Category Archives: Breastfeeding

And so it ends – 15 months of breastfeeding and 16 months of breastmilk

It’s very fitting that today kicks off World Breastfeeding Week because I had planned on writing about breastfeeding (or rather breastmilk I guess) anyway.

On Friday, at 16 months 2 weeks old, Mason enjoyed his last bottle of breastmilk before bed. 5 weeks earlier, he had had his last breastfeeding session one morning. And just like that, there are no more nursing sessions or bottles to clean. And no more breastmlk that he so loved and depended on for the last 16 months. I never imagined I’d be half as sad as I am about this all coming to an end. Had you told me I would be sad about this 15 months ago, I would have laughed hysterically at you.

For those who know nothing about our journey, I started out with the goal of breastfeeding for one year, imagining it would be blissful and by the time he was 53 weeks old, we would be all done.  Little did I know, it was nothing like that.

The first weeks were hard. Oh so hard. Starting with the hospital telling me that I wasn’t good enough and feeding him formula while I sat in my hospital room with their pump and celebrated every cc that I pumped. After we went home from the hospital, there was no more forumula, but I felt like I could do absolutely nothing but breastfeed all day and all night. We were suppose to wake him every two hours to feed him and I felt like by the time we got done, I was feeding him again. In the first few weeks, my motivation to breastfeed was 90% about the amount of money we’d save and I’m glad that was enough to get me to keep going through the struggles. And amazed that it became about everything but money.  After two weeks, I mentally told my pediatrician to shove it and stopped waking Mason up every 2 hours so we both could sleep longer. I set my sights on making it three weeks and then 6 weeks and then 2 months….

Other than the beginning chapped nipples, random milk blisters, and other somewhat “normal” struggles those new to breastfeeding have, we had another.  Mason never latched well on the left side and I ended up basically exlusively feeding him from the right. Since I didn’t want to be horribly lopsided, I ended up exclusively feeding from one side  and pumping from the other. I know now that this refusal was from his tort (which ended up causing his plagio) but back then, I just thought it was him being unique.  So even after I would feed him for 45 minutes, I’d then have to turn around and pump for another 20. I kept reading again and again that there was no way to keep “exclusive pumping” past the 3 or 4 month mark, but we ended up proving that tidbit to be quite wrong.

 

 

At 8 weeks, I went back to work full time and pumped twice a day, twenty minutes a time, at work. My boss and coworkers were wonderful about the distruption to my day, but I felt guilty about all the work I was missing and the hinderance to everyone’s day if my partner was not there to cover me or if my “pumping office” was being occupied by people from our corporate office.

Somewhere around the 4 month mark, things got easier. Having pumped so much from day one, we had quite the stash built up and I was able to take a break from breastfeeding non-stop while at home while SuperDad fed him instead or we went out to eat and someone else watched Mason. I was still pumping 8 times a day along with feeding Mason 4 times a day, but everything was going much better. He was drinking three five ounce bottles of breastmilk a day at daycare and the occasional one at home, but the freezer stash grew and grew.

I slowly started dropping pumps around 8 months, including the middle of the night pump (Yep, I was still getting up between 3-4 am every night to pump as Mason slept…. By the time Mason turned a year old, I had stopped pumping except if I was away from him overnight and we were down to the morning and the bedtime breastfeeding sessions. That combined with 15 ounces of breastmilk a day at daycare meant he was definitely not lacking for milk!

 

 

Two months later, we tapered down to two bottles a day at dayare and changed to morning breastfeeding and an evening bottle. And then in June, two bottles at daycare became just one. Our morning breastfeeding session started being touch and go around 14 months – some days he’d want to hop off my lap after a few sucks and other days he’d stay on for ten minutes. Soon he was pushing away and crawling out of my lap more often than not. A week after he turned 15 months old, he miseed three mornings in a row and I stopped offering. He never thought twice about it.

