Teeth and the boobs

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“There are teeth in his mouth. I don’t wanna put this in there.” Those are the words that ran through my head when at 8.5 months old, the littlest boy sprouted a tooth and a half. We have been working hard to keep the milk up. All kinds of Hospital grade pumps, herbs and compunded pharmecuticals. And now I have to contend with teeth. As if his occasional gnawing followed by an adorable smile when I yelled firmly stated NO, wasn’t enough. If it ain’t one thing it’s another.

So here we are. Almost 9 months and I have a teething biter attached to my gi-norms. Oh. What is a gi-norm you ask? Well it refers to the milk producing ginourmous (gigantic and enormous got together and made a ginormous… yes it’s a real made up word) mounds that my wee one feels are a the best thing ever. Ok. Breasts. Big ones. I digress. 9 months and now what?

No real bites yet (thank you Almighty). A few nibbles that were quickly followed up with removal of said appendage from wee one’s mouth and a very firm no. But no bites. I hate pumping. But if he uses those new chompers on my already sore gi-norms, I am gonna be a pumping somebody.wpid-wp-1389043453251.jpg

Truly though, I am extremely thankful to have gotten this far breastfeeding. With the bigger boy (now 9 years old), I tried for a month to breastfeed and pump. He wouldn’t latch at all for a solid month and pumping throughout the day gave no more than 1 ounce combined milk. That is right… no let down ever occurred while pumping. Of course, I didn’t have the lactation help that I had this time, nor did I have a Hospital Grade pump that is as silent as a whisper. No, no. I had lactation help that considered me another number and a store bought loud as Hades pump that sent “The Marine” packing each time it came on. So I am not exaggerating when I say that this time around has been full of small goals and big accomplishments.

So my lovelies. did you continue breastfeeding while baby teethed?

Breastfeeding Challenges pt. 2

20140103_093238 So… ok, just picking up where I left off in part 1. So it’s just one week before I go back to working full time and the wee one starts with a sitter. AND, I don’t have any supply in the freezer, a pump with which to secure new supply, nor hardly any milk being produced. I am drinking ‘non-alcholoic beer’, drinking  boobie milk tea (ok, not the real name), taking to breast all the time, eating the occasional seaweed. Really, doing just about anything to make this milk stay. Now what do I do?

I visit the nearest store and price formula. Good gravy! Formula is priced so freaking high I would either have to be wealthy or qualify for WIC to acquire some. Since neither is my case and I don’t have a hook-up. I am back to searching for ways to produce liquid gold in a bottle.

I hit the internet. I search and search and finally stumble upon the correct words that will produce what I am looking for. I call stores the rent pumps, research pumps on various websites, and locate independent lactation specialists. The first person I speak to is a La Leche League rep. She answers! I explain and she rattles off with reasons why my milk is low, anatomy of the breastfeeding body, and some possible solutions with barely a breath in between. The conversation, that is is an overstatement. It was really a monologue. Anyhoo, it was over in under fifteen minutes and the whirlwind left me feeling very alone  and without usable solutions. She didn’t get my contact information and didn’t really seem interested. In fact, I felt like a nuisance to her otherwise wonderful evening. Booo.

The second pickup was a location that rents pumps. And yes, they had them. And no the rep couldn’t tell me anything more than the cost and which ones were most commonly used because they just work there.

A few more calls and then a call back. A lactation specialist who is absolutely kind and caring and actually paid attention to what I said. She was local. But couldn’t understand why I had problems with the last pump since that is the brand she carries. Hmmm.

A few more calls and another pick up. She skips to the point. Can you come today? I have everything you need here. Oh and I agree that pump was a piece of crap.

Enter lactation guru, book writer, care giver, inspirational, baby whisperer – Kathleen. I show up at this strangers house. She is a well dressed blonde, Mother of grown children, RN with about fifteen other letters behind her name and Ph.D. in her future. She immediately takes the car seat and invites us in. My Mom, Kathleen and I have so much fun over the next hour that it is more like hanging out with a good friend than having someone size up your breast milk shortage.

When I leave, I have pumped, nursed, had my wee one weighed, laughed, gotten two bras that fit, am outfitted with a high quality pump that only whispers, have few baby calming tricks up my sleeve, know what the law allows for regarding work and have some herbal solutions to bring the milk back full force. My knight in shining highlights!! I feel good about my breastfeeding prospects.

So here we are. The wee one just turned 9 months and he still nurses. I never have enough milk to have a huge stash but I can get enough extra for daycare and the occasional night out. I am happy, not stressed. Kathleen at Bethesda Breastfeeding continues to assist me as needed.

-Just an aside, this past weekend, I bought my first non-nursing bra in forever. A nice Felina bra in a mouth dropping 38G!!!!! What in heaven’s name? The Marine asked “G? Is that for Good Googa Mooga?” Eh.

What I know I did right? I sought out help and kept looking until I found someone I felt comfortable with. I  set small achievable goals. They were:

  • Nurse now
  • If I can do it now, I can do it in two hours
  • If I can do it in two hours, I can do it for a week,
  • If I can do it for a week, the a month
  • If a month, then two months,
  • If 3, then 6
  • If 6, then 9
  • If 9, then 12

Patience and diligence were the deal makers. I didn’t give up. Not when it hurt (um yeah, it hurts in the beginning or for my left Ginorm, whenever he nurses – use Lanolin), not when challenges presented themselves. I believed that I could do it, and I searched for the support I needed. I didn’t let the hours of phone calls to the insurance company or the additional hours of searching and calling new leads discourage me.

You can do it too.

Tell me, did you use a lactation specialist/consultant to help you?

Breastfeeding Challenges Part 1

With baby number 1 (um… nine years ago), even after a month of pumping and taking to breast, I couldn’t get him to latch on and couldn’t produce any milk. Let me expand on that. The bigger boy literally screamed bloody murder anytime he was near a breast. I cried. A lot. My Mother is my witness, my then, less than a month old child said NOOOOOO when the lactation specialist attempted to get him and nipple together. What on earth?

I didn’t stop trying though. Someone gave me a pump. A nice one from Medela with the bag an everything. So I pumped in between (huge air quotes here) “feedings” because well, he wouldn’t take the breast. On a good day, I could muster a measly 1 ounce of milk collected from both breasts… total. I would quickly take my 1 ounce and add it to his bottle for him to gulp down.

At just about one month, that child finally decided to give it a try!!! Whoooo Hoooo. I still only had 1 ounce so that didn’t last long at all. I continued to pump but going to the private bathroom at work was not conducive to making milk. Still I tried. I took brewer’s yeast, milk tea, almost anything that someone said would work. Still 1 ounce. Eh. Enough was enough.

My breast size went from 34b to 36C! Wowzer! All I can say about that is they get in the way of shooting pool.

This time around, I wanted to try again. There were so many things that didn’t go as I wished but this was one that I really wanted to give a chance.  I was completely blessed in that the Nurses and Lactation Specialist at GBMC were (each and everyone) not only willing to help me but did so in a caring, patient and supporting way. I had one nurse who actually cheered in the middle of the night when she heard the wee one swallow! “Did you hear that? ” She asked. ” He swallowed!” By the time I left, I had milk, I was breastfeeding, my holds were stuff of legends and my baby was being fed by me! They sent me home with a pump and a number to call in case of lactating emergency.

I didn’t mention that while in the hospital ( I was there quite often and spent a solid week an a half on a unit for high risk concerns) they actually came to my room to help me find an appropriate breastfeeding bra. I tried on several and well, they didn’t have any in stock that could fit me. I measured in at a true 40F. Booooooo on that. Ok, I was swollen and that had a good amount to do with it. I have since settled to  a UK & US 36FF. Like you read, Gi-norms.

Anyway, I suffered  milk depletion after the hospital pump went back and I waited a month (a whole month) for the insurance company to send me the ‘free’ pump. Only to find that it was a total piece of crap. In fact, it was so bad that I threw it in the trash can instead of selling or giving it away. What brand you ask Ameda, Purely Yours.pump_purely_yours

Now, the Ameda site has some extremely helpful information. But the bare minimum pump that I received produced about 2 oz. of milk. I had been getting an easy 6-4 oz depending on the time of day so you can imagine my concern as that 2 oz started to decrease. And worse yet, it was time to return to my full time gig. Oy vey!

I don’t want to leave you hanging on a cliff. Well yes, yes I do. I want you to subscribe and then read part 2 when it makes it’s appearance.

Til later lovelies.

Did you have breastfeeding challenges?