Thursday, July 29, 2010

Much better...and a new family member!!!!

I am posting a lot this week because I've been feverishly researching remedies for engorgement online:-) But, I am very happy to say that things have gotten better!!! On Tuesday my breasts were going to explode - horribly painful, hard and starting to get red and hot. I got nervous about mastitis and called my doctor. They recommended all of the stuff I was already doing - Advil, Sage tea, and cabbage leaves in the bra (yes, I walked around smelling like an aging eastern European peasant!) and they told me to make an appointment for Wednesday. By Tuesday night I was getting nervous about the redness, pain and heat so I caved and pumped 2 oz only from each breast. Miraculously, it all got better...redness went away, heat stopped, and they weren't so hard. I woke up Wednesday a new woman...they didn't fill up again! So, I cancelled my appointment and have since been doing really well....they are slowly deflating, which is somewhat mortifying.

In the meantime, Teagan is doing great on a mixture of half formula and half breastmilk. I am going to try out two formulas (both incredibly similar) to see which one I like better and which one she likes better. They are Earth's Best and Baby's Only. Each of them has their own benefits so it really is up to taste and price. She doesn't mind the bottle at all but I still have a hard time sometimes when the bottle doesn't warm fast enough and she tries to root towards my breast. I have a flash of guilt and sadness...I truly can't believe how hard this has been to do. Maybe if breastfeeding was painful or I hated doing it...but I miss it so much. At least it is a consolation that Teagan doesn't seem to be all that affected by the change. Although, Brett sure is because I need his help to get the bottle warm at the 2:30 AM feedings! She does sleep well but we have a schedule so that she is asleep at 7:15 or she wakes up around 2:30 to eat a bottle and then sleeps usually until the morning. Technically that is "sleeping through the night," I guess, though it doesn't feel like it!!!!

We have a new family member! Brett's sister had a baby yesterday - a little baby girl, who we are dying to meet! So, my brother and his wife had a baby boy 2 days after Teagan was born (they have 2 girls already) and Brett's sis had a baby girl about 5 months after great is that? 2 new cousins instantaneously! Holidays are going to be so much fun!

Also, there is a new development and I'll leave you with a picture of it. Teagan is sitting up on her own already! She kind of does things in a strange order....not linear, really. So, out of nowhere she can now sit up on her own for about 5-7 minutes and then it is Timber!!!! are some pics...

Swimming with mommy in the lake up the road...

What is this??? She actually tried to taste it and Brett had to quickly move her little head away from the water:-)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Quick update on weaning

This is so hard! I mean, emotionally it is hard and physcially, OUCH. I recommend that if anyone else has to wean before their child makes it to eating lots of solid foods and drinking real milk, do it very slowly and progressively. My breasts are rock hard, huge, and gnarly. I can barely pick up my daughter and hold her (she has to be held in the middle, between the two boulders!). Oh, and keep in mind that I've usually been only a 34A, sometimes B. We are on E right now and working up!

Teagan is eating the bottles well. We are on half formula (Earth's Best) and half breastmilk. I am still doing 2-3 feedings a day and, in between, if my breasts get too full, I pump an ounce here and there to relieve the pressure. This isn't working great. So, today I think I am starting sudafed. There is finally a study out there that sudafed decreases your supply by 20%. Not much, but there it is. I hate taking meds but this is a special case as far as I am concerned. I may actually be done breastfeeding for good and only do the pumping of a single ounce here and there to relieve pressure so that I can end this agony. It is like prolonging the emotional and physical pain but part of me just doesn't want to stop. First of all, never underestimate the "feel good" hormones from nursing...if you stop nursing fast, you will seriously feel the lack of those hormones (though before trying to stop, I had no idea they were there). Its amazing. Then there is the fact that you get used to the closeness of nursing and how good it feels to be that food source for your baby. Even with that, I have to giggle at the faces Teagan makes when she is hungry and I start pulling up my shirt. I am going to miss those open mouth, tongue sticking out, scrunched-up-nose attacks! Even Brett had to laugh when he witnessed one this morning!

Oh well...there it is.

Also - Mrs. Last Chance, I have a friend who adopted an infant and took the hormones to start lactation and successfully breastfed her adopted son for a year. I'm not sure if that is something you want to do. I don't know if I'd do it. I just wanted to throw it out there as something that could be possible, if you are interested in it.

Oh, and did I mention how lazy I am and how much easier and more convenient breastfeeding is? The bottles! the mixing of formula! the thawing of breastmilk. Ugh. Its a job in itself!!!!!

Okay, I'll update soon.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Weaning advice?

I am trying to start weaning Teagan off of breastfeeding and it is KILLING me. I feel horribly guilty, mean, selfish, etc...but the truth is, if I was being selfish, I wouldn't be weaning her yet. I know that in my heart...b/c I want to keep feeding her breastmilk. I want that bond. Just thinking about it hurts. However, I also need to try for a sibling for her ASAP. I need to keep that momentum going and hopefully get a few good embryos this fall and then never have to think about it again. I love having a brother. We've had some problems in the last few years but we were inseperable growing up and had great times during our college years. Its just nice to have that sibling to be close to. When your parents are old or pass away, you have family and, hopefully, extended family. I very much want to give this to my daughter. And, so I started cutting down feedings a little. First I cut out those extra pumping sessions last week. Now I am starting to feed some of the frozen breastmilk to her and cutting out 2 more feedings a day but, by the end of this week, I need to stop entirely. So, today, I just gave her her first taste of something other than breastmilk, organic formula. She had 1 ounce of organic formula mixed in with 3 ounces of breastmilk, and she did great. I felt awful. Its hard to explain...goes straight to my self-image - but she ate it like a champ. I have 384 ounces of frozen breastmilk that I will continue to give her but I needed to make sure she'd do ok with formula before I started the process of really drying up my milk. If she does fine, we'll continue to supplement and then I'll start her on rice cereal next week or avocados or banana...we'll see (one at a time per week).

Now, regardless of my odd self-image or my crazy need to continue breastfeeding, I am committed to drying up by August...if you've weaned children from the breast, do you have any advice? I've heard someone mention sudafed....did it help you? I didn't pump last night and took an advil and went to bed. I woke up at 2 am with very painful, hard breasts but just took another advil...but then I caved this morning and pumped 10 oz! Now that I know she doesn't spit out anything with formula in it, I can start to try in earnest....

This is a super fast post since I am running out the door, but you all out there in blogland have been so helpful in the past, I was hoping someone would have some great advice. Also know this, I am not at all bashing people who have formula fed from the beginning or weaned much earlier AT ALL. I was exclusivly formula fed and am happy, healthy and well-adjusted. Breastfeeding was just a personal choice to me and I worked very hard at it in the beginning to get past serious pain and have learned to really love it. So, in addition to the emotional side of it where I am really struggling, I have no idea how to handle the physical side!!!!