And then came Saturday night. The end of the stash. His last bottle of breastmilk. The last run to the freezer to get a bag of milk. The last time I have to heat water for 3 minutes in the microwave and wait seven minutes for the milk to unthaw. The last time I rock my baby in my lap as he drinks from a bottle filled with the milk I worked diligently to produce for him for 15 months.

 

 

As with any of these bittersweet milestones, I’m left sad while he’s oblivious. But I’m pretty sure it’s better that way.

Some people are going to frown on me making a post about breastfeeding and showing my son drinking out of a bottle, and to that, I say – oh well! There is breastmilk in that bottle and that breastmilk was my son’s main form of nutrients for a year and a huge part of his diet up until this weekend. Does it really matter if it came out of a bottle or if he took it directly from the breast? My vote is obviously no and frankly, I don’t care about any other vote. Breastmilk is breastmilk is breastmilk.

Here’s to my body being able to to feed my son for SIXTEEN months. Self, you’ve done good.

This time last year – Having a Hard Week / Car Ride Lover!

13 Months!

Okay you guys, this by far was the fastest month EVER! I mean, I am pretty sure it was LAST WEEK that we were throwing his first birthday party, but no, that was already a month ago. Seriously, zip zap zoom, this entire last month went by before I could even stop and take a breath!

In his 13th month Mason:

  • was still in size 3 diapers
  • grew out of some of his 9 month onesies and is wearing a lot of 12 month tops
  • apparently shrunk in the waist because suddenly his 9 month pants seem too loose. Very strange!
  • weighed in at 20 lbs 8 ounces
  • has 7 clearly visible teeth (three on top and four above)
  • spent one day home sick from daycare
  • had another plagiocephaly helmet appointment and as usual was a trooper for the 4 hours in the car
  • still wears his helmet for 23 hours a day. With the exception of his birthday party and his sick day, we’ve been EXCELLENT about sticking to this.
  • had one sleepover with Grandpa and Grandma
  • swung in a swing for the first time
  • said his first word in context “kitty” (4/10) but has never done it again (I don’t count dada and mama simply because he says those all the time regardless if the person is in the room)
  • moved to the Ones room at daycare full time
  • got bit by another kid three times in said Ones room
  • played outside a lot at daycare
  • got his first sunburn (thanks daycare!)
  • had a birthday party
  • attended his 1st birthday party for someone else
  • goes to bed at 8:30 pm and wakes up at 7:20 if I wake him or between then and 8 am if I don’t
  • ate his first piece of cake
  • spends more time throwing his treats (puffs, cheerios, etc) at the cats and dogs than he does eating them. I’d say 20% go into his mouth these days.
  • finally got to “play” in the snow
  • crawls at the speed of light
  • took 3 tentative steps on 4/19
  • visited the Children’s Museum for the 1st time
  • went to his first fast food restaurant (we just walked through in search of an indoor playland LOL)
  • is obsessed with the remote control
  • his second love is the door stop for our bathroom door. Lovely!
  • loves to tackle the kitties and slap the dogs. Neither of these behaviors is encouraged or allowed
  • played with his (2nd) cousins for the first time
  • is still breastfed and still getting 3 bottles of breastmilk at daycare (when the breastmilk freezer stash is gone, so are the bottles…)
  • eats mostly “adult” food – some in it’s regular form and some chopped up in the Beaba Cook
  • drinks whole milk with meals, well, a few sips anyway. He’s not very impressed by  it.
  • had his first ice cream (at daycare *sigh*)
  • took up fingerpainting
  • is transitioning to one nap a day (daycare policy, NOT happy about it) and it’s NOT PRETTY.
  • loves pushing his walker all over the house
  • still loves bath time although his new favorite game is throwing his soaking wet sponge or rag out of the tub and laughing like a crazyman.
  • got his first bruise (on the shin, no clue from what)
  • loves to run the ball popper behind the couch much more than he enjoys it out in the open

As you can see, this month has just been crazy! This little boy makes me laugh a hundred times a day and also makes me pull my hair out. Trying to eat supper or get anything done these days seems like a constant chorus of pulling him off the babygate that protects a huge flight of stairs with a cement bottom or redirecting him from slapping the dogs. Over and over and over again. Good thing he makes us laugh, right?

