Mother’s Day: The Role of Mom

I’m a lucky woman. I have a lot of people in my life who love me and who I love. I’ve had a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend so far and have enjoyed every moment of celebrating mothers and being celebrated by my husband and son.

Every Mother’s Day I spend some time thinking about my past and the role of a mother. My story of my relationship with my mother is a long one… there was a time in her life that she wasn’t able to take care of her children the way she wanted to, and had to spend time getting herself help.

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{Toddler Style} Seven Days of Style Challenge

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post— I purchased or made all items featured in this post. However,  the below links are affiliate links.

Way back nearly a month ago I participated in a style challenge with a bunch of other mommas on Instagram. I wanted to share the #7daysofstyle that me and my little guy participated in. I think it made him into a little style-hound though…. now he goes up to the mirror and plays with his hair!

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Traveling with a Toddler

I’m worn out.

Today I started my 7-day whirlwind trip to see family in Texas and Oklahoma with just myself and the kiddo. I’m so excited to see family. But, the packing and actual travel was not something I’ve been looking forward to.

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{Giveaway} My momiform, a dapper dude, and a Cushe Giveaway

Disclaimer: I received a free pair of Cushe shoes to review for this post and one pair to give away to my readers. All opinions are my own.

Lately it has been a challenge for me to get dressed most days. I often opt for sleep rather than getting up and showering before my son’s very early waking hour. I wait until nap time to shower and change, unless I have work to finish. Embarrassingly often, I’ll still be unshowered and in my yoga pants until my husband gets home in the afternoon.

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{Toddler Style} A Challenge with Style

The idea behind me styling different pieces for the kiddo came from a styling project Lauren Hartmann, The Little Things We Do, did for her daughter on Instagram. She took 3 different clothing pieces and styled at least one of them into every outfit for 7 days.

I asked her if she minded that I totally copy her and do the same with my kiddo. I thought it would be a challenge to do something cute on a little boy and an excuse for me to get him out of his PJs everyday. She didn’t mind… as a matter of fact, she invited anyone to join in on #7daysofstyle on Instagram. I’m excited to be meeting moms of other little boys working with this challenge as well.

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Our Second Christmas: X and a flute

X on Christmas evening listening to his Grandad play his flute. Photo taken by my lovely SIL.

I hope you all had a very, merry Christmas. We sure did! (I’m sure I’ll come back over the next couple of days to tell you about all the frustrating things that happened over the holidays. A toddler with a home full of visitors—while trying to adjust to a toddler bed and teething— is a story all on its own.) We had lots of fun with gifts this year because he enjoyed opening the presents and playing with them. The little man actually only got a pair of pjs (that he wore on Christmas eve) from me and his daddy. But, he opened nearly 30 gifts from his aunts, uncles, odd parents, and grandparents… they went a little crazy over him. But, we sure did appreciate it and he loved every second of it.

My absolute favorite memory of the year was the evening of our Christmas celebration when X’s grandad played Christmas music on his flute. X was SO good! He did his best not to touch the flute, only gave in to temptation once or twice. He stood right in front of his Grandad with a look of pure awe on his face. He’d clap at times. He sang. He’d sign “more” when the music stopped. And, then, he looked around and did the above expression and looked at us all like we should join in on the fun! If I had just been able to use the above image for this year’s Christmas card! It would have been PERFECT! The flute experience was amazing, and hilarious. X’s uncle shot a video of the fun as well… enjoy!

Linked up to these parties:


and  then, she {snapped}thankfulthursdays}

Toddler Style: Blazer and Skinny Jeans

I love dressing my little man… I’ll be sad when he won’t let me choose his clothes anymore. Although, the way he likes ties/jackets/hats (he puts them on himself when running around the house in his diaper) I think he’ll probably continue to be pretty stylish.

This little outfit was what he wore to Thanksgiving dinner. He even kept his tie and jacket on for a majority of the evening.

CHRK ITB Tie, Cherokee Infant/Toddlers white dress shirt, Cherokee Infant/Toddler Blazer, Boy’s Cherokee Davidson Slip on shoes // Target — Skinny Jeans // Old Navy
Oh, and… I think his dad dresses pretty snazzy too.

The Transition to Toddler Bed Day 1

Over the weekend I woke up at 5 AM to the whine of the little guy. I groggily got out of bed and walked out into the hallway on the way to his room. Standing in the middle of the hallway with a grin on his face was my son.

