Thursday, June 28, 2012

go BIG or go home

Today is the start of some changes.
  1.  I am starting a new herbal supplement called MothersLove. It's supposed to yield more milk, so here's to hoping for another half oz to an ounce. That would be sweet. 
  2. I am also writing as I pump from my newly rented hospital grade pump. We forked over $70 for this thing in hopes of an increase to my supply. Per month.
  3. I just made some lactation cookies. The reviews said it really works, so hopefully I don't just end up getting fat. I did cut out half of the sugar and added some barley, too. 
  4. Still drinking my 3 cups a day of "Mothers Milk" tea. Though for a refreshing twist, I've added some peppermint leaves. Yum. Oh, and of course the french vanilla coconut creamer. 
I am hoping that some day I can switch to pumping every 3 hours. It sure is nice to nurse Ella, but if she isn't efficient and I don't have all the time in the world to nurse, pump, and bottle feed, I might have to drop it.  I will definitely try to do it 2-3 times a day, but not as many as I'm doing now. Sometimes it's just not possible. It is nice, though. It definitely satisfies "my" needs as a nursing mother.  Every two hours is really hard, and it will get even harder once Peter is busy in the field! I feel like also once Ella gets past this fussy stage, it will also become LOADS easier. She is also, still in our room! I wish she could switch to her crib but because she spits up so much, I am afraid we wouldn't hear her choking (because she does sometimes!) and then I am not sure i would sleep any better than I am now.  We started wrapping her back up in blankets now so that she will sleep better. So far the last 3 nights it's worked, but I want to get her used to sleeping alone, too. For naps, it's almost impossible. I feel like a new mom! This is a totally different experience for me!

Well, I think that is all for now. I feel like all I ever talk about to any and everyone is my pumping experience. Well, that is a huge focus for me right now and basically takes the front seat - Ella does. I have also honestly surrendered my guilt of not being able to do everything on my wish list each day. If we don't eat breakfast til after 9 am, that's OKAY. (I've found that a lot of moms do that, and they don't even have to do nurse and pump and etc like me!)  It's also okay if they watch t.v. a little more than I'm used to. It's just a season.  I think though, once Kate goes to kindergarten I am going to be a mess. I'm praying that I can really enjoy{them} in a new perspective each day. God's perspective.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


I sadly did not know the meaning of sacrifice..........before Ella. That seems to be the main theme this last year. I have been reminded about it numerous times, one being at Ella's baby shower.  It all started in the womb. I was constantly battling cramps, scary cramps, at just 19 weeks. No bleeding or anything, just awful cramps. With that, came extreme uncomfortableness, and depression.  I know I was depressed. There were times I would sit and just stare, and cry, lots. I felt very alone as at this point in time Peter was in beets.  I felt alone spiritually, bitter at God that he had deserted me and left me to feel this way during pregnancy. My once toned body was changing, I was tired all the time, etc. I slowly fell in and out of this pattern - disappointed and desperate to enjoy the rest of the pregnancy.

The last four weeks were exceptionally uncomfortable. I had troubles falling asleep, and Ella would kick often, and hard making it impossible to stay asleep even if I was incredibly tired. There was just something about this pregnancy that seemed totally different. Everything was much harder, and people assured me it was because I had two others at home.

I always worried, of course that something might be wrong with the baby. It seems with more pregnancies, the more worried I got. Down syndrome, among other things were high on the worry list. I remember one time as we were driving, Peter told me we should remember the cost of diapers and etc for the new baby and I thought to myself  "lord willing, if we have a baby".  It seemed to be always in my thoughts and I knew it was sinful to have such a spirit of fear and worry, yet I just couldn't let go of it, even after lots and lots of prayer.   One morning at church, our pastor gave us a time of prayer, and the topic was "trials".  I remember him asking us to think of a trial we are in, or about to face, that we need to ask Gods help in.  Like always, I closed my eyes and waited for God to nudge something into my mind. Usually this happened with visions of words or phrases.  This time it was a single word.   Baby.

I remember my shoulders dropping very heavily and I let out a sigh of disappointment and heartache. No.... not the baby, I thought.  I had just a month to go, and again, the spirit of fear was upon me. I was careful not to say anything to peter, and as I brought this up in my small group, they assured me it didn't have to mean HEALTH. It could mean that the switch to three children could be a trial and challenge.  So, I went with that.

Nursing was always such a sweet thing to me. It was always given that I would just get to nurse.  Nursing was natural, and it was something also I had taken for granted with the other two, or so it seems. I know thats not necessarily true, because there were many many times I stroked my girls' faces while nursing, thinking how precious it was to be able to provide nourishment for them. To see them grow. It was such a special time for me.  When I had troubles nursing Ella, it was completely devastating to me. It still is.  Not only have I lost the one connection that is not replaceable, it is SO  much work to pump. I can't even tell you.  I have/had cried so many tears when Ella was screaming in hunger and I had to strap on my pumping bra and all my 'attachments' before I could answer her hunger pains with a BOTTLE. A bottle first of pumped milk, my milk at least, along with an ounce or two of formula. I thought by now i would get the hang of this, get into a routine or SOMETHING. But it is equally exhausting as the first day.  I am getting the same amount of sleep, same number of pumps, the same amount of time away from the kids, meals, etc.   I have a hard time keeping up with housework, and most of the time I just roll with it, trying to keep up. Sometimes it is depressing. 