Happy 13 months, little man!!

One Year Ago – Grandma Magic

One Year of Breastfeeding!

So judging by the load time on this site, if I did another picture post today, people’s computers were going to start self destructing! SO let’s take a break from the adorable-ness and talk about boobs. This turned into a novel, so don’t feel you have to read it all – I wrote it more for me to remember this crazy journey than for you to suffer through. I’ve never had the gift of brevity!

Lilypie Breastfeeding tickers

On Mason’s birthday, we celebrated one year of breastfeeding and on Sunday, one year of exclusive breast feeding! For those who didn’t play Truth and Lies with us, the hospital gave Mason formula while he was out of my care because my breast milk wasn’t “good enough” for his jaundice. But that’s a post for another day. I’m not anti-formula, but being told I was a failure as a brand new mom was a rough way to start this whole process!

Anyway, back to this special anniversary celebration! It’s been a long long 12 months and we’ve fought many battles. The first several weeks were awful. I’m so glad that I had went to a breastfeeding class where they straight out said that it would hurt and it wouldn’t be all sunshine and rainbows and that was totally NORMAL. Yes, if the latch is proper, the actual act of breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt, but engorgement and the rawness caused by a tiny being stuck on your previously un-abused boob 20 hours a day definitely is an adjustment!  Due to his jaundice, we were under strict instructions to wake him every two hours AROUND THE CLOCK and feed him. This led to one very tired momma!  We were suppose to keep this up for 6 weeks, but quit long before then. If little man wanted to sleep 4-5 hours, SO DID I!!  Every day I repeated in my head “We have to make it six weeks, we have to make it six weeks!” and that seemed forever away!

When Mason was in the hospital, he stayed under the bilirubin lights 20+ hours a day, so I became very familiar with the hospital pump and pumping. Mason also became familiar with a bottle (which we hadn’t planned on introducing until 4 weeks) which ended up being great because SuperDad was able to start taking over some of the middle of the night feedings after a while. Becoming familiar with the pump was also a great way to establish my milk supply. By the time I went back to work full time after 8 weeks, I already had a good month supply of milk in the freezer!

Unfortunately, early on Mason showed a definite preference for breastfeeding on one side. No matter what we did, he didn’t seem to latch well or eat well on the other side. Not wanting to dry up or become lopsided, we soon established a routine of me feeding him on one side and then pumping the other. My one boob soon made enough milk to feed him without having to bottle feed the expressed milk and my freezer stash grew and grew, but having to spend double the time dealing with milk every time he was hungry was not my ideal world by any means. In hindsight, giving up fairly quickly and always having him feed on one side probably contributed to his tort (tight neck muscle) which played a big part on the flat spot on his head that led to him being in a helmet today. *sigh*

When we made the 6 week milestone, I silently celebrated and set my sights on three months, which seemed so very far away.  I had read over and over that “something clicks around 6 weeks and it becomes easy” and I just hadn’t had that experience. I was filled with resentment nearly every time I had to feed him and still having issues with pain and rawness. But I’d set my mind and heart on it and I was going to do it.

Going back to work full time meant two pumping sessions at work every day. I pumped once at 10:30 and once at 2:30, trying to mimic his feeding schedule at daycare and space them out enough that I could still get my morning work done and take a lunch break without feeling too guilty. Lucky for me, despite working with ALL men, pumping at work was great. No one batted an eye about the 40 minutes a day that I spent in a closed up office, everyone was happy to cover for me, and “Going to the parlor” jokes were laughed at by all.