“Did you forget to put the kiddo in his crib?” I asked Brian. “No, why?” he responded.

Yep, the kid learned how to escape his crib. We later caught him on video swinging his leg over the top railing and dropping to the ground smack on his butt. He had thoughtfully thrown his pillow beneath the crib so that he had a soft landing.

Today, in fear of him hurting himself escaping the crib, I decided it was time to convert the crib into the toddler bed. Kiddo thought it was the coolest thing ever to be able to run and get into bed. He sat on his bed all proud. Later he brought books over and I sat on his bed with him to read. It was great!

But, the fun of the bed wore off by nap time. X did not like the freedom the new bed gave him. He usually fights his naps a little, but falls to sleep fairly quickly. Today was not like that. He kept leaving his room. And, if I shut the door to his room he fell to pieces.

So, today Brian and I made efforts to spiff up his room a little more and added in a new night light that shines a pretty picture on the ceiling. We prolonged his nighttime routine a little longer to include a cuddle in his new bed.

As soon as the door shut though the screaming started. LOUD screaming. Like, I’m worried he is going to lose his voice screaming.

I went back in the room and laid down next to him in his bed. He smiled and nearly fell asleep. But, a moment after I snuck out of his room… the screaming started again. This happened three times… Right now, as I’m writing this, I am listening to his little screams and tears and my heart is in a knot. He is now no longer screaming by the door at least, he seems to have made it to his bed for his screaming. **Update** Two hours AFTER bedtime…. B went in there and cuddled him in bed for a bit and he finally fell asleep. That is 5 times of us going in and cuddling. I could do it all night long, except I want him to be able to become independent enough to fall asleep without us.

I really hope that this is just a short transition period and that I made the right choice to move to the toddler bed. I like the idea that he can now get around and play with his toys if he wakes up. But, will the freedom make him less likely to go to sleep? If I had chosen to leave him in the crib I fear that he would have hurt himself… but, maybe not?

Have you had to do the toddler bed transition? How did you decide when was the right time? Any tips or tricks for making the transition easier?

I’m hoping I sleep tonight!

Breastfeeding Series: My Experience Pt. 3

This post is part of a series of posts from bloggers with babies who have breastfed. In honor of my journey of breastfeeding ending with my son, I asked five different bloggers to share their breastfeeding stories with us all. This post is part of my breastfeeding experience. My hopes with this series is to share the differences in each woman’s experience. I also want to highlight the fact that not one of these mothers did the same thing in their breastfeeding journey and that all of their babies are beautiful and healthy. Moms— Do the best you can do for  you and your child. That is what counts! 

Check out the other posts from this series and the “More Milk Naturally” ebook giveaway

 
 

6. Did you have a breast feeding goal?

My breastfeeding goal was six months to begin with and then, when I hit that mark, it changed to one year. When I realized that I was going to hit the year mark I considered continuing nursing. There were several reasons I decided to stop. But, one big one, was that I was applying for full-time work. I didn’t want to start a new job and insist on pumping time.
When we hit a year we started weaning. I expected it to take at least 4 months. But, by the time my son was 14 months old we were done. It was bittersweet. It was nice to have my body back. It was sad to not have that time with him. But, lately he has begun cuddling with me when he has his morning bottle and his evening bottle. It is so sweet.
Already trying to get into a Starbucks treat with Macey
Kiddo wants coffee just like Daddy. (No coffee was in the cup, he does not need MORE energy.)

7. Have you weaned? If so, how did you go about it?

Yep! Weaning was much easier than I had anticipated. I started weaning at a year by cutting out the day time feedings I was doing. He would nurse in the morning and then drink organic whole milk throughout the day, along with his regular meals. At night I would nurse before he went to bed and when he woke up at night.
Pretty soon we took out the morning feedings. And, before long…. goodbye evening feedings. I had hardly any pain or engorgement when weaning. I think that some weird part of me wanted it to be harder.
See, you don’t need to nurse to make ‘em sleepy… blueberry pancakes do the job as well!

