Sunday, August 1, 2010

World Breastfeeding Week

If you have been around long at all, you know that I am a big breastfeeding advocate. I love to talk about it and encourage other women. I am a CLC with my local women's center and WIC office and would love to someday become board certified. Its the one thing that women can do to protect their children from a myriad of illnesses and diseases. It is not something I talk about on my blog all too often but is something I am very passionate about. This week, along with the La Leche League International (LLL) and The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA’s), I am celebrating World Breastfeeding week. I decided I would give you a look into our story.

Before I ever got pregnant with D, I started researching. I am one of those people that looks into everything almost to death. I love to know everything about whatever it is I am working on and babies were no exception. The more I read, the more I knew that breastfeeding was best for my babies and I became determined to make it work. I got pregnant in December of 2006 and was so excited. I immediately bought a million books and spent all of my time online reading and soaking in everything I could on the subject of birthing and breastfeeding. I had been a nanny for many years, so the rest didn't concern me. T was right there with me on it and was determined to support me. Our families, however, were not supportive. They were the typical, "you'll switch to formula quickly" and "how am I going to get to feed the baby" type of nay sayers. I mostly just ignored them all but there were times where I would call T at work bawling because some one had gone too far.

Nursing D on the jaundice light.
Fast forward till September and D was due. Then D was overdue. Eventually I ended up being induced for low fluid and there was concern he was getting too big. It was a fairly uneventful labor of just under ten hours. About 6 hours in, I opted for an epidural because the back labor plus the pitocin was intense. When I started to push, they realized two things. He was coming out sunny side up (face up) and he was quite large for a first baby. D entered the world in his own, upside down fashion, at a full 9lbs, 1oz on September 15th, 2007, 10:58pm. He was beautiful and perfect. He went straight to my breast like I had heard was so important and nursed until my placenta was born about twenty minutes later. Then they cut the cord and took him to check him out. Once we made it upstairs, I was exhausted but we kept right on with the nursing through the night and into the next morning. When the nurses would come in the kept saying that if he started losing too much, he would have to have formula. When jaundice set in, they told us he might have to have formula. I told them to kiss my ass. Five days later we went home with a healthy, at birth weight baby boy who had not tasted anything but my milk.

D was a happy nurser. He was always glad to see his supply when they appeared but hardly ever fussed for it. I chose to take it in stages. At first, I would be happy with 6 weeks, then it was 3 months, and 6 months and so on. As we sailed through those milestones with no sign of him giving it all up, I was optimistic we would make it my goal age of 2 years before we considered weaning.

In December of 2008, I got pregnant with K. That was a surprise but one that we were super excited about. It never crossed my mind that I would wean D while I was pregnant and thankfully, my midwife was all for us continuing. At that point, he was down to only nursing 3 or 4 times a day anyway. He never seemed to notice a drop in my supply or if he did, it didn't bother him. We did, however, face opposition again from our parents. The didn't see why it was so important to me to continue past 6 months much less past a year while pregnant. Then there were the crazies out in public who gave the strangest looks and said the rudest things. People really don't think before hey speak sometimes do they?

When I hit 32 weeks of pregnancy, D started to lose interest. Quickly. He would nurse here and there for a week but then he just stopped. I figured out that that is when my milk changed back to colostrum. I was still leaking a mix of both for weeks. Until about a week before K was born actually. Sigh. I was a mix of devastated and relieved. I wasn't ready for him to be done, but he had decided himself he was, so I knew I had done all I could.

My K, an hour old.
At 38 weeks gestation, I was induced again. There was concern about his size, and mine. (I was flipping huge people. It was almost comical.) I went into his birth determined, again, to have a natural delivery. This labor progressed even more quickly than the last. At 10:55 they started my labor. I took a nap for an hour and a half. Then, I was just starting to feel pain while talking to my bestie online. One expletive and five minutes later, I had a baby trying to slide out of me. I didn't even have to push, I just sat up. K made a pretty quick and dramatic entrance into the world, in true Hulk baby style on September 14th, 2009 at 1:38pm. After a just shy of 3 hour labor. Again, he went straight to my breast. He was another lotus baby and nursed until my placenta was born about fifteen minutes later. He was a lot more avid about it from the get go. He wanted boobs and he wanted them now. Eventually they took him away to clean and weigh him. 8lbs, 9oz. They were right, he would have been huge at 40 weeks.

While they were checking him out, they notice a tremor in his limbs that was indicative of low blood sugar. Many tests later and about an hour later, it was still low so off to the NICU we went. The next three days were a whirlwind of nursing and kangaroo care and heel pricks and tears and exhaustion but in the end, we left the hospital with a healthy, only breastfed little boy. He has always been a bit more pushy about nursing that D was. He has no patience in general so when he is hungry, he wants it now. Here we are almost 11 months later and I still have a little booby monster. Will we make it to two years? I think so. If we go farther, even better.

So, thats it. In short anyway. I have never been a shy nurser. Not a cover up for other peoples comfort (besides, I'm sorry but those nursing covers attract way more attention) or a hide in the other room type person. I have been lucky enough to have to awesome experiences with breastfeeding but I do know that sometimes, people aren't so lucky. It is, however, well worth the struggle. I see so many women through the WIC office that give up before it gets started and that makes me sad. I wish that everyone could experience the wonders of breastfeeding.

I would love to hear your story too in honor of WBW. Blog or comments. Please, though, don't come here and advocate the use of formula. Respect me and I will respect you.


  1. What great birth/nursing stories! I love the fact that you nursed right away!! Im now following!!

  2. Awesome thanks for sharing. super cute pictures

  3. I might blog about my nursing experience someday. It's long and will take some time to type out. But you know how awesome I think breastfeeding is!

    Gotta add though, that most of the time, I do cover up or go to another room to nurse in public. But it's NOT for other people's comfort. It's because *for me* it's easier to throw the cover on and then not worry about my boob hanging out or the baby popping off a million times from distraction. Even at home, I try to go upstairs and nurse her in my room, which is relatively quiet, as much as I can. I do agree that those nursing covers can draw more attention. That is definitely the down side to them. Gotta admit that I love my new ruffly one though! LOL

  4. I am glad you found me! Thank you for your kind comments! I appreciate the time it took you to write that! I love your blog design, and your blog title. LOVE!
    I also have a breastfeeding blog, and I would love for you to follow it and share your story!
    Finally - I feel you on the big babies, I was induced at 38 weeks for pre-e and Kellan was 10.2 lbs (no GD), I never dilatated past a 4, and after laboring for 27 hours ended up with a c/s... but at 10 lbs 2 oz I don't know if he would have come out any other way... Dr said he would have been 12 lbs if we made it to 40 weeks!!
    I am off to do more reading. I was always more comfortable nursing with a cover, but K wouldn't have it, we usually nursed in carriers if we were out and about! 14 months still going strong!

  5. This was a beautiful story! I love hearing about successes rather than the failures! I too had double successes with my kids. My boy just recently weaned himself at 22 months and I know that once I'm ready to talk about him stopping I'll be blogging about it. sniff sniff sniff...

    Found this post on the FFF, happy weekend!

  6. I love reading birth stories and breastfeeding stories :)
    Gotta love big boys who love to eat! lol
    Kudos to you for nursing your son while in the NICU! I did the same thing - the hospital he was in was very supportive and put him in a little private NICU room (the rest of the babies were out in the open together) so that we could have a quiet place to learn how to breastfeed together.


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