By the time we hit the three month mark, things were going a little bit better, but I set my sights on the 6 month mark. By the time that 6 months rolled around, we’d finally settled into a groove. I was still pumping on one side AND getting up between 3 and 4 am to pump (it was my most “profitable” pumping of the day and I didn’t want to give it up!) even though Mason was sleeping. But finally, breastfeeding and pumping didn’t feel like torture. I wasn’t feeling totally tied down and any sort of associated pain was a distant memory. Mason dropping the after school feeding (and me the after school pumping) really seemed to help. I set my sights on one year and stopped counting the days. I was still pumping before I went to work in the morning, twice a day at work, right after I fed Mason at night, right before I went to bed, and once in the middle of the night.

In November, I took a trip to visit friends in Michigan. I had mailed my pump there, but it got stuck at the post office due to Veteran’s Day. That was definitely an experience not to be repeated – let me just say that there is a REASON some breast pumps cost $70 and others cost $280. Having to find time to pump with no baby around while I really wanted to be out having fun with my friends was a bummer, but we managed! I don’t think they expected to have a casserole pan full of bags of breastmilk in their refrigerator, but they were good sports! On the trip home, I transported 175 oz of breastmilk in a lunch bag and spent half the flight thinking that my soggy dripping bag was a serious breastmilk leak (but didn’t want to draw too much attention to myself and my bag of liquid gold while crammed on a tiny airplane). Fortunately, it turned out that the frozen bags of milk were just shedding moisture as they unthawed. Whew!

When Mason was around 8 months, I decided I was really sick of pumping as part of my morning routine and tried again to see if he would latch on to the pariah boob and he did! Within a few days, I was able to stop pumping that side in the morning before work and during his bedtime feed since he was eating so well. That added an extra 15 minutes to my day (and my sleep!) which was awesome. I also started cutting out my middle of the night pumping since I had enough milk in the freezer by this point to last until he turned 1.

In early December, I caught pneumonia and was nearly hospitalized. While I fought to breathe, my body decided to start focusing on making me better and stop focusing on making milk. My supply nearly entirely dried up and I was absolutely crushed. So, I became a crazy person and started pumping 8 times a day again, attempted drinking mother’s milk tea (made me gag), eating oatmeal (hated it) popped 9 fenugreek a day, and ate lots and lots of booby cookies (cookies made with lots of flaxseed, brewers yeast, and oatmeal, all supply increasers) and after about two weeks of living and breathing nothing but “Must increase my supply” it was finally back to where it was before I got sick. I wrote about this time here and here.

Once my supply was definitely back for good, I cut out my middle of the night pumping AGAIN and started sleeping through the night. In January, I started skipping a pumping session at work and in February, I started skipping both pumping sessions at work. By early March, I was down to  just breastfeeding the first thing in the morning and the last thing before he went to bed. My supply has dropped A LOT and Mason now gets freezer stash breastmilk during the day on weekends instead of me breastfeeding. At first I was sad about this, but then I realized that being able to hand him off to SuperDad or a Grandma and do whatever I wanted without having to feel the need to be home or available at a certain time is awesome.

While I plan on breastfeeding as long as Mason wants to, once the freezer supply of milk is gone, he’ll be switching to whole milk in the day. At night, he’s feeding for 5 minutes or so instead of 10-15, so I’m guessing that either he’s losing interest or my supply is waning more than I thought. Part of me wants to drag out the pump and start popping fenugreek and keep going but part of me is whispering “It’s time… let it go….” I made it a year, I made every goal I set for myself and for us. I’m so proud that I managed to sustain ANOTHER HUMAN BEING off of my body alone for 6 months and be 90% of his nutrition for 6 months after that. So I keep telling myself that if we stop tomorrow or if we stop 4 months from now, it’s fine. Because? It is fine. Actually, no… it’s great!

Happy One Year Breastfeeding, Little Man!!

One Year Ago Today

If I Were Abducted…

The mother on Mission to Mars was abducted and her 9 year old son quickly realized how much he needed her! I’ve talked a lot on here about how Mason is definitely a Daddy’s boy, so at first, I was like “Eh, if I was abducted by aliens, Mason wouldn’t miss me at all!” so in a self esteem lifting exercise, SuperDad and I made a list together of things that Mason would miss if I ended up on Mars.

