Sunday, August 15, 2010

Nursing Baby to Sleep

Every evening, and afternoons when I'm not working, I breastfeed the baby to sleep for her nap or for the night. I've noticed that lately, she'll be fussy and acting tired, so we'll go lie down in her bed and she'll nurse, and look like she's about to fall asleep. Suddenly, she perks up and she's ready to play for a few hours! Now that she's just past one year, I guess she's reducing how much sleep she needs each day. Not long ago, she needed two to three naps every day, and now it looks like one.

An acquaintance who is also a breastfeeding mom referred to the time spent nursing her baby to sleep as baby jail - that is, she said "Last night, in baby jail..." I had to ask what she meant.

I was a bit taken aback. There are lots of times that I'd rather be doing something else, and sometimes I kick myself for not bringing my beloved iPhone to bed with us, so I can read/tweet while she dozes. But to call it jail?

Someone needs to parent her to sleep, I'm firmly committed to not leaving her to cry her way to sleep. (Here are some good reasons, other than one's gut instinct, on why not to let babies cry every night to go to sleep.)

It's usually easier for me to breastfeed her to sleep that it would be for my husband or I to rock/walk/stroller/pat her to sleep. She loves to nurse.

We fought hard to be able to breastfeed and overcame a big obstacle (that shouldn't have been so big). I feel like I won that battle and I don't want to stop doing it just because it's inconvenient or I might be better off blogging/talking on the phone/... um what else might I be doing this evening?

I'm glad I can help her sleep this way and will continue to do so as long as she wants. Unless she wants me to come to college with her!

Any odd things you've heard lately from committed breastfeeders?

BlogHer 2010 Pity Party

Last weekend, the little one and I drove across town in insensible traffic to park in the wrong spot, enter the park in the wrong side, not take a stroller or baby carrier for the 27 pound not quite walking yet baby, walk way to far along the wrong side of the park, finally phone Amber and get directions to the

Not Going to BlogHer 2010 Pity Party!

In which there are free burgers, and I finally get to meet Crunchy Carpets and Pomo Mama in person.

The little one enjoyed eating everything she could get in her mouth, including quite a bit of coleslaw and roasted veggies. It was loads of fun, once we got there.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

On Trying to Conceive

First, I'm not. We're not. Not yet, not sure if/when.


Gina's recent wonderful post announcing her pregnancy reminded me of how I felt when we were trying to get pregnant.

I was working full time and going to school part time. We waited to start trying to conceive until after the theoretical due date had passed my expected graduation from grad school date. And then we got busy.

And got busy.

After a few months of trying - right, I know, I'm not a very patient person - I read that stress can negatively impact chances of conception. I felt very stressed.

(Thinking back on that time now, I think HA! You, young lady, don't know from stress. But, back to our story.)

I figured I would get pregnant after I graduated, which was quite alright with me. So that moment when we were getting busy, right around Obama's election, I probably only had the most fleeting of thoughts that this time it might be baby making time.

For someone trying to conceive, it took me a hilarious amount of time to get around to taking a pregnancy test: LMP was Oct 24 and my sore breasts weren't enough to prompt me to go pee on a stick until Nov 30. How about that for pessimism?

What has surprised you about fertility recently?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Nursing with Pierced Nips

I've had this in my drafts folder for too long... and my friend, Melodie at Breastfeeding Moms Unite, just posted this nice bit on breastfeeding with pierced nipples. She's spurred me on to flesh this out a bit more and finally post it!

I had my nipples pierced over ten years ago at a professional piercing and tattoo shop in Victoria. I remember even back then, when I was pretty sure I wasn't ever going to have babies, that I asked the piercer if it could harm my chances of breastfeeding, if I changed my mind about babies. He said it was very unlikely to cause a problem - like Melodie writes above, the nipple has lots of holes for the milk to come out of.

I wore rings in my piercings much as Oscar (or Oscar's model) does in the photo on Melodie's page. I chose a hematite or Alaskan Black Diamond as the stone to close the rings.

They healed over well - my perception was it was much less than a year before they were healed, but I don't know if it just seemed like they were healed or if they really were.

I took them out about five years later. It's hard to pin down why, but they