Night Weaning The Beast!

Jackson just turned a year old on October 14th and is of course still nursing. I really do not mind the fact that he is still nursing but I decided that I would really like to sleep more than 2-3 hours at a time at night. Good nights, he would wake to nurse 2-3 times, bad nights Brad and I were up 6+ times. Exhaustion had ruled my life for far too long.

Starting last friday, I started sending Brad in to Jackson every time he woke up. He would give him a drink of water, pat his back, give kisses and hugs and then leave the room. There was a fair amount of anger and rage emitting from his room that night. He wanted nothing to do with Brad. I felt bad but I really needed rest, real rest. I had done nothing but nurse him for an entire year and it was time. I felt Jackson was finally mature enough to understand that I was just in the next room and that he was okay.

Night two, he only woke up ONCE! And not until 4:30 ish in the morning. Success!

Night three, he also only woke up ONCE! and not until 6:45 am! BOOYAH!

He has yet to sleep until 8:30 straight through but I am way okay with that. I have gotten more rest in the last few nights, than I have in the last year and it is pretty great indeed!

Every morning around 8:30 I go into his room and get him once he awakens for the day. We then return to my bed for snuggles and nursing. He is so happy to see me and I am just as happy to see him!

Hes almost 13 months, we did not rush “sleep training” or whatever you want to call it. I think each child should be considered as an individual and not shoved into a cookie cutter moulding of what they “should do at ___ age”. I waited for the right timing and it was a smooth transition.

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Mommy Necklaces Review & Giveaway!!!

THE 2 WINNERS OF THE MOMMY NECKLACES $10 OFF COUPON GIVEAWAY ARE:

#1 Hannah Birchman

#2 Wendy Little

Congratulations! I will contact you shortly with the coupon information and instructions.

A few months ago, I published a review for Mommy Necklaces and this week, the new owner contacted me. She offered 2 $10 off coupons to give away here on the blog.

To enter the drawing:

-You must like Mommy Necklaces on Facebook by clicking here.

-You must comment below stating that you would like to win the $10 coupon & that you have completed the above requirement.

Drawing will be held and announced on September 11, 2013- entries after September 10th will not be included.

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This is Jack enjoying my mommy necklace while nursing on our way to Salt Lake City.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Mommy Necklaces Review & Giveaway!!!

A few months ago, I published a review for Mommy Necklaces and this week, the new owner contacted me. She offered 2 $10 off coupons to give away here on the blog.

If you have never heard of Mommy Necklaces, check out my review below and make sure to visit the Mommy Necklace website by clicking here.

To enter the drawing:

-You must like Mommy Necklaces on Facebook by clicking here.

-You must comment below stating that you would like to win the $10 coupon & that you have completed the above requirement.

Drawing will be held and announced on September 11, 2013- entries after September 10th will not be included. 

Mommy Necklaces Review

What is it?

A necklace made with non-toxic beads, and a safety clasp for Mothers to wear with young children.

Features:

Affordable
Stylish colors and designs
Safety breakaway clasp
Non- toxic beads
Extra strong cord- can withstand 300 lbs of pressure

Summary:

The reason that I personally purchased a Mommy necklace is because Jack was doing too much damage. And by damage I mean digging and pinching with his fingernails into my neck and chest, many times breaking the skin. It hurt no matter how often I clipped his nails. Plus when he would nurse, he liked to put his hand in my mouth and hang his fingers from by bottom teeth! Disgusting! I needed something to keep his busy little hands occupied.

I purchased my necklace from Angel Britches locally here in Baton Rouge. It came with two donut rings that make a rattling noise when Jack shakes the necklace. He really enjoys it when I remember to wear it! It has pretty colors blue, green, red and orange and seems to match almost everything I wear. It’s not a teething necklace but I don’t worry about him biting it once in a while since the beads are non-toxic.

I would rate the Mommy Necklace a 5/5.

To visit the Mommy Necklaces web page Click here!