In no particular order:

1) The Boob Milk – this little boy has known no other food other than boob milk since he came home from the hospital. If it all went to Mars, he would be very very sad. Granted, we have quite a freezer stash, but without me around, that would disappear quickly.

2) He would miss bathtime with me. SuperDad and Grandma are all business at bath time. Scrub rinse and out. I like to give him ample time to play and he loves that!

3) Matching outfits – if SuperDad dressed him every day, unless it was blue pants with a blue shirt, his clothes would never ever match. Heck, yesterday Grandma J dressed him in jean pants, a swirly spotted shirt (that was meant to go over another shirt) and a striped bib. I know nothing about fashion, but this was scary!

4) He would miss being worn. The baby carriers mean that he’s about to go on an adventure and I can’t convince SuperDad to use them. He’d be stuck in his car seat in the store instead of hanging out in his Ergo carrier!

5) He’d miss our bedtime routine. There is something about me putting him in his Woombie that he just loves. He generally gets zipped up with a giggle and a clap when I put him to bed (him doing it, not me) and gives everyone else “wrestling a greased pig” combat moves.

6) He’d miss all my silly songs. At least I hope so. I like to sing about everything – from diaper changes to what he’s eating for dinner. Then again, even the cats run away when I sing, so this might not be something he would miss!!

7) He’d miss being an internet celebrity!! There would be no Adventures of a Wee Mason Man without me! Who would help him tweet with Cole and @eatsleeptwit if I wasn’t around? No one, that’s who!!

8) He’d miss out on getting the best things for the lowest prices. I research everything endlessly and when I finally make a decision, I then spend way too much time finding the best price. Most others walk into Wal-mart and buy the cheapest doo-dad there is and I read reviews and comparison shop to make sure that we’re getting the best bang for our buck. This will help his college savings, RIGHT?! (Or maybe I’m just neurotic!)

9) He’d miss the fun experiences that I think he should have that no one else thinks are “quite right” such as swim classes! I’m sure he’s already looking forward to our adventures this spring – after all, I tell him all about them all the time while trying to convince SuperDad that yes, he’s old enough to enjoy the aquarium and yes, I think he’d like a bike trailer!

10) He’d miss playing with my cell phone and cereal bowl. Who needs fancy toys when your mommy lets you play with everything she touches that won’t kill you??

Yes, I am pretty certain that Mason would miss me if I was gone after all. AWWW!!

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”


Random Updates

I’ve totally been sucking at this blog thing lately. Yesterday was supposed to be Photos with Santa, but SuperDad failed to e-mail me them until I reminded him at 5:00 and I didn’t see much point of posting an entry at 6 pm since most of ya’ll seem like me and do most of your blog hopping during the morning/early afternoon. So those just became Wordless Wednesday fodder and you guys were left with a big fat bowl of nothing yesterday. Sorry about that!

So let’s update you on some stuff that maybe you’re curious about:

Remember how the daycare told me to dress Mason in layers because it got really cold in there? Well, I decided to say “Screw that” and continued to dress Mason in what a normal 9 month old would wear at home in a Wisconsin winter. I figured if I ever felt he was the slight bit cold or they brought it up again, I could bring up the lovely state law that it must be at least 67º at all times and go from there. Well, I’m happy to say that it’s been a total non-issue. Wisconsin winter is here in full and we’ve already had way too many days with below zero temperatures and it’s never seemed the least bit chilly when I’ve picked him up and the daycare workers are wearing t-shirts, so I’m happy that that was a false alarm.

The milk machines are back up and full functioning. It seems like I’ll be popping 9 fenugreek and eating 10 lactation cookies a day for the next 3 months, but hey, it could be worse. I’m no longer having to supplement him with a bottle at all during the week and during the weekend, we’re almost there as well.

