Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Lady Madonna (On Breastfeeding)

"Lady Madonna, baby at your breast, Wonders how you manage to feed the rest!" -- The Beatles

This is one of those posts that if you aren't into TMI, I'd stop reading now. It's all about breastfeeding and the ups and downs that come along with it. First all, I don't care what the La Leache league says, breastfeeding is hard (not that they don't acknowledge that, it's just you don't hear it enough). Now, there may be women out there who had it easy but for Jude and I it has been one thing after another. However, I REALLY wanted to breastfeed my kid so even though it's not easy I've been working really hard to make it happen. I don't even know where to begin. But I somehow wanted to blog about this because it's been such a huge deal for us to get through (and we aren't through it all yet!).

I realize that Jude and I had some upsets at the beginning, he lost weight, we had to do formula for a while, then he didn't gain enough still and then I had to do MORE formula and each time I was on the urge of just quitting. But, I was still making BM so I didn't want to stop because I felt like, "If I'm making it, he should be getting it." I've had long talks with my doctor, I've cried to my husband, and I spent $150 on a Lactation Consultant to reteach me how to breastfeed my kid. Can I say that it's worth it? I don't know yet.

People are SO passionate about breastfeeding. Last weekend I took Jude out with us to Macaroni Grill and went to change him in the bathroom. As I was wiping my kid's butt some random woman comes up to me and asks if I'm breastfeeding. This is when I was doing formula with Jude because we were still working on weight gain and so I said, "We are working on it." Then this random woman, without knowing jack about my situation informs me that "You should breastfeed, even if it hurts." Okay, problem #1 with this statement -- Breastfeeding shouldn't hurt. If it hurts you are doing something wrong. Problem #2 with this statement -- Who the hell are you to tell me what to do with my child? Are you my pediatrician, are you his mother? If I want to give my kid formula then that's my decision, and really none of your business what I do. Even though I am pro breastfeeding I would NEVER inform a random stranger what they should do with their kid. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? It was almost enough to make me NOT try breastfeeding again after I got the go-ahead from my doctor to do so.

Here's something else about breastfeeding. It's time consuming. Let me tell you, making a bottle is so much easier for several reasons. Reason #1 -- it takes two minutes to make a bottle, for me to breastfeed it's a big production, I have to get the boppy ready, I need to get the nipple shield (which helps me breastfeed Jude because my breasts are a bit "inefficient"), I have to get Jude positioned just right and then constantly keep him awake to get him to nurse for 30 minutes on each side. With a bottle he can have it down in about 15 minutes (3 ozs no less, with me it takes almost an hour to get 2 ozs in him!) Reason #2 -- You know how much your kid is eating. Because I am so paranoid about Jude's intake I worry about how much he eats when bf-ing. Currently I have rented a scale from my lactation consultant that I can weigh him before and after so that I can be sure he's had enough. But, I have to give that scale back tomorrow and I'm a bit nervous about it because I'm SO scared he will lose weight again. I don't trust my instincts as much when it comes to nursing, so the bottle calms my nerves a bit. Reason #3 -- Pumping is time consuming too. Not only do you have to nurse but afterwards it's good to pump for 10 minutes, or if I chose to give Jude a bottle of expressed milk, I have to pump to make up for the lack of nursing session and keep my supply up.

Now, I don't want to discourage anyone out there to not breastfeed. I'm still doing it even though it overwhelms me because I feel like it's the right thing to do for my kid. However, I don't think people are completely honest about the challenges of breastfeeding when you read about it in books and on the internet. Everyone makes it seem like everything will just come naturally and you and your kid will be totally satisfied. This IS not the case for everyone. I think it's good for people to know that breastfeeding can come with all kinds of problems. Problems they don't tell you about in the books, problems they don't talk about on the internet unless you REALLY search for it. However, I have found one place of support, Kellymom.com. This site has been amazing on resources for breastfeeding and all the problems that can come along.

I know this is a decision that is deeply personal with each mother and breast or bottle, every kid is going to grow up just fine! I think sometimes we forget that when reading all this stuff and talking to others. I'm not going to judge anyone for not breastfeeding their kid. And, I'm going to be jealous of those mothers that breastfeeding came easy to, trust me it doesn't work like that for everyone! I wanted to breastfeed, and with A LOT of work, I have been able to do so. But, did I give my kid 2 ozs of formula last night because he was fussy and I was stressed and scared? YES! Am I ashamed of that decision? NO! If anything, with this blog post I just want people to feel supported if they are struggling with breastfeeding and to let them know that you are not alone! I have felt so alone in this process because there were very few people who understood what I was going through. Thankfully I have a core group of friends that I was able to share these feelings with and knew it was a "no judgment zone!" I needed that and I thank them for reading my weepy e-mails and listening to me cry over the phone! My husband has been super supportive, even though I think he feels going to formula would be easier, he understands this is important to me so he has worked really hard to support me.

