Thursday, March 24, 2011
In the beginning....
I really debated on what I should do for my first post. Different ideas swam through my head and I'd originally thought, Ooo, I'll do it on vaccines. No, scratch that. I still have more research to do and I don't want to go in head first without looking. Then I'd just look stupid. Ahh, the joys of being in my head, right? It's a crazy mess in there but sometimes it's kinda fun (being in my head that is).
Then I thought I should do a post on the thing that started me down my crunchy path...breastfeeding!! (And can I just say that everytime I say crunchy, I get hungry and start thinking about foods that crunch? Carrots, granola, cookies, deep fried chimichangas...mmmm...)
When I was pregnant with my first baby, I remember thinking, I'll breastfeed until she's 6 months. I have no idea where I came up with that number or what I planned on doing afterwards. I also remember buying formula and bottles "just in case" because that's what the baby registries (who I'm sure are helped funded BY the formula companies) told me to do. That's what websites told me to do. And I was TERRIFIED my baby would starve. Sigh. There is SO much misinformation out there that leads mamas down the wrong path...that's a whole other blog post though...I'm not even going to start ranting about that (FYI, I'm sure I'll blog A LOT about breastfeeding on here...it's my absolute passion in life!).
When Olivia was born, she was 6 weeks premature due to pre-e. She also had high levels of magnesium sulfate in her blood and jaundice so she was extra sleepy. The NICU where she was, as well as the lactation consultants were completely worthless. Within a day and a half they said if I didn't give her bottles, she'd never go home. I had almost no chance to work on latching with her. She had a weak latch and sucking...of COURSE, because she was premature and just at the gestation where the suck, breathe and swallow reflex usually kicks in for babies. I would always go to the NICU and try to nurse her but I couldn't get her to latch on. Hindsight, I now know that I didn't give it enough of a chance but I didn't know. Everyone told me otherwise. Oh if only I'd known about the resources! In a nutshell, I ended up pumping for almost 6 months and bottle feeding Olivia. I had problems with supply and I also didn't pump enough (again, thanks to the LOVELY LC's advice from that stupid hospital) so I had to supplement (and I didn't know about milk sharing!). Right before Olivia turned 6 months old, my supply was SO incredibly low that she was getting like one bottle a day of bm and the rest formula. I was doing everything to try and increase my supply...fenugreek, marathon pumping sessions, drinking TONS of water, breast massage, but nothing was working. I knew that if I couldn't get her to start nursing, it wouldn't be long before she was on formula. It was right around this time that I started learning more about breastfeeding and starting my lactivist ways. I got Olivia to latch on (much to the dismay of said LC's AND the LLL I had contacted!) and the rest, as they say, is history! She became a boobie baby almost overnight!
When Olivia was one year old, it was time to wean, right? Because that's when you're supposed to wean isn't it? But I thought to myself, wait a second, I've actually ONLY gotten to breastfeed her for 6 months so really, that's not fair. I loved breastfeeding, she loved breastfeeding and I thought it was a bunch of BS that I'd only gotten to nurse her for 6 months so I wasn't about to stop now! I didn't know the term "extended breastfeeding" and I didn't know about WHO's recommendation to nurse until the age of 2 and I CERTAINLY didn't know that people nurse even LONGER then 2! I was just flying by the seat of my pants (which is what I did with most of everything I did with Olivia!).
When she was 14 months old, we decided to try to have another baby. With Olivia, we had to do fertility treatments to get pregnant with her and we thought we'd need to do that again. I went to see my OB who said they couldn't give me the drugs while breastfeeding (and of course, I later found out there ARE drugs you can take while BFing, sigh). I was so sad, I didn't want to wean! But we wanted to have another baby and we were afraid that insurance would cut us off from fertility treatments since our old insurance had. So, I very, very slowly weaned her...like over 2.5 months. At 16 months, we finally weaned.
.......and 3 weeks later I was pregnant on my own. How do ya like that?!
So it was through flying by the seat of my pants with pumping and breastfeeding Olivia that I started to discover my inner crunchiness. The first forum I found was The Leaky B@@B on facebook and that was right around the time I was weaning Olivia. That's my story for now, which will later be continued as I talk more about breastfeeding and other crunchy subjects...now off to find something crunchy to eat.