His last physical therapy appointment was two weeks ago. It’s become impossible to make him lay on one side of his head at night because he can roll and flop no matter what barriers we put up to encourage him to stay facing to the left. Duck tape would work perfectly, but apparently that’s frowned upon. It came as no surprise that he’s made no progress in his head shape in the last six weeks. His range of motion (looking right and left, turning his head in any direction that is normal for a human) is just fine and they felt that attending physical therapy wouldn’t do anything more for him at this point. After seeing his physical therapist every 2-3 weeks since he was 3 months old, we’re going to miss her!

This afternoon we go back to our pediatrician to check on his ear infection, which I don’t think has gotten any better judging by how much ear tugging is going on. We’re also going back to see if he needs to get into “early intervention” therapy and considering in the last two weeks, he’s added 3 “phrases” to his babbling, can walk several steps when we’re holding on to his hands, and can now clap “on command” I’m guessing it’s going to be a decent appointment. If not, I’m sure you’ll hear about it!

I think that’s it. If I’ve left you hanging about anything else, let me know!!

The Booby Battle

It’s been my goal since before I even got pregnant to breastfeed for the first year. What started out as entirely financial reasons (Consumer Reports say that the average baby goes through $125 worth of formula a month) has become so much more than that. I never expected to feel the amount of pride and accomplishment over being able to single-handledly feed my son through just my body, which has failed me so many times before. I also was not expecting the amount of commitment and time that breastfeeding would take. So many people say it’s so much easier to breastfeed than formula feed, but I’ve never found that to be the case. I spend more time with my breastpump than my dogs or my husband it seems. But, breastfeeding has become so very important to me.

A few weeks ago, I decided that I was going to cut my middle of the night pumping out. Mason has slept through the night (usually) for a long time, but I’ve continued to get up and pump because it’s one of the more fruitful pumpings of the day. I decided that extra bottle of milk could be sacrificed for the joy of being able to sleep all night long for the first time in 16 months (because let’s face it, getting up to pee 23 times a night while pregnant wasn’t exactly good sleep either). That would drop me down to 4 pumpings a day, which seems to be the norm for someone 9 months in to this whole working and pumping thing.

Now, I’ve been sick before – days where I could barely pick Mason up to feed him, days where I felt so toxic I was sure that any milk I made was probably deadly (I know it wasn’t, it just felt like it should be) But I kept nursing and kept pumping through it and a few days later, I felt fine again and everything was back to normal. But apparently, this time was different. Because my milk went away. Seemingly overnight.

On Friday, I pumped my usual 20 ounces. On Monday, I pumped less than 5. Tuesday? Much of the same. For the first time ever, I had to give Mason a bottle for bedtime because he wasn’t even close to satisfied after I got done breastfeeding him. I ran screaming to my lactation consultant and she told me to settle down. That my body was so weak and so trying to fight off the pneumonia that it had stopped thinking about making milk and was focusing on trying to get better. Makes sense but oh my god oh my god oh my god. Again, she told me to settle down. Asked me if I wanted to come to yoga with her. Told me to just keep plugging along.

Well, it’s now been nearly two weeks. When I used to pump 5 ounces without thinking twice, I’m now pumping two ounces. I celebrate when I get three ounces. I immediately stopped trying to cut out my middle of the night pumping. And I’ve added two more pumpings in the evenings. The pump and I? It’s like we’re back on our honeymoon, except for all the lovey dovey feelings that come with a honeymoon.

I’m popping fenugreek like they’re Skittles. I’m eating “booby cookies” that I found recommended online. I’m taking a calcium supplement since my period decided to show up for the first time since Mason was a twinkle in our eyes. I’m attempted to choke down Mother’s Milk Tea and just couldn’t do it. I’m massaging and power pumping. I’m eating bowls of oatmeal that make me gag. And I’m pumping and pumping and pumping.  And pumping.

I’m waiting this out. I’m going to win this. We’re going to make this last 13 weeks of breastfeeding. We can do this. I can do this…..

I can’t believe I forgot to tell you….

Two weeks ago, something horrible happened. Something every parent on earth gets excited about and brags about and rejoices over. Every parent except me, apparently.

 

See that? Little Man got his first tooth!