So, there's my rant about breastfeeding. I'm going for it! It's not easy, and I'm not even sure at this point if I can tell you if it's worth it or not. But, it's what feels right for us right now ... who knows what tomorrow will bring! :)

Now some photos from the past few weeks!

Bath time!

"I'm thinking ..."
Jude's first visit to Home Depot

Landon (Annie A's little one, and Jude)

Chillin' on the Boppy.

My boys hanging out for tummy time.

More tummy time!

Of course! :)

I love hugs!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Watching Rainbows

So, it's been about a year since I changed the domain name of this blog and it's time to change it again! The blog is going to go more about parenting and Jude and all that fun stuff so I wanted to do something a little more in that direction. So, the blog has a new name and domain (www.watchingrainbow.com). If you are using google reader you shouldn't have to update your reader if you had the blog subscribed as martinandmarydowney.blogspot.com. If you read from Facebook you shouldn't have to do anything.

One of the things I would like to do is use a Beatles song for each post. Most of you know we are huge Beatles fans, and I plan to at least if it involves Jude, to have a Beatles song as the name of the post -- including this one. Here is a rare recording of the Beatles song "Watching Rainbows."

Hope you enjoy the new blog! : ) 

A Day in a Life -- Photo Shoot

Before Mom went home we had her help us do a quick photo shoot with Jude. Overall we took 125 photos, these are the ones I liked the best.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

It's been a Hard Day's Night

So, where to begin for the past week? It's been craziness to be sure. Jude is such a good little baby he hardly ever cries and I am so blessed to have such a mild-mannered kid. But, the last few days have been a bit trying for us anyway. You see Jude got a bad case of jaundice and we didn't realize it until Tuesday because of the holiday on Monday. I know that a lot of babies get jaundice but it hit me really hard because his main problem was that he wasn't getting enough calories from my breastmilk so he was really concentrated with bilirubin (a natural chemical that is broken down by the liver, but babies livers aren't strong enough yet and so they can get jaundice if too much is in their bodies). We had a whirlwind of a few days of feeding him breastmilk every two hours and when that didn't work because he was still losing weight we moved to formula every two hours. Most of the time doctors make you put the baby in the hospital or have you place the baby in sunlight, but Jude's problem was more with eating, he HAD to gain weight! He was really weak and of course I felt horrible because I didn't figure out that breastfeeding him wasn't giving him enough fat and calories to make him gain weight. As of Thursday he had gained back some weight (but still not to his birth weight, he's close though) and last night we were told we can give him formula and then breastmilk that I had been pumping the last few days. The whole experience was heartbreaking and we got very little sleep. I had a little breakdown on Wednesday night (probably from lack of sleep and the stress of it all) and basically Mom and Martin forced me to go to sleep. I literally had to cry myself to sleep because I was so worried. However, he's doing amazingly better and will be going back to the doctor on Monday. I hate that I have to wait a day and a half to get his next test results, I wish doctor's offices were open on the weekend!

I can tell Jude is feeling much better though because we can get him to eat more now without having to force it down his throat! I'm doing much better because I see that my boy is growing healthy and strong again! Mom goes home to Arkansas today and I can't even say how blessed we have had to have her help! I don't think I could have gotten through the last few days without her here pushing me and helping me! I've got some really big shoes to fill when it comes to being a Mama.
In other news yesterday (June 4, 2010) marked the dating anniversary of Martin and I! We have been a couple for 9 years now! It's amazing to see how the time flies! When we started out we would have never thought that 9 years later we would have a sweet little baby boy, but I tell you what, I couldn't imagine my life any other way! It's been an amazing 9 years with the love of my life, and I can't wait for 70 or so more years! :)
So that's it for now. Martin and I have been trying to get a photo a day of Jude but we missed one the day that he was the sickest because it was not (obviously) our top priority. We have already gotten back into the habit so I have photos to show off!

I wanted to start early on story-time. Jude loved hearing his Daddy's voice read to him!

Jude is really going to miss his Memaw when she goes home!

Jude's first visit to Pure Magic, the best ice cream on Earth! I can't wait until he gets to try some himself!

Sawyer is still getting to know Jude.

Wooooo Piiiiiiiggggg Sooooooooie!

This outfit came from Jude's Grammy (Martin's Mom). It was the first outfit bought for him!

I'm neurotic and try to theme Jude all day, so if he starts in outerspace wear, he ends in it. Here's his rocket ship pajamas!

Today's theme? Dinosaurs. : ) Martin and Jude love to snuggle together, it's too sweet!