James Perse pants
Robert Clergerie sneakers (several years old)
Ilana Kohn Tuck overalls
AllBirds wool loungers (a few years old) – I wear these mostly as slippers at home now
Hawk studying up on Hawks…LOL
Wow. My life is so full. And I am now that person who forgets to brush her teeth and/or leaves the house in pajama bottoms.
As you might be able to tell from the state of my office, I have piles and racks of things on consignment to get up at Slowre. Some days I can be really productive and other days I just can’t, and I’m okay with that. It just means I’m a little behind posting things. I can usually catch up a bit on the weekends, because for some reason Hawk takes long naps on Saturdays and Sundays while he’s watching football with his dad 😉 When he’s home with me during the week, not so much haha.
I started going back to Pure Barre three times a week a couple weeks ago and while I’m really happy to be able to do that, I can’t help but feel frustrated when I look at myself in my workout leggings and tanks (which are too tight) in the mirrors at the studio. I am basically back where I was several years ago; I feel like I’m starting over. Maybe I am in a way, and it’s not such a bad thing to be a “beginner” again, but it’s a bit demoralizing after all my hard work these last 7 years. Pregnancy and motherhood does some remarkable things to one’s body, and I’m really having to work hard at learning to live in this new one (and love it as it is right now).
In general I feel great though, aside from being sore from PB/getting my body used to exercise again. I am getting hormonal migraines again (I didn’t have them at all during pregnancy), but they’re manageable for the most part.
Hawk is also doing well, he had his two month check-up this week + shots. He is in the very lowest percentile for his weight/height still; he’s 7 pounds 10.5 ounces and 21 inches long. He’s gained only one pound since his birth weight (but not his going-home weight) and two inches. His doctor isn’t concerned about it at all, and I’m not either, sort of.
Developmentally, he’s right on track, or even a little advanced for his age – it’s just that his body isn’t growing as quickly. He is also happy most of the time, and seems to be satisfied with the amount of food he’s getting, now that we’re giving him even more formula. Yes, we’ve been supplementing since he came home since he was so small, not latching well every time, and not growing quickly, but only 1-2 ounces when he seemed like he was still hungry – most days he took about 6 ounces of formula in addition to breastmilk.
Well, I got a pump late last week and was devastated to discover that I’m not even producing 1 ounce each time I pump/nurse. That’s from both breasts, for at least ten minutes. I know he gets more when he nurses, but it’s not enough for him. Maybe he was humoring me all this time? I won’t lie, even though I know that fed is best, it makes me very sad to know that I cannot produce the amount of food he needs. But he needs to eat, and so I’ve increased his bottles to 3 ounces each time and he gets several more per day.
He still nurses, but other than in the mornings, when I know I have more milk, it’s more to soothe him, and me, than for sustenance. I’m thankful for that, at least, that he’s not rejecting my breasts in favor of bottles only; that would crush me.
It is what it is, and that is all it is. Every moment I am faced with this anew; he is changing constantly and surprises me every minute. I have very little control over anything right now, except maybe how I react and feel about things. All I can do (and this takes practice) is let go and follow Hawk’s lead. He tells me when he’s hungry, or tired. He lets me know when he wants to just chill on his back, or listen to music (we’ve been listening to Peter, Paul and Mommy nonstop – and maybe it’s the hormones but I cry every time I hear Puff the Magic dragon LOL. I grew up on that and it’s overwhelming to think I’m sharing it with a child I never thought I’d have).
As far as clothes go, I’ve purchased a few essentials for my new body, but don’t get to wear them out much yet. Now that the weather is a little cooler here, we’ll get out more, but it’s also okay if we don’t. I’m not in a hurry for that anymore.
How are you? I miss you guys!!! I hope all is well and it’s cooling off a bit where you are.
So only if you are interested (definitely do not feel pressure!!), you may want to look into Domperidone. There are side effects, so everyone should make their own choice about it. Feel free to email me if you want more info, or join the Support for Mothers on Domperidone group on Facebook. Be warned that a lot of people in that group are willing to sacrifice their bodies and sanity to exclusively breastfeed.
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So good to hear that you’re taking all of this in stride and that you and Hawk are doing well! I totally feel you on the struggle with producing enough milk! Just know that usually you do produce more milk when breastfeeding compared to each pump session (or so I’ve heard, due to the baby being better at sucking milk than a machine). Also pumping more frequently and doing a round of power pumping a day can really boost production. Supplements like fenugreek help some people (though not me), and I’ve tried natural supplements from Legendairy that worked well. I also like lactation cookies (but the kind that they sell as a mix not the ready made ones). I tried all that and still had to supplement with formula so oh well. As long as baby isn’t hungry and crying it’s all good. And on the bright side, producing less breastmilk means it’ll be easier to wean baby off when the time comes!
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First, you look lovely. Your body had and is doing amazing things. Also, what you pump is no indication of what your son gets at the breast! If you want to know how much he is getting weigh him before and after nursing. The weight difference is the amount of milk he took in. You can also seek the help of a good lactation consultant, they can quickly identify issues and ease your mind. Breastfeeding is not easy, but many women are much too hard on themselves.
