Thursday, November 29, 2012

Our First Nursing Strike

I'm very (extremely) proud that we have been able to make it to 8.5 months with breastfeeding. It's been an uphill battle and I feel like I've overcome so much. Thinking back to the toe curling, scream inducing first few months I am amazed how far we have come. We are encountering another bump though. It's called a nursing strike. Or at least that's what I'm choosing to call it since the idea of weaning is entirely too painful to think about right now.

Over the past few weeks Roxas has steadily decreased his nursing sessions from 5-8 times a day down to 3-4 then 1-2 and now as of yesterday 0. He is 100% refusing to nurse. Up until now I have felt rather important to him, you know...being his supplier of life sustaining milk and all. Now when I attempt to nurse him he screams, shakes his head "no" and pushes away from me. This just kills me. I feel so rejected and useless now.

I've long fought to keep my supply going at a level that both satisfied Roxas's needs and kept the freezer stash supplied. Long ago that freezer stash disappeared. My little milk bag container looks so sad and lonely in the freezer now. I've seen a pretty steady decrease in not only what I could pump but how often and how long Roxas would nurse for. Now I am lucky to get an ounce a day and to accomplish that I need to pump every two hours minimum for the entire day. He easily drinks 8oz in one bottle. So it would take 8 days for me to make enough milk to feed him once. See my problem here?

Anyways I am now having to deal with this nursing strike and it's taking a huge toll on my identity as a mom. I've been somewhat conditioned by pro-breastfeeders to view formula as the absolute last resort. I've been told that every woman can breastfeed, as long as they just try hard. I'm trying as hard as I can but I'm still failing. I've been conditioned to see formula as something just short of poison. The idea of giving Roxas even one drop of it makes me burst into tears. Why? because that is the ultimate symbol of failure for me. I don't wan to knock formula feeding mothers, that is your choice and what you believe and what I believe are completely different. Personally I don't care how you feed your baby, and no I don't think you are harming your child by not breastfeeding. My own, very personal, values however tell me I am failing. A bottle of formula to me is like waving the white flag and giving up. Giving up is not something I do.

I believe the strike may be related to Roxas getting two new teeth at the same time since he isn't even all that hip on his juice bottle or his absolute favorite: puffs. I think nursing might hurt his mouth so he doesn't want to do it. I am really hoping this is only temporary and we can get back to our great relationship in a few days, and him nursing can get my supply back up. Until then I am desperately trying to keep my supply going by pumping every 2 hours and eating as may lactation cookies as I can stomach (this is really hard).

If this isn't a temporary thing I'm not sure what I will do. He is growing great and gaining the right amount of weight and height right now but I am worried this extended nursing vacation might end up with him losing weight and we really don't want that. I'm hoping to talk to his doctor and find out what her opinion is and I'm hoping she won't recommend formula. I am also planning on calling our local LLLC to get her opinion as well. I never knew breastfeeding was so hard, but I am not going down without a fight. So help me I will make it to a year even if Roxas is only getting an ounce a day, we will make it. I'm prepared to do whatever it takes to avoid the formula, and if that means being tethered to my pump and eating more brewers yeast, flax and oatmeal than any normal person should then so be it!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Baby's First Thanksgiving

 Happy Thanksgiving!

Little Munchkin enjoying his Thanksgiving dinner

     We celebrated Roxas's first Turkey day and had a great time with our family. We visited both grandparents and stuffed ourselves with great food. I even successfully made a cherry pie from scratch! I had never made pie crust...or a pie...but it came out pretty darn good if I do say so myself. Roxas loved getting to eat "real food". I give him bites of my food all the time but this is the first time he has gotten his very own plate full of yummies! He was super stoked about getting a big boy plate and as you can see proceeded to stuff his cute little face with food. Overall it was a great day, and we are thankful for such a loving and great family. 

Yummy Green Beans!

     Now that Thanksgiving is over one of my favorite parts of the year can officially start: Christmas! I'd have to say Christmas is my favorite holiday and I love decorating the house inside and out. Almost every single thing is Disney themed, our tree topper is Cinderella castle and even the candy canes on the tree are Disney. I draw the line at a Mickey Mouse nativity though. I love being surrounded by cheery and happy things. I also put my Christmas tree scented candle on the warmer and now the whole house smells like a pine tree. Heaven. If only the weather outside would cooperate and get a little colder. We were sweating trying to put up decorations outside! Last night, as we were finishing up the outside, a grandmother was walking with her grandkids and they were just thrilled with the house. I love that our hard work and decorating made those kids so happy. 

Our Disney inspired Christmas

     Roxas is getting so big and independent now. He is crawling like a champ now and he loves, loves, loves to stand and walk around things or stand up at his little activity table. If we hold his hands he will walk all over the place. He's so interested in his surroundings and wants to investigate everything possible. I love seeing him learn and do new things. 

He was really enjoying playing around in the laundry basket

Playing with his activity table- one of his favorite toys

     I'm about to get super busy prepping for finals and studying until my brain turns to pudding. I only have one more day of clinical time left and I'm excited to be done and have a little break before the next semester starts. Until next time...

Monday, November 19, 2012



     It's November which means one of my more favorite holidays is just around the corner: Thanksgiving. Ironically I'm not a huge fan of turkey but I love all the other fixings that come along with it. I think I could eat my weight in sweet potatoes ..then again if you cover anything in marshmallows and sugar I might eat it. Scratch that, I will eat it.

     Anyways a lot of people are doing this whole post something to facebook everyday stating what you are thankful for. I'm opting to just blog about it instead, so prepare yourself for some thanks. November isn't the only month I'm thankful for things. Just about everyday I find something that I am thankful for, even if it's just my favorite song coming on Pandora and making me smile. The little things in life are what make each day bearable. If we didn't have those little things to be thankful for life would kind of suck. There are so many things to be thankful for but I will try to narrow it down as best I can. Don't worry I'm not going to do 31 of them...just a few.