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This is Jack enjoying my mommy necklace while nursing on our way to Salt Lake City.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Jacks Growing Independence

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My little Jack is turning 10 months on Aug 14th. That is only a measly 2 months from being a whole year old, and I for one am sad. Why should I be sad? My son is growing and thriving, he is happy and playful. Over the last few weeks, Jack has gotten his first tooth, taken his first steps, starting sleeping in his own bed (well not the whole night), & started to wean himself from breast feeding.

While all of those things I just mentioned seem like good things, and they are good, they are also terrible. Terrible because they all lead to independence from ME. My baby is turning into a boy, and boys grow up to be teenagers and then when they are about 40, they turn into adult men… I’m kidding about the last part, well kind of. And adult men do not and should not cuddle with their mothers.

Until the last few weeks, Jack has needed me in every single part of his daily life. In fact for the first 10 months in utero and much of his infancy thus far, he has needed me to stay alive. So his growing independence is bitter sweet. I am having so much fun playing with him, reading him books and finding new ways to make him laugh. But I am also finding myself missing my baby, he is in the same apartment, even the same room sometimes and I will start to cry. He has only begun to wean so he is still nursing a few times a day but it still saddens me. Sometimes I will offer to nurse him and he will slide off my lap to retrieve his noonie or a toy. REJECTED! That is the only way to describe what I feel when he would rather do other things when I am offering him the milk I have worked so hard to produce.

I am sure that this is just the natural progression of things and that my feelings toward these changes are normal. I can see why people tend to get pregnant again so soon after the weaning of a child. There is a longing in the heart of a mother for her baby to be snuggled up against her in the dead of the night where in those moments, they are the only 2 who exist.

 

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My Breastfeeding Experience: A Difficult Journey

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My Breastfeeding Experience: A Difficult Journey

I thought that Breastfeeding would come naturally to me. I thought it would be easy because our bodies were created to nourish our offspring. I thought it would be this beautiful bonding experience. Everything I thought, turned out to be wrong.

I read lots of books about pregnancy, labor, birth and breastfeeding while pregnant with Jack. It was not even a question in my mind as to if I would nurse my baby. Of course I would, I was not going to give him an imitation when I had the real thing free and readily available in my very own body. I would never drink baby formula myself or even the first two ingredients – corn syrup & vegetable oil so why would I give that to my baby? So the decision to breastfeed for me was an easy one. What was not so easy, was actually doing it!

I had Jackson on a beautiful warm morning in October. My labor was a short but intense 6.5 hours resulting in a medicine free natural water birth. It seemed so easy and natural and as soon as I took my slippery pink son into my arms, he immediately began to root searching for my breast. I put him to breast before even getting out of the tub. I thought WOW! He’s already nursing like a champ, this is going to be great! We nursed a few more times before leaving the birth center to return home.

That evening it was my husband, myself and our new baby all alone. We had no idea what we were doing, and panic started to set in. Our baby cried all night long, he awakened every 30 minutes to an 1 hour around the clock. I nursed him on demand just like the book had said, and changed sides, just like the book had said. But something was just not working.

The evening of day four, my husband brought me a diaper and said “hey this looks kinda weird”. I looked at the diaper and saw my worst nightmare. A light red rust like substance lay there revealing the hard truth, my son was dehydrated. He wasn’t getting enough colostrum and my milk still had not come in. I felt defeated and totally lost. The next morning Jack had another diaper laced with urinate crystals and I was grief stricken. He was still crying day and night, hungry no doubt and it was all my fault. I contacted my friend Brigid who was nursing her sweet baby girl at that time. I asked her if she would be willing to give me some of her breast milk to feed my son, since I was not able to at that time. She brought milk over right away and even tried to nurse him herself, but he would not latch. We filled a small medicine syringe with breast milk and slowly filled his mouth. His face and whole body relaxed in satisfaction and he instantly fell asleep.

I pondered what I would do next? Would I start formula? Would I try to obtain more donor milk? What was wrong with me? Where was my milk?

Another friend visited me that afternoon to comfort and console me. As we were talking she looked over and asked me, “what is that on your nipple? IS THAT MILK?” Sure enough my milk had come just shy of 5:00pm on the 5th day after birth. What a relief! I could finally feed my son like I needed to. But my problems were far from over.

