The one thing that has gone right

I recently realized that breastfeeding is the only part of having a child that I have easily mastered.

Trying to conceive naturally = epic disaster requiring serious medical intervention (IVF + ISCI)

Birth experience = 100% deviation from my desired plan  (Induction, Epidural, Episiotomy, Forecep Delivery)

Breastfeeding = NAILED IT! Whohoo!

I attribute my success to:

  1. My milk monster who came out of the womb already pursing his lips ready to suckle
  2. The lactation cookies my friend brought me which helped my supply and also provided a major source of nutrition during those first weeks with my newborn
  3. A balanced hormonal system due to supplements and acupuncture
  4. Pure luck 🙂

I always hoped to breastfeed, but I was open to whatever had to happen. Breastfeeding came naturally. It wasn’t forced. It didn’t bring me any stress or cause for concern. Maybe that’s why it worked out? I had a clear picture of how I hoped it would go, but I didn’t put any pressure on myself in case I couldn’t achieve that goal. Hmm… this is a very intriguing mind-body connection.

Either way, I am very grateful to have been able to exclusively breastfeed my son. I love our breastfeeding sessions (even now when he’s in the highly distracted phase). ❤

What part of your journey has surprisingly come easy to you? 

 

 

 

 

 

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My initiation into breastfeeding without a cover

I did it! I breastfed Wyatt around my husband’s family without a cover.

We started out on Christmas Eve with the cover on. Wyatt was HANGRY and viciously swiped at the cover to move it off his face. I got frustrated that he was frustrated, so I took it off…

No one gasped. No one looked shocked. 

A few people got up a left the room, but that may have just been coincidence. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who encouraged me to try the double shirt approach.

I also draped a receiving blanket over my boob a bit to give more coverage without covering Wyatt himself.

SUCCESS!

I continued to use this method on Christmas Day and Boxing Day at each family gathering. Yesterday, I even found my brother-in-law was comfortable enough to have a conversation with me while I fed Wyatt. Next time I see him, I hope to personally thank him for being “normal” with me.

In the end, my anxiety around how people would react was worse than their actual reaction. Lesson learned: just go for it next time. 

breastfeedingblanketjoke

 

 

6 weeks postpartum

Wyatt is 6 weeks old. My oh my! How the time flies!

You spend so many years wishing and wanting for this baby. Once they are here, you blink and they are already so big compared to when you first laid eyes on them. I keep wondering how fast his childhood will go by. I don’t want it to go by fast, but it just seems like each day moves so quickly.

Wyatt is still doing awesome. My little milk monster eats well and is gaining weight. He’s recently grown a cute little double chin. A week and a half ago, he was already over 12 pounds and had grown 1.5 inches since birth. He graduated from newborn sizes by week 2. He is already moving up from 0-3 months to 3-6 months in some brands of sleepers. I say sleepers because let’s get real here: who really dresses their kid? Wyatt has worn “real clothes” maybe a handful of times.

As for me, my lady bits are doing much better. I’m still battling the dreaded hemorrhoids and I’ve got a ways to go until the perineum is 100%, but we are making progress. I’ve also come down with bacterial vaginosis which is lovely (meaning: itchy, red and smelly – LOVELY!). My naturopath has hooked me up with some probiotic suppositories and it should be cleared up in no time. I’ve never had this before, but I guess it makes sense after all the hormonal changes, frequent bathing, trauma and transition that my vajay-jay has gone through. :/ My poor vagina. 

As for embracing motherhood, it has come easily and brings me so much satisfaction. I love breastfeeding especially the bonding that comes from it. I’m still not pumping, but I’m ok with that. I love my baby and if exclusively breastfeeding works for us, I’ll keep at it. I have no trouble busting out the boob at my close friend’s houses, but I still cover up in front of my husband’s male relatives (especially my FIL and my husband’s Uncles). I wish breastfeeding without being covered was more of “the norm”, but many folks in my husband’s family are old fashioned in a very modest sense. I hope in a few months to not care as much what other people think and be willing to just let it all out to make it easier for both Wyatt and I. I haven’t breastfeed in public without a cover yet, but I am looking forward to the sense of freedom I will get once I get there.

My biggest challenge still remains embracing a slower pace of life that is based on baby’s schedule. For example: Tonight I hoped to make a fresh stir fry for supper, but Wyatt cluster fed all late afternoon. No stir fry was made. My husband picked up take out. Going with the flow is necessary with a newborn. My expectations can’t be so high of myself or the state of my household. I have to constantly remind myself that it’s ok to spread my to-do list out over a longer period of time. I saw this on Facebook yesterday and it spoke to me:

So you didn’t get much accomplished today, You ran the washing machine a few times today , but barely got one load finished, because you kept forgetting to take the load out of the washer so you ran the same load three times. All baby wanted to do today was nurse and sleep, but the problem was anytime you tried to escape the sleeping baby, it’s like some alarm goes off and baby instantly wakes back up, so you stop fighting it, and decide to nap with baby. You take a good look around your house and think, “How can I be this tired and still have it look like I got nothing done today?” Then you look down at your happy baby who is giggling and cooing and you soon realize , “But I did get a ton done today! My baby is happy, fed, & content. Clean nappy & full belly of my milk because I made sure to eat extra snacks so I could produce that milk. I may have neglected some of my chores, but all of that can wait because my baby needs me today.” I am my baby’s food source, comfort, sleep aid, & even though baby takes up most of my day I wouldn’t have it any other way!
From- A mom who gets it-

So, that’s where I’m at. Trying to enjoy and embrace each moment with my son while he’s still little. We waited so long to get here. I have every right to enjoy it. ❤

 

 

 

 

 

When to pump?

Currently, I am exclusively breastfeeding Wyatt.

I like breastfeeding. I like the closeness and the cuddles. I don’t feel strapped down (but I know that might change). I plan on being off work for about another 8 months, so I have no real need to develop a stash.

I bought a breastpump before he was born. During the first day or two of my milk coming in, I pumped 3 bags with approximately 2 oz each. They are frozen.

I don’t have any issues with engorgement. The little man seems to be getting exactly what he needs.

I’m not sure if and when I should start regularly pumping?

Is it better to build a small stash for those ”just in case” moments?

What time of the day is best to pump? I’ve read morning,  but I’m always alone with him in the mornings. Can you pump when it works best for you?

Lately, I’ve been getting between a 3-5 hour stretch at night where he’s sleeping. Is that when I should pump?

Any advice, opinions or insight is much appreciated!

How did pumping breast milk work for you?