8. Any tips for mommies out there thinking about breast feeding?

Know that it might not be easy and you may have to work at it. But, also… don’t pressure yourself too much. There is too much pressure out there and too many people telling parents what is best for their baby. Take advice, chew it up, decide which parts work best for you (and your baby), and then throw the rest out of the window.
I’m not saying take the easy way out… I’m saying, no one knows all the answers.
Also, if you need help, ask for it. Surprisingly enough, I was able to be strong and push through the first two months of my son’s life when he was screaming non-stop and we couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Then, when we figured out what he needed and things were getting better, something inside me snapped and I fell into a pretty deep depression. I had constant anxiety attacks. I got the help I needed and things got much, much better.
Have you weaned your child? If so, how did it go?
What is YOUR advice for nursing moms?
Thank you for reading!
I’d love to hear about your story as well!

Breastfeeding Series: My Experience Pt. 2

This post is part of a series of posts from bloggers with babies who have breastfed. In honor of my journey of breastfeeding ending with my son, I asked five different bloggers to share their breastfeeding stories with us all. This post is part of my breastfeeding experience. My hopes with this series is to share the differences in each woman’s experience. I also want to highlight the fact that not one of these mothers did the same thing in their breastfeeding journey and that all of their babies are beautiful and healthy. Moms— Do the best you can do for  you and your child. That is what counts! 

Check out the other posts from this series and the “More Milk Naturally” ebook giveaway

Don’t eat that!

The Middle of My Breastfeeding Experience:

 Back to Work, Formula, and Solid Foods

The Breastfeeding Journey of Jenni Bost & Baby X
(I’m splitting my story up into parts because I am awfully long-winded.)
See The Beginning of My Experience HERE.

4. Did you solely breast feed? Supplement with formula or solid food?

One night when my son was about 2 months old I remember waking up to his cries and a smelly, wet shirt. I changed my shirt and went to feed my son. After feeding him and holding him while he fell back asleep, he suddenly woke and ejected everything that I fed him. I sat and cried as he cried. I cried about the wasted milk. I cried about the lack of sleep. I cried about my son’s pain. And, I cried because I needed to find a clean shirt, once again. I remember thinking then that it would be SO much easier to just heat up a bottle of formula. Everyone suggested I add cereal to my son’s bottle so he’d fill up more and sleep better at night. I thought very hard about it every night when he’d wake like clockwork every 45 minutes.
I abstained from feeding him anything but breast milk for the first 4 months of his life. I really, really wanted breastfeeding to work. But, when I went back to work (as a bartender in a restaurant), I had a lot of trouble pumping enough milk for my son to eat. I did fine for a while because I had stocked up a bunch of milk in the freezer. But, after a while my husband and I decided to do formula on the two nights of the week that I worked.
So, each week my son would drink 4 bottles of formula mixed with breast milk. It helped us extend the life of my dwindling milk supply. Had I not had to pump in the car in front of my restaurant or had a leisurely time to pump…maybe it had been different. But, adding formula to our routine worked for us and kept everyone from being stressed out.
X liked formula just fine. But, he always preferred me. :) We continued this until he weaned. He was never strictly one or the other since we introduced formula. (Oh, and, we used Soy formula because my son had an intolerance to dairy.)
OH, and we totally tried the cereal in the milk thing and it completely failed for us. Of course, kid still wakes up 3 times a night hungry. Doctor said it is most likely due to the fact that he is growing super fast and needs the extra calories. Who knows!
TIPS for Working Mothers: 
1. PUMP like crazy before going back to work to stock up on your milk.
2. Buy a GOOD pump. My first pump broke after 5 weeks. So, there I was with engorged breasts and no way to pump it out. Pumping with your hand hurts, a lot. I bought a Medela Manual Pump and it was heads and shoulders better than my original electric pump. If I had a better pump things might have turned out differently.
3. Make sure you have the time to pump, a comfortable place to pump, and food and water with you. This was the most difficult part for me with my workplace. Working in a restaurant meant that there were not any places that I could pump on the premises other than the only employee restroom. I had the choice of pumping in my car or hearing people knock on the door nearly the entire time I was trying to pump. They gave me as much time to pump as they could, but eating and pumping couldn’t happen in that amount of time.

