Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's not always about the kids

Jasmine watch ... day 12

Last Tuesday at 9:00 I was on my way to a play date with a new friend and her two children who are exactly the same ages as my kids. She also has a boy and a girl. She is a very sweet Mom and always makes me feel encouraged. She is a positive person and I appreciate that most about her.

As I was driving to her home all I could feel was gratitude.

Gratitude for the fact that I was NOT on my way to put my sweet Jasmine to sleep. I made a 9:00 appointment to put her down, but I happily cancelled it on Monday because she was doing so much better. I can't believe I almost put her down at the advice of the vet. I know the vet wasn't flippant about putting her to sleep, but I also felt like she wanted me to do it in that moment. It's not like I have this stray cat that I found and she's sick ... that cat is almost 9!!! She's a member of the family so you would think that more caution and more options would be considered to save her.

At least I listened to my own instincts and didn't give up. She is eating better and I got her a fountain so she can have access to running water any time of the day. Hydration is extremely important with kidney issues so that should really help her. She is up and around more and even ran away from Devon ;)I haven't seen her run in a while so that is good. I don't know what's wrong with her, but I hope that she is getting over it.

Things are really looking up! Thanks for your concern.

In other news ... nursing the baby isn't going very well to say the least. I noticed that she was fussy and crying when she was feeding and I could just tell there wasn't much milk. I decided that I would give her a bottle of formula and pump and see how much milk there was. I put her to bed at 7:00 and pumped at midnight. I would normally get 5 ounces, but I BARELY got two. Not good. I pumped again at 7:00 am and I only got two ounces. After 7 hours I only got 2 ounces. Not good.

This also happened with Devon around this same time (3-4 months). My milk just went away. It's funny how we (as Moms) can have so much guilt over things that are out of our control. I felt like I wasn't being a good Mom to him by not being able to provide milk, but I know it's not my fault and there's only so much you can do. I cried every feeding that I had to give him formula. I felt like I was failing as a Mom and it really made me depressed. I still feel guilt about stopping with Devon even though I know I did everything I could. When my supply went down I put on weight to make sure I was eating enough, I pumped every two hours (even though he was sleeping through the night), I took medication to increase the hormone that helps produce milk ... for three months. When he was 7 months his pediatrician begged me to stop because he could see that I was visibly stressed by the whole thing so I did. I'm glad he gave me permission to do that and I immediately started to feel better.

I have tried many things to boost my supply and some women just don't have a lot of milk. I am one of those women. Some women make TONS of milk and have more than enough to feed their babies and freeze milk for a year. I am not one of those women. I pumped a few days ago and when I only got an ounce I decided to stop breastfeeding. It makes me extremely sad to stop since I really do enjoy that time with her, but if there's no milk there's no milk.

I read a recent study that found that the benefits of breast milk really only apply to the first week of life since the colostrum and the hind milk (milk for the first month) that follows it are the most important antibodies and nutrients that a baby needs. After that, as long as the baby is getting milk it doesn't matter if it's breast milk or formula.

I have tried a few of the frozen dinners that I made and I have to tell you that I'm not impressed with most of it. It tastes like "left overs" even though I bake it in the oven. Does that make sense? The mashed potatoes were pretty unappetizing (very starchy and doughy) and the stuffed pasta shells were a little dry. I'm sure all of this takes a little finesse, but I don't know if it's worth it. I do think that spaghetti sauce is perfectly fine frozen. I will admit that even though the food hasn't been great, on the few occasions where we did eat them it was a lifesaver to have something ready to go. I think I might try a few soups since the weather is getting colder it might be nice to have that on hand.

I am dreading the holidays, but I am trying to stay positive. I do not have that "holiday gene" that most of my family seems to have. We put up a tree every year and I enjoy that I have to admit. I like going to the lot, picking out a live tree, watching Joe heft it into the house all by his manly self and setting it up together. We don't usually do gifts for each other, but this year we are going to and I decided that we should do stockings and start our own traditions with the kids. I am excited to give my gift to Joe and to watch Devon enjoy his first real xmas as a "big boy" since he is finally old enough to open gifts and articulate a bit better. It's Audrey's first xams this year and our first xmas as a complete family.



Crystal Pistol said...

that nursing thing must be so frustrating for you! I'm glad the pediatrian told you to stop and that now you know how your body will respond.

As moms we feel guilty WAY too much! If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy! :)

Kate said...

blerg blerg, forget christmas and boobs and focus on thanksgiving...that's the best anyway, right?