 6 weeks post-partum.  Enough said.  I successfully nursed on the beach and she still insisted on being swaddled, even on the beach.  Fortunately it wasn't too too hot and we were under the umbrella.

I wish we had a family photo, but alas, I didn't ask anyone to take it.
I tried to make a barricade of objects around her to block the sand.

Elizabeth Street

Elizabeth Street: A Novel Based On True EventsElizabeth Street: A Novel Based On True Events by Laurie Fabiano

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The book isn't quite 3 stars, but it's definitely not as low as two stars.  I love historical fiction and I love reading about US immigrants in the early 1900s.  So, for those reasons, I enjoyed the story.  However, I did not feel like the book flowed.  The story set in the past worked well and wove a tapestry.  However, I did not feel the trips back to the present were necessary.  One of them foreshadowed a major part of the novel, but it foreshadowed it too early.  I also didn't like the images of the hand-written letters.  I wish I liked this book more.

View all my reviews
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...