5. At what age did you introduce solids? Any tips you can give mommies?

Solids…. the rule of thumb is 6 months. There are several good reasons to stick with this. We didn’t. Our son started making all of the classic “signs” that he was ready for solid food. He was also hungry ALL the time. X got his first solid foods around 5 months.
We first started him with a bowl of whole wheat rice cereal. He had two bowls of this before meeting with his doctor. She suggested that we throw the rice cereal out the window and go straight to vegetables. At her suggestion we went through the green vegetables first (no spinach) and then went to the orange veggies. We introduced each new vegetable for three or four days before introducing anything new. We waited until we got through several vegetables before trying fruit because we didn’t want him getting used to the sweetness of the fruit.
Some important things I found out about solids:
  • Look for signs that your babe is ready for solids–don’t push solids on them early! X was sitting up by himself, able to pick things up with his finger and thumb, had teeth (not a necessity, but a bonus), and mimicked my husband and I as we were eating. He wanted what we had!
  • Skip the cereal. (I’m not a doctor, please check with your doctor before doing any of this!) Our pediatrician made a good point when discussing the cereal. She said, “We live in a carb-addicted world that is overweight and suffering from weight-related diseases. We wonder why… but, we start our children on carb loaded foods instead of healthier foods!” We took her advice and X had no problem digesting his food.
  • Don’t worry about getting certain nutrients–yet. If you are breastfeeding (or doing formula) then your child is getting the essential nutrients they need. Use this time to introduce your child to a variety of different (approved) foods and watch for allergic reactions.
  • Be prepared for the poo to change. It is gross. Just sayin’.
Did you use formula with your child? If so, how did it go?
What did you learn about introducing solids to your baby?
Check back tomorrow for part three of my breastfeeding experience. Thank you for reading!
I’d love to hear about your story as well!

Breastfeeding Series: My Experience Pt. 1

This post is part of a series of posts from bloggers with babies who have breastfed. In honor of my journey of breastfeeding ending with my son, I asked five different bloggers to share their breastfeeding stories with us all. This post is part of my breastfeeding experience. My hopes with this series is to share the differences in each woman’s experience. I also want to highlight the fact that not one of these mothers did the same thing in their breastfeeding journey and that all of their babies are beautiful and healthy. Moms— Do the best you can do for  you and your child. That is what counts! 

Check out the other posts from this series and the “More Milk Naturally” ebook giveaway


The Beginning of My Breastfeeding Experience

The Breastfeeding Journey of Jenni Bost & Baby X
(I’m splitting my story up into parts because I am awfully long-winded.)

1. Why did you decide to breastfeed?

I decided to breastfeed for the same reasons many moms decide: I’ve read that it is better for the baby, good for the mom, and great for the wallet.
I’m not going to lie– a large portion of it was in hopes that I would lose any baby weight I gained. I’ve had weight problems for years and I’d heard that women lose a ton of weight while breastfeeding. By the by… for me that rumor was true. I just didn’t realize that after I stopped breastfeeding I’d gain weight so quickly. Bugger.
While I have read everywhere that “breast is best” I was never entirely convinced that it was the only option that would benefit my child. I was a formula baby and (not bragging) I have a high IQ, was a healthy child (my adult health issues are mostly due to poor eating/drinking decisions), and NO ALLERGIES! Do I feel that it is natural and that we were made this way? Yes. Do I feel like it is the only responsible option for a woman? NO. In retrospect I’ve come to realize that a lot of a woman’s mental state in those first few months are very important to the baby. I’m not saying give up if breast feeding is hard. I’m saying, if you end up choosing to do something else because you feel like it is best for your mental/physical well-being, then THAT is what is best for you and your babe. I’m not a doctor. I’m a mom.
Breastfeeding is SO much cheaper than formula. As much as we tried to prepare for the costs of a baby, we were no where near ready. Being able to feed my child whenever he needed it, no matter the circumstances, was important for me.