Yesterday was one of those times where it was hectic,  yet I tried to keep a good attitude. Ella was the fussiest I think she's ever been. She must have had gas. We tried going for a walk with the family, and to spend time together doing fun things. Peter got tired on the couch, I had only one hour until I had to pump next so we really needed to get going if we were going to have some family fun.  We started our walk; Ella was uncomfortable and whining. We had troubles finishing our walk b/c she was fussy and when we got home, she wouldn't stop crying! I had to pump, so i encouraged the kids to get some goldfish to bring into the living room, and i assured them I would do some of their crafts while I pumped.  I think you have to be creative if you are going to make pumping work. It was 8:15, they needed a snack before bed and they wanted attention. I had to also pump, so this is how I could make it work.  Doing all three at once, a moms point of view. Ella was screaming in peters lap, he was beyond frustrated and just set her down and walked away, also mad that the kids were eating in the living room.  I shouted to him as he brought them into the kitchen.. I HAVE TO PUMP! this is how i have to make it work!  The kids ate their snack and instead of pumping I tried to nurse Ella. She got enough breastmilk to settle down and fall asleep, both her and I satisfied in our session and again, I strapped the pump on and began to pump. In enough time for the girls to finish their snack and come into the living room so I could read 3 books to them... quietly, because Ella was sleeping. After finishing pumping, Peter brushed their teeth and I read one more book to them. I came into the living room at about 9:10 and Ella was stirring, ready to eat. So I picked her up, fed her, put her to bed, washed bottles, put away dishes, washed up, pumped again, ready for bed..  No shower.  Sacrifice. Every last bit of energy and time are for my kids. I woke up at 2:30am, nursed Ella-- this seemed like the best nurse session yet, though she drank continually, it seemed her latch still wasn't quite right as it sort of hurt. She nursed for 7 minutes on my right, and then I coaxed her to nurse on my left side while lying down and that seemed to work best for her since the left is definitely not a preferred side! I felt her latch was better, until she spit it out and fell asleep at peace. I put her to bed, pumped for another half hour, and went to bed. She woke up 2 hours later and I fed her the rest of the bottle I pumped plus an ounce that was in the fridge. I am thinking she hardly got over an ounce but i'll never know.  Then now, at 6:30 I am pumping again. I'll try to go to sleep and wake up to maybe nurse/pump, breakfast, and hope to get a shower in.   This is my season, and i am praying that God will reveal his love to me in a special way since it gets so tiring. My hope is that I will have and continue to have a love for my kids that isn't full of resentment or bitterness from all the work I have to do for them. I'm praying for a miracle with nursing.... it would make things so much easier!  Please pray with me!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

a gain

Right now it is 11 a.m. and I am pumping while with watching my 4, almost 5 year old hold my newborn baby in her arms while watching cartoons. It is such a sweet site and I wish I had my camera with me. For now I am content with just looking and remembering it. Maddy sat along with her, giving her sweet kisses while she slurped her bottle happily.  Ella keeps looking up at kate in what seems like amazement and Kate's hand cradles her head. I am blessed.

The weekend was so fun, I was so incredibly happy and felt so grateful. I should have known it would follow by a Satan-stricken day the day after. Sunday I woke up on the wrong side of bed, not exactly crabby but feeling worthless, ugly, and of course reminded of my post baby weight. Getting ready for church is not always fun when nothing fits how you would like it to, or remember anyway.  It was also sad to me that we had to miss being in our worship team the last two sundays.  It's just too hard. I napped though for an hour or so after lunch and showered, too...and I felt like a new person!

Yesterday was clearly a big day. This time we did not bring kids  - which was a relief.  I remember undressing Ella to get weighed thinking..."this is it, this is the big weigh in".  We set her down, and voila, 9 pounds 15 oz.  A whole pound.  In my mind I thought she gained for sure, but didn't expect a whole pound!  What a praise. I mostly feared cystic fibrosis, and even the thought of a metabolic disorder was scary.  I was so discouraged last week. I  began having thoughts of my milk supply and how it might not be sufficient for her. I began drinking less water and really not caring much about it. It was nice to go to a doctor that gave me a pep talk about how water is extremely important and encouraged me to keep going.   I tried nursing her yesterday. I felt her hard suck, but it was going no where.  I think if I want to make it work i need to work one-on-one with a Lactation consultant. I am not too sad anymore but I want to remember giving it my all before I close the door on it. It just seems so much work to try and nurse, pump after, and then feed her a bottle. That is twice what I am doing now... I'll have to make a decision. I think even if I could nurse her morning and night, that would be so nice. I hate, HATE, having to pump all the time, but hoping after a couple months it will get better.

Well, that's all for now. My pumping session is done and I better get lunch started!