I’ve been begging him since day one that if he’s going to be a late developer in any area, it should be in the dental department. “No teeth until you reach a year old” has been my mantra. When we reached the five month mark and then the six month mark with no chompers in sight, I really thought I had a chance. That my poor beaten boobs could make it an entire year breastfeeding without knowing what it was like to be chomped on by evil little baby teeth.

Not so much I guess!

But, since this is supposed to be Mason’s baby book, I guess I’ll have to record this horrible much anticipated milestone. First tooth October 2nd 2010.

Staying a Boobavarian

On Monday, one of the teachers stopped me and asked the question I’ve been dreading. “Hey, we were wondering if we could start feeding Mason solids this week.” Fortunately, when I said that no, we were waiting until he was six months old, I didn’t get “the look” that I get from most people.

I realize a lot of babies start solids at 4 months of age. I realize this is a huge milestone a lot of people look forward to and that each new food is a fun new adventure and all that. And that millions of babies have started solids by now and have had absolutely zero adverse affects. But after doing my research, we’re holding off until Mason is 6 months, or at least pretty close to that.

Why? Because all of these organizations

recommend that babies receive NOTHING  but breast milk and/or formula for the first 6 months of age.

Why do they recommend this? (Information below taken from Kellymom.com)

Delaying solids gives baby greater protection from illness.
Although babies continue to receive many immunities from breastmilk for as long as they nurse, the greatest immunity occurs while a baby is exclusively breastfed. Mason is in daycare with 7 other babies, most of which who have school age siblings. There is at least one baby coughing and sneezing there every single day. We need all the immunity we can get!

Delaying solids gives baby’s digestive system time to mature.
If solids are started before a baby’s system is ready to handle them, they are poorly digested and may cause unpleasant reactions (digestive upset, gas, constipation, etc.). We’ve been lucky enough to not have to deal with any reflux, constipation, or anything liek that. I don’t want to take unnecessary risks.

Delaying solids helps maintain milk supply.
Studies have shown that for a young baby solids replace milk in a baby’s diet – they do not add to baby’s total intake. The more solids that baby eats, the less milk he takes from mom, and less milk taken from mom means less milk production. Babies who eat lots of solids or who start solids early tend to wean prematurely. I have every intention to breastfeed until Mason reaches a year old. I’m already seeing my supply start to dip a bit at just 4 months and I don’t want to end up having to feed him formula at 10 months after I’ve done all this hard work.

and the big one

Delaying solids decreases the risk of food allergies.
It is well documented that prolonged exclusive breastfeeding results in a lower incidence of food allergies. I have all sorts of allergies – peanuts, peanut butter, peaches, apple peels, and then a bunch of non-food allergies and if there is any way for me to have less of a chance of passing these on, I’m game! I already plan on having him avoiding peanut related foods until he is three, but if we can avoid other possible allergies, that would be great. I know all too well the feeling of my throat and tongue swelling up because of something I ate!

So, that being said, you won’t be seeing any adorable pictures of Mason eating solids until at least September (he turns 6 months on September 16th, but he’ll be 25 weeks by the beginning of the month) despite the fact that every single person who asks keeps acting like we’re depriving him of his basic needs and are being “crazy” for not just following the “norm” of starting solids at 4 months.

Visiting the ER to Learn if I Could Take Pepto Bismol

So while my post was originally going to be about how hard it was to take care of a baby while feeling under the weather, my little “adventure” in the medical world today seems more worth writing about.

I’ve had some sort of stomach bug going on since late Thursday night. Had trouble sleeping Thursday night, Friday I felt awful and was in and out of the bathroom WAY too much and ended up leaving work not even halfway through my shift. Slept all Friday afternoon, still felt pretty crummy. Saturday, I felt a lot better, but still nowhere near 100%. No constant trips to the bathroom, but still run down. Sunday, I felt like a truck had run me over and spit me out and the bathroom woes were back. Yesterday? I felt just a little tired but overall, pretty decent. Worked, came home, napped, hung out with P, ate some supper, went to bed. About 1 am, I started feeling awful again. I knew before I even left for work that I wouldn’t make it through the day and ended up leaving at about 10 am.

