First, the butter.
In my best Paula Deen voice, this is some good stuff ya’ll. Well, I mean, I guess it’s good. It tastes just like butter, which is the point, since it is butter. When Josh first tasted it, he said, “It tastes just like real butter.” It took me a second, but I replied, it is real butter. Just seems weird to make it in a food processor and not in a cow. One nice difference is that it is very light tasting, since it’s whipped and not compressed into a square stick shape.
So I made bread to go with – can’t have one without the other, right?
I have a serious addiction to fun shaped pans. The downside of that is I spend way too much money on things like this and this and this and, you get the idea. The upside is that I have a pumpkin pan when I want to make pumpkin bread. DUH!
The bread turned out nicely, perhaps a bit too gingery, but I’m not a huge ginger fan. I also had enough batter left for half a dozen muffins.
Of course, this was all cold by the time the little miss gave me a chance to sit and eat it, but it was still all good.
And before we get to the making of the breast milk, today’s cuteness.
Yes, I know she’s on her tummy. It’s the only way she’ll nap. It’s why we have this monitor.
Hey look – I am a girl!
I love the fact she’s getting a double chin.
And now, if you know me and my boobs, and don’t want to read about them, now would be a good time to close this page. If you don’t want to read about my boobs (regardless of personal knowledge or not), breastmilk or breastfeeding, then go on and click away too.
We’ve had a lot of breastfeeding issues, all centering around her inability to gain weight while breastfeeding exclusively. So we added in formula – which broke my heart to do, but Josh and I knew it was the right thing to do for our baby. I kept trying to pump, but gave up actually breastfeeding. Over the weekend, I saw my supply start to really drop and I decided to see a lactation consultant
Breastfeeding is one of those areas where I wish I didn’t know as much as I know. I wish I hadn’t read any of the books, hadn’t gone to an LLL meeting, hadn’t hung out on breastfeeding forums, etc. None of that book knowledge prepared me for the actual physical act of breastfeeding (there’s just no way a diagram can explain the real thing) and they all made it sound so simple. Yes, they acknowledged that there are issues and problems, but they made it seem like with just a little work, anything could be overcome. And honestly, if I didn’t know all I know about the benefits of breastfeeding, then I’d have no issues with having her on formula alone. Throw in some good old guilt combined with that book knowledge, and how can I, in good consciousness, give her something inferior? After all it’s even printed on the can of formula – “breast is best!”
However, our inability to breastfeed successfully was taking a toll on me mentally. Well, on Josh and I both, since there was nothing he could to do to help us out, short of spontaneous lactation and that certainly wasn’t going to happen. Postpartum depression is something we’ve been hyper aware about – and having your baby fail to thrive on the perfect nutrition you’re supposed to be providing, not to mention the screaming as you try to feed her and the outright rejection at time, how can that not take a toll on your psyche? Enter using formula – after all, we’re not going to let our baby starve. But each time I feed her, there it is, that stupid reminder that I’m giving her an inferior product. That I’m not good enough.
So in a great debate with myself, I decided to see the lactation consultant. The mental deal I had was, if she can help us, great, we’ll get back to nursing. If she says we’re hopeless, then I simply won’t allow myself to feel guilty about using formula.
The result? Like most things in life, is a great big grey colored compromise. We’re doing both formula and breastmilk! Clearly, we have issues and a lot of them. Individually, no issue is insurmountable. Put them all together though, and it’s a much steeper hill to climb. But the LC gave me (and Marion) the tools to start taking our first steps. It’s doubtful we’ll ever be able to exclusively breast feed, but now I know that I really am doing all I can.
So after a few days of following our new plan (triple feeding, pumping after each feed, fenugreek and weighing her after each nursing session to see how much supplementing she needs) we’re seeing improvements already. I feel good because we’re nursing again, even if she’s only getting half an ounce of breastmilk in a forty minute feed. Marion is thriving because she’s getting the nutrition she needs in the quantity she needs it in – be it in the form of breast or bottle.
This whole situation has taught me a lot of valuable lessons. First and foremost, don’t ever judge someone when you see them bottle or breastfeeding their child. You just don’t know their situation. (If you do know their situation, then judge away :))I had to buy formula at Target today and of course it was crawling with moms and babies (as my friend Viula says, it’s a new mom requirement that you make thrice weekly outings to Target.) and I just was hoping that no one was judging me for buying formula (as I’m carrying my baby in a sling – how’s that for a juxtaposition?). Second lesson, be flexible. You just don’t know where life will take you or how you’ll cope when you get there. Third, don’t be bullheaded. I’m passionate about breastfeeding, no matter how the situation with Marion turns out, I’m still going to breastfeed any future children we have. I’ll still go to LLL meetings and I’ll still do everything I can to educate my friends and help them out as they have their babies. But don’t be stupid and stubborn. I could have kept on refusing to use formula – but Marion would have suffered. It was an issue of pride, I’ll admit that, I wanted to be all superior and “my baby hasn’t had a drop of anything other than breastmilk for twenty four months” but it would have been at her expense. So I had to put the pride away and bring out the bottle. And lastly, I’m trying to learn to take it easy on myself. I’ve had so many friends encourage me, to tell me that I am doing great, that I’m doing what’s best for her, not to feel guilt, etc etc but none of those positive reinforcements matter if I don’t believe it myself. Now, I know both Marion and I are trying as best as we can to the best of our abilities, and after all, isn’t that all you can ask from anyone?