Over the following weeks, I continued struggling to feed my darling son. I suffered extreme nipple damage. Both sides were bruised, cracked and bloody despite the creams, soothie pads, and air drying, I was in constant pain. I cried every time I fed him, tears would stream down my face. It was so unbearable, I dreaded nursing him and he ate so often. Unknowingly I battled nursing a baby with a thick upper lip tie and light tongue tie. I was made aware of this after reaching out to a lactation consultant at a local hospital. Getting it surgically corrected at that time was out of the question. I was not in a proper emotional state to deal with that, so we waited.

And waited, and waited. I waited for it to get better like the ladies at the La leche league said it would. For the constant shooting pain to go away, and i waited to not HATE feeding my baby whom I loved with all my heart.

For two months straight, I took it day by day & nursing session by nursing session trying to keep our breastfeeding relationship alive. I stayed active on the local la leche league Facebook page and attended meetings for support. Finally around the 3rd month, I felt like things were getting better.

I practiced all the healthy habits to protect my milk supply. I never supplemented with formula to sleep, I drank water like crazy, took fenugreek, and ate a million lactation cookies. I also stopped eating dairy in an effort to help Jacks horrible tummy aches and extreme gas.

Jack is 6 months old now and he’s still nursing. It’s easy now and I don’t have any pain. The only problem I have is the occasional love bite, I say love bite because he’s always smiling when he clamps down on me. I’m proud of myself for enduring the pain and fighting for our nursing relationship. I am so grateful to be able to provide the best nourishment for him.

It’s hard for me to think on my breast feeding journey. I feel angry, robbed and ashamed. I feel angry because I wasn’t prepared like maybe I could have been. Angry because things did not happen like I wanted. Robbed because I did not get the deep intimate bonding that I thought I would have. Robbed of the enjoyment of my newborn son. Precious, unrecoverable time spent exhausted, in pain and constant despair. I had waited so long for him and then could not enjoy him, how sad?! Last of all I feel ashamed. Ashamed that I ignorantly allowed my son to get dehydrated before reaching out to someone for help. Ashamed because I hated nursing my baby, that I didn’t even want to look at him sometimes because of the pain I was in.

I do not have birth trauma, I have nursing trauma. This experience has scarred my heart and makes me question having more children. I hope that my heart will heal over time and that one day I will be able to let go and forgive myself.

If you have trouble with nursing please reach out to other wise women who have nursed children, your local La Leche league and lactation consultants in your local area. Know you aren’t alone in your struggle and you can get through it!

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Waiting For Baby…

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Waiting For Baby

So it’s your due date and you feel nothing. And by nothing, I mean, no contractions. Sigh… Will my baby ever come???!!

You may be thinking about an induction if you haven’t already scheduled one already at your 39 week appointment. After all, the baby is big enough, and developed enough, why not end your pregnancy and finally hold your baby?

Every mama pondering induction should read the articles below:

http://www.motherfriendly.org/Resources/Documents/CIMS%20Fact%20Sheet-%20Problems%20and%20Hazards%20of%20Induction%20of%20Labor.pdf

So if increased risk of fetal distress and cesarean section were not enough… There’s the effects on Breastfeeding to consider as well.

La Leche League International states in their document on birth:

A woman considering an induction before her due date needs to know that a late preterm baby (37-39 weeks) may have some of the same types of problems breastfeeding as a very early preterm baby (such as weak or uncoordinated suck, and sleepiness at the breast.)

This link provides excellent insight to the effects that the birth experience can have on Breastfeeding.

http://www.llli.org/docs/lad/ChildbirthandBreastfeeding.pdf

Listen, I’ve been there! Jack was born at 40 weeks plus 5 days! I was beginning to think I was just fat and wasn’t actually having a baby at all. I say on my sofa much of the last two weeks inhaling ice cream and watching extreme makeover: weightless edition! It was hard to wait for my baby to come. Babies come out when they are ready. Jack was definitely ready too, only 6.5 hours of labor and 9 mins of pushing was all it took.

He was only 8.2 and 20 inches long even post date. He wasn’t a huge baby and came out relatively easy.

Be patient mamas, that baby growing below your heart will soon enough be in your arms and at your breast.