Well, when I got home, P suggested I call the nurse line to see if I could take some Pepto or Imodium to see if that would make me feel better. Since I’m breastfeeding and all the packages say is “Consult your doctor” it seemed logical to make a 3 minute phone call to make sure everything would be okay. If it had been entirely up to me, I would have just searched the internet, but P pushes for the “better safe than sorry” sources for stuff like this and I figured it would be quick and painless to just call and put him at ease.

So I call the nurse line. Talk to the secretary and she passes me along to a nurse. And right away, we get off to a bad start. She has in her notes that I am pregnant and have a headache. Not sure how “I have diarrhea and am wondering if I can take Imodium while nursing” got translated into pregnant lady with headache, but I corrected her and away we went. 18 minutes later, she’s still questioning me. No, I don’t have a headache, yes I’ve been getting lots of fluids, no dizziness, no nausea, I have a stomach ache. Well, the nurse decides that since it’s been going on for five days (although not really since I had decent days Saturday and Monday) that I must have a bacterial infection and that I should go see my doctor. She won’t give me any other advice than that and transfers me to make a doctor’s appointment.

Well, of course, my doctor is not available today. Or until tomorrow afternoon. So I ask to see a different doctor. And the appointment coordinator acted like I’d asked to be covered in tar and bumble bees. I insist that I’m fine seeing ANY doctor who can see me today and after taking less than 45 seconds to check, she tells me that there are NO doctors available at all today. In the 60+ doctor practice where I’ve never had a problem seeing someone within 3 hours. No one. Not a one.  She informs me that if I want to be seen today, I must go to Urgent Care and hangs up.

Fuming, I decide  to just sleep and forget about taking something all together. Only, I’m too angry to get anything remotely like a nap in, so I head up to Urgent Care. The nurse there runs me through a bunch of questions and informs me that anything related to “abdominal pain” requires an ER visit. I tell her that that seems a little ridiculous when all I want is to know if I can take Pepto or Imodium while breastfeeding. She tells me that abdominal pain could mean that I have Crohns Disease or many other BAD things. And she assures me that even though I’m not dehydrated, they could hook me up to an IV to make sure I don’t get dehydrated because that’s how they do things in the ER. WHAT?!!?

By this point in time, I’m just in stunned disbelief. Can this really be happening??

They have me sign a form, pee in a cup, and then a paramedic walks me to an appointment room. (I seriously would not have been surprised to have been wheeled there in a wheelchair at this point) They have me gown up and then bring me a hot blanket and urge me to lay down while I wait for the doctor, which I refuse to do.

About ten minutes later, the doctor walks in. And he looks quite familiar.

Dr: “Hello, how are you?”

Me: “Hostile. Very hostile.” (I say this in a good natured, not pissy voice)

Dr: “Oh, wow. Why?

Me: I explain my scenario and when I’m done go “Say, are you SoAndSo’s husband??”

He paused for a beat and then looks at my paper and says my name. And then again with much excitement in his voice. He shakes my hand, tells me he’s very happy to meet me, and we chatted for a few minutes about how we know each other and what’s going on with that group and how happy we are to finally meet.

He then totally agreed with me that it was beyond ridiculous that I was in the ER for a stomach ache and diarrhea when I hadn’t even had a chance to try the over the counter products. He went and looked up drugs and then he went to the front desk, had them change all of my paperwork so I was charged for an urgent care visit (regular co-pay) instead of an ER ($150) visit. Wrote me a prescription for something that should solve my issues within 48 hours that’s safe to take while breastfeeding and sent me on my way.

I only thanked him for turning my ridiculously craptastic day around about two dozen times.

And three hours later, I’m home with my pills, know that Pepto is a yes and Imodium is a no-go, and am off to take a nap.

And next time, I’ll be calling the pharmacy to ask about drug safety.