1) Ok, I'm going a little cliche here but....I am truly thankful for God and my faith. Time and time again I have been picked up, dusted off only to go fall down in the mud again. God has made impossible things happen for us and my faith has gotten me through some very rough times in my life.

2) I am thankful for my health. I have my minor issues but overall I'm healthy. I have all of my faculties intact, I can run, take care of myself, feed myself and otherwise function on my own. Seeing patients who have lost these things really slammed this in my face and I have come to cherish my health even more now.

3) I am thankful for my family. This one has multiple facets. I am thankful for my husband for helping me be a better person, and supporting me in anything I want to matter how insane. He truly loves me for who I am, flaws and all. I am thankful for my son. He is the light of my life and I would do anything for him. I am thankful for my parents. Without them I literally would not exist. They have raised me and good grief the things I did to them. Thank you guys for not selling me to some gypsies. I am thankful for my in-laws. They have welcomed me into the family and made me one of their own. I didn't feel like I was losing one family and gaining another when we got married but rather just expanding. I am thankful for my brothers who have always protected me and taught me all the cool stuff.

4) I am thankful for medicine and healthcare. Without it I wouldn't have a prospective job. Nuff said.

5) I am thankful for my previous employers, Dorita and Scott, who were so much more than just my boss. They are responsible for so many good things in my life. Without them I wouldn't be where I am today and I cherish their presence in my life.

6) I am thankful for my nursing school family. Seriously. If I didn't have these people I would have gone insane, hit some poor soul with a bedpan and ran out of the hospital screaming. The support and camaraderie is invaluable. I am also thankful the semester is almost over...and we've almost made it!

7) I am thankful for all of the bad things that have ever happened to me. Let that sink in. Yes. I am thankful for the bad things in life. Why? because without the bad, you can't see the good. Those bad things helped shape me into the person I am today. If I never made mistakes I never would have learned and I am thankful for that.

8) I am thankful for technology. Sometimes I hate it and want to smash every bit of technology I own with a hammer...but then I'd be lost without it. Literally. I can't get to the end of my street without GPS. Ok I'm not that bad but you get the idea. Thanks to technology I have thousands (yup thousands) of pictures of Roxas, my family, and precious memories all stored in an itty bitty space all at my fingertips. I can stay in touch with friends and family that I would never speak with otherwise. I am able to attend school without having to put on pants! I mean come ON! No pants for school?! Crazy.

9) I am thankful for good books. I love to read, but I only read good books. A good book can make me believe there really is another world out there, or that magic still exists. A good book can transport my mind to an entirely different universe. I love to get lost in a story and just enjoy the time away from reality.

10) Last but not least I am thankful for all of the blessings in my life. I am 22, married to a man I am totally in love with and I am the mom to an amazing little boy. We have a home filled with happy memories and I'm going to school to do something that I truly believe my heart was meant for. My life has been blessed in more ways than I could ever count and I am completely undeserving of any of it. I've received so much and given so little. I am truly, very blessed.

So that's my top ten list of things I am thankful for. I could have gone on, and on, and on and on and on...but I figured 10 is plenty. I'm thankful, you get the gist of it. This Thanksgiving I have so much to be thankful for and I'm excited for what our future holds. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't terrified too, but that's the fun of life: you never know what is coming next.

I'm super excited to stuff myself with stuffing, mashed taters, green bean, sweet potatoes, ham, pumpkin things, and anything else I can get my chubby little fingers on this week. I'm also excited to celebrate Roxas's first Thanksgiving with the family. Just thinking about where we were one year ago is mind blowing. I'm sure he will be super stoked to eat some turkey and all the fixings I'll let him have. Then we will get to decorate for Christmas! Although decorating for Christmas is a 2 day long adventure in this house, uhg. I love it when it's all done though.

Until next time, So long and Happy Thanksgiving everybody!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

8 Months!

     It's been 8 short months since Roxas joined us on the outside world. He is growing up fast and becoming his own special person. We celebrated his first Halloween last week and it was a rather low key kind of night. We got dressed up as Lilo and Stitch and went to see some friends and the grandparents then we went home. Nothing too crazy, I can't wait until he actually knows what is going on and can go trick or treating around the neighborhood. Here is us all dressed up:
I had to re-size his Stitch costume from a 12mo size to more of a 7mo size and I handmade my costume. Nobody had a clue who we were dressed up as, but unless you've seen Lilo & Stitch I guess it would be a bit confusing. 

He is starting to get the hang of moving around, although he still doesn't crawl. He isn't far off from it though. He seems more interested in trying to walk rather than crawl, cruising around the coffee table and walking while holding onto our hands. We put things he really likes just out of reach to try and entice him to crawl, sometimes it works and sometimes he just rolls onto his back and scoots there backwards. He's a silly kid. He rolls or army crawls anywhere he wants to go and it is amazing how fast he can move. I really have to pay attention to him when he is on the floor. The kid can move! He loves getting into anything he isn't supposed to, naturally. I've been baby-proofing quite a bit lately in an effort to keep him safe, and it always seems like he is one step ahead of me.

We went to the park with his cousin and grandparents the other day and he got to go in the swing for the first time. He was not all that thrilled but it doesn't surprise me since he was never a huge fan of the baby swing. 

We also got to go to his first parade. Overall he wasn't too interested, he spent a good majority of the time checking out his stroller more than the parade but he loved the dogs and the tiny cars! He is getting pretty good at waving too, now if you wave at him enough he's pretty likely to wave back.

Well that is pretty much it for now, I leave you with this video of one of Roxas's favorite tricks to do: Spit bubbles! It's pretty darn cute if I do say so myself.