2. What was your biggest challenge with breast feeding?

Looking back I realize that I had it fairly easy while breastfeeding. At the time I felt like my world was ending. But, it was heaps better than some of the problems people are faced with! I didn’t experience cracked nipples or extreme pain. Here are some of the problems (and solutions) we did experience though:
— The beginning was rough for us. I couldn’t get a hold that would great for me and my son. The nurses at our hospital were all trained in the area and helped me a ton those first two days. They helped him get a latch. At the hospital we found out that my son has a bit of a high palette so his latch was pretty painful for me. I had blisters that first day, but they were gone the next day and we had the latch down by the time we left the hospital.
— We made it through our entire hospital visit without the use of a pacifier. I had read that it is better for latch if your baby doesn’t use one. After about two hours of screaming at home we caved and found the pacifier sent home from the hospital. Even though he did end up using pacifiers for a bit during his babyhood… X liked to suck on our fingers when he needed soothed.
—The day we got home from the hospital feedings went fine. That night and next day however was horrible. It was like we had forgotten everything! I couldn’t feed my son and he was SO upset. My hormones were ALL over the place. It was a bad situation.
I remember going into the doctor’s office and meeting my lactation consultant. I was there for a different appointment and she just recognized our name as one of her future appointments and wanted to say hi. As soon as she said who she was I started bawling in the middle of the doctor’s office waiting room.
“I need you SO bad!!” I bawled.
She calmed me down and explained that she was booked for the day, but would let me doctor know I needed a little help. The pediatrician helped my son and I relearn the latch and begin doing the “football” hold. It was a lifesaver. I will always feel thankful for those two women.
A week later, when I met with the lactation consultant, my son and I had breastfeeding down and he had gained 4 oz!
— My son screamed solidly for two months. If he wasn’t eating or sleeping he was screaming. And, sometimes, he was screaming while eating or sleeping. I brought him to the pediatrician so many times.  We tried EVERYTHING. Finally, I had to take out all dairy from my diet and my son was put on antacids for reflux. After three weeks of no dairy and antacids it was like we had a different baby. He was happy, more relaxed.

3. What was your greatest breast feeding moment?

Ahh… so many! I loved the way my son rested his face on his hand when he ate. I loved when he looked up into my eyes with such love.
Some of my greatest moments were so simple and sweet.
However… I am super proud that I could breastfeed while walking (not something I did often, but at times needed to do) and in the bath!
Check back tomorrow for part two of my breastfeeding experience. Thank you for reading!
I’d love to hear about your story as well!

Breast Feeding Series: Giveaway!

I love it when we have something fun to giveaway! 
Megan, from The Boho Mama, has offered to giveaway a copy of her eBook “More Milk Naturally.”
(See Megan’s part of experience in our breastfeeding series here!)

The book covers: 
- Foods nursing mothers have eaten for over 2,000 years to support
   and increase supply
- Why what you eat (and how much) really matters
- Why eating the right kinds of fat is important for you and your
    baby
- Recipes to increase your milk quantity and quality
- Troubleshooting beyond foods for low milk supply
And more! 


How do you enter? Easy! Use this handy dandy Rafflecopter app to put in your entries. A random winner will be chosen on Sunday, Nov. 18!

Breastfeeding Series: Megan of The Boho Mama

This post is part of a series of posts from bloggers with babies who have breastfed. In honor of my journey of breastfeeding ending with my son, I asked five different bloggers to share their breastfeeding stories with us all. My hopes with this series is to share the differences in each woman’s experience. I also want to highlight the fact that not one of these mothers did the same thing in their breastfeeding journey and that all of their babies are beautiful and healthy. Moms— Do the best you can do for  you and your child. That is what counts! 



The Experience of Breastfeeding: Megan and Ruthie & Afton

by Megan of The Boho Mama
I’m super excited to be introducing you to Megan who is going to give us a look into breastfeeding not one, but TWO babies. Megan is a generous, kind soul and I am so lucky to know her and her family in real life and on the web. She blogs over at The Boho Mama about her journey as the mother of twins, natural parenting, and more. She just finished writing 31 days about breastfeeding… and, I’m telling you, there is SO much information that I totally could have use during my breastfeeding journey. Megan also has an eBook out called, “More Milk, Naturally.” She has graciously offered to give a copy away here on the blog! Check back later today for the giveaway!

1. Why did you decide to breast feed?

My mom nursed all three of her kids, so it was something I was comfortable with and just assumed I would do. It wasn’t until I started reading more about the incredible benefits – both for mom and baby – of breast milk that I was totally sold. When I found out I was having twins, I was even more resolved to make it work!

2. What was your biggest challenge with breast feeding?

We’ve had a lions share of challenges, actually. First, there is the assumption by many that women can’t produce enough for two babies, which couldn’t be further from the truth, but it does take a lot of awareness and dedication to protecting your milk supply when there is more than one. As soon as they were born I started pumping around the clock! I also became a little obsessed with milk-making foods, but the great product of that obsession was my e-Book, so now I get to share what I’ve learned with all the other mamas out there. Oh, and we relied on nipple shields for almost 5 months – messy and inconvenient, but one day they just decided they were done using them without me having to “wean” them, so that was good!
Second, we found out that the girls both had tongue and lip ties after 10 months of uncomfortable nursing. It was pretty painful, and I knew something was wrong, but it wasn’t until I saw the 4th lactation consultant that she confirmed that there was a problem. Once it was fixed, it felt so much better. But I was so upset that we had gone that long, even when I explicitly asked the LC’s about it.
Third, just the nature of twins means somebody always needs something, and that includes nursing. For the first three months of their lives, I don’t think I got up more than to eat and go to the bathroom. Otherwise, it was all nursing all the time. It was and still is a little exhausting, but they grow up so fast and now those early milk-soaked days are a little bittersweet.