Agreed with the previous comments regarding how much milk you baby gets vs the pump. I was able to nurse just fine but would have to stock up for weeks to get enough milk for one evening out.
And if that’s not the case with you, no worries. As long as the baby gets fed and everyone is usually happy you’re doing great!
I worked outside the home so pumped with three kids — one of the kids had allergies from birth making formula impossible, so for her it was until age 2 that I had to pump. Agree that pumping is totally different to breastfeeding. For me, to let down/produce for a pump, I had to really relax and imagine my baby. I also drank at least two liters of water a day. If I was stressed or in a hurry, nothing came out when pumping, but I sometimes randomly leaked all over when seeing a baby. (…and all these years later I sometimes get a phantom let down twinge in my breasts when something makes me think about my little babies…) But I also supplemented with formula for the two kids without allergies, and that was great for me too. Whatever works for you — just sharing pumping experience in case it helps. As long as you and Hawk are happy and healthy, whatever you choose is the right choice:)
Grechen Reiter says
yes, i know he’s getting more milk than i pump, especially in the mornings, but it’s still not quite enough.
i do still nurse him first, whenever he’s acting hungry, and then give formula, so he doesn’t always take it all.
he’s happy 🙂
My second daughter was on the bottom of both weight and height percentiles until about the 1 year mark – and my doctor wasn’t worried, either. Even though she was on the bottom line on the chart, she stayed on the line, and that’s what mattered – so she was getting fed and growing properly.
Just to add another voice to the “don’t trust the pump” – it’s true, the pump is not a good indicator of how much milk is coming out of your breasts when you nurse. Pumps hurt, they’re uncomfortable, and they don’t allow the body to relax like it does when the baby is actually latched, and it’s EXTREMELY common to not get much milk via the pump. My doctors told me to monitor the baby’s diaper output as an indication of how well she was fed/hydrated.
All that being said – it’s totally okay to use formula, even exclusively, if that means happier mom and baby all around! I don’t mean that to downplay your emotions about nursing, they are definitely valid. It’s okay to feel sad about it. But it’s also okay to just use formula if you want, and comfort nurse – any combination is fine. And you are right – it’s constantly changing, and in the first year, everything changes SO FAST. In addition to all the physical/logistical changes happening, you have a zillion emotions blazing through your mind, and it’s hard to process them all. You’re doing great, and we’re all here for you. 🙂
I’m now getting to experience a new kind of motherly pain for me – watching my older daughter navigate the social world and get her feelings hurt (and in turn, hurt the feelings of others). I’m starting to learn the lessons of letting go and letting her assert herself as an individual, and dang, it’s hard. Sometimes I wish she was my snuggly little baby again!
Grechen Reiter says
oh, i remember when my niece was going through that – social issues/friends at school/etc – it is HEARTBREAKING. i don’t look forward to that at all…i’m sorry you are now!
Chiming with anecdotal support. I am sure you are doing the right thing but also, don’t worry so much that what you pump is what he gets when you nurse.
I nursed my kids and had an above-average supply, which was a mixed blessing because I would drown my first kid, and she’d splutter, milk would back up into her ears, ear infections, blech. Also my babies were ridiculously fat. But when I pumped, I got barely an ounce. Somehow my let down didn’t respond to the pump action.
So, again, not remotely questioning your decision. I think you are sensing what’s right for him you guys, go you. I am just reassuring you that your supply might not be quite so low as you thought, and he is probably getting more than just comfort.
Ah OK everyone else had already said the same thing:).
To me the good thing is that you are acting on what you know is best for you both. All the kudos for that.
As far as “breast is best,” Emily Oster breaks down the data behind that in her book Cribsheet and finds that in developed countries there is not really a discernible difference between breast and formula fed babies. That mantra applies more to developing countries where women may not have access to quality formula, clean water, etc, and WHO pressured all countries to adopt it.
Of course, breast feeding is as much about the emotional connection for many women as making sure their baby gets the proper nutrition, but thought I’d chime in on the nutrition side in case that was part of the worry. (I’m not a mom yet but am 6 months pregnant! For my inexperienced self, I found Cribsheet made me feel a lot better about the flurry of advice almost/new moms get).
Gah! I just love that he’s checking out the hawks. You’ve got a future naturalist/birder in the family. 🙂
absolute right- happened to me and all 3 babies!!
The more you nurse, the more you produce. Pumping sometimes confuses your system as it’s not as effective as the baby, so the brain calibrates to what’s being pumped. I nursed both of my babies all the time during their first 3 months. I didn’t wait till they were hungry or any specific time interval. I just nursed, nursed, nursed. Sometimes that was all I did all day. I realize it’s not realistic for everyone. Just sharing my experience. As far as your changing body, that is something that will take time to accept and embrace. Plus, you will eventually find your new balance. Pushing yourself too hard or being too hard on yourself at this stage will be counterproductive. But I know how hard it is to deal with extra weight you worked so hard to shed before the baby… Hang in there! You look very good, and Hawk is adorable!
I still cry when I hear “Puff the Magic Dragon,” and my kids are 10!
Grechen Reiter says
why do we do that??
i’m glad i’m not alone 😉
Never alone! For real.