3. What was your greatest breast feeding moment?

My greatest moment was when we came home from the NICU and I decided that we would throw the schedules out the window and go strictly on-demand. In the hospital, they tried to scare me into supplementing with formula, and that I wasn’t making enough. But I knew that I could, and I knew that is what they needed. We never looked back, and it’s been so amazing, despite the many times when I wanted to throw in the towel and give up. Then, every week that we made it after that was my greatest moment. And, 15 months later, it still is such a great moment when I look back on how far we’ve come.

4. Did you solely breast feed? Supplement with formula or solid food?

The girls were fortunate enough to have donor breast milk in the NICU, which I am so, so thankful for. They had a little supplemental formula added to my breast milk the days or two before they came home, but I stopped that immediately after they were discharged. If I was going to give my body the chance to make enough and meet the demand, I really could not afford to supplement at all. Luckily, it paid off and my body made more than enough milk for the two of them.

5. At what age did you introduce solids? Any tips you can give mommies?

My girls were late to the solids game. They weren’t interested until around 9 months. I would give them a little bit of a soft-boiled egg yolk and coconut oil before that, or some mashed avocado and banana, but they didn’t want vegetables. I was worried at first, but everything that I read said not to rush them, and when they were ready, they would certainly let me know. Now they’re really into food, but for some reason, are still really into nursing, too. I thought they’d nurse less as they ate more, but that hasn’t happened!

6. Did you have a breast feeding goal?

My goal was simple: as long as I had milk, we would nurse. What that means for when we’ll stop, I’m still not sure!

7. Have you weaned? If so, how did you go about it?

We’ve weaned through a night feeding, so they’re now sleeping after a 10pm feeding until around 6am. It’s been gloriously needed, because before that they were waking up every 3-4 hours. I’m still not sure how or when we’ll wean, I just can’t bring myself to think about it or make a plan!

8. Any tips for mommies out there thinking about breast feeding?

My biggest tip is that when you think you can’t go on, just go one more day. Then, that one more day turns into a week, and into a month, and pretty soon you’ve hit a year. You will not be sorry, and will be so proud of yourself! Honestly, almost every single mama I’ve talked to that stopped early wishes she hadn’t. It’s hard when you’re in the throes of sleep deprivation and you just want your life back, but when you come through it, it’s an absolutely amazing experience.
Oh, and seek help out as soon as you think something isn’t right, don’t wait! Find a lactation consultant that you like, and see more than one. They all have something different to offer. They have been a lifesaver for me and I don’t think I would have made it this far without their help.
My last piece of advice is to eat well and often, and as clean as you can with lots of good fats. No dieting! :)

 

Thank you so much to Megan for sharing her breastfeeding experience and being part of the “experience of breast feeding” post series! Please leave Megan your love in the comments section! And, don’t forget to come back later today for a chance to win Megan’s ebook, “More Milk Naturally.”
I’m linking this post up to the following parties:
Parlo and LogiGetting to Know You

 

Breastfeeding Series: Katherine of Somewhere in the Middle

This post is part of a series of posts from bloggers with babies who have breastfed. In honor of my journey of breastfeeding ending with my son, I asked five different bloggers to share their breastfeeding stories with us all. My hopes with this series is to share the differences in each woman’s experience. I also want to highlight the fact that not one of these mothers did the same thing in their breastfeeding journey and that all of their babies are beautiful and healthy. Moms— Do the best you can do for  you and your child. That is what counts! 
 
 

The Experience of Breastfeeding: Katherine and Rylee & Reese

by Katherine of Somewhere in the Middle
 
Hey there! I’m Katherine. First of all, thanks Jenni for asking me to be a part of your breastfeeding series! I blog over at Somewhere in the Middle. I have a slight obsession with coffee, making lists w/ check boxes and post-it notes. I’ve been married for 7 years to a guy I’ve known my entire life and who I’ve had a crush on since I was 14.I’m mama to two little girls; Rylee, 4 {and a half!, if you ask her} and Reese, 3 months. I never realized the journey breastfeeding would take me on…I’ve gone from one extreme to the next in regard to my feelings on breastfeeding my girls. I’ve loved it, I’ve hated it, I’ve wished it wouldn’t take so long, I’ve cherished the quiet time with my girls, etc etc. Bottom line, I’m thankful I’ve been able to maintain breastfeeding while working full time outside the home and even having to travel on occasion. 
1. Why did you decide to breast feed? To be honest, the main reason I set out to breastfeed was because of the money it would save us.
 

2. What was your biggest challenge with breast feeding? With my oldest, Rylee, we had latching issues pretty early on. She seemed to be doing great in the hospital, then our very first night home I couldn’t get her to latch on my right side. She went almost 12 hours without eating. At the same time, my milk was coming in with a vengeance, making it even harder each feeding for me to even try to get her to latch. Thankfully, the first thing the next morning we went straight to my OB’s office to meet with the lactation consultant. We determined I needed a nipple shield to help with Ry’s latch. I left that consultation with a brand new baby that was finally able to eat and a brand new breast pump, just in case. We were able to ditch the shield when she was about 4 months old.
With Reese, she had a little bit of a rough time latching on my right side as well, but we were able to work through that without the use of the shield. My biggest challenge with her was a painful latch between 1 & 2 weeks in. I would clinch my jaw, dig my feet into the ground and ball up my hands into fists every single time she started to nurse.
Traveling for work while breastfeeding always presented its own challenge as well. I’ve navigated pumping in some pretty crazy places like airport restrooms, porta-potties at events and most recently a bathroom stall at a NASCAR race. There’s just something about going through airport security with 100+ ounces of breast milk that’s always fun. 
3. What was your greatest breast feeding moment? Hands down, my greatest breastfeeding moment to date just happened last week. I’ve been blessed with an abundant milk supply and had an ever-growing freezer supply so I decided to donate nearly all of my freezer supply to a mama that’s been struggling with producing milk and her 3 week old baby.
4. Did you solely breast feed? Supplement with formula or solid food? Kind of a funny story…when Rylee was 11 months old she pretty much turned up her nose at the boob. She was done. I kind of freaked out. Between continuing to pump and my freezer stash she continued with only breast milk for about 2 more weeks. When all that was gone & my supply had dried up, 2 weeks before her first birthday, we bought her formula and gave that to her until she turned 1. Hindsight? She would have been fine going straight to cow’s milk, but I was so concerned that all the books said to wait until 1 year.
So far with Reese we’ve been solely breast milk.
5. At what age did you introduce solids? Any tips you can give mommies? We started Rylee on solids just after she was 6 months old. We started with barley cereal, mixed with breast milk. I’m thinking we’ll do the same thing with Reese. As far as tips go? Well, I’ll be asking for them for Reese! It’s been 4 years since we’ve done this! Haha.
I did really like the book “Super Baby Food”. I’ll probably reference that as we start to think about introducing solids to Reese.
6. Did you have a breast feeding goal? My goal for breastfeeding has always been just to do it as long as made sense/I was able to. Ultimately, in the back of my mind I had the one year mark as my goal, but I also knew that sometimes things don’t work out quite like I may have planned and I didn’t want to get down on myself if it didn’t work out.
7. Have you weaned? If so, how did you go about it? I mentioned earlier that Rylee weaned herself at 11 months. No matter how many times I offered to nurse her, she wanted nothing to do with it. 
And right now, Reese is so little I don’t even want to think about her weaning. I’d like to just stop time right now, thankyouverymuch.  But seriously, if she doesn’t wean herself like her older sister did, I’ll probably start slowly cutting out nursing sessions starting when she’s about a year old.
8. Any tips for mommies out there thinking about breast feeding? I guess my best tip would be, just give it a shot. It may not be easy. It doesn’t come naturally to everyone and that’s ok. Parenting is tough stuff. Sometimes breastfeeding is awesome. Sometimes it’s not. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you struggle with it. It’s perfectly normal. Bottom line is this: you need to do what’s best for you and your baby and only you can determine what “right” is.
 
 

 

Thank you so much to Katherine for sharing her breastfeeding experience and being part of the “experience of breast feeding” post series! Please leave Katherine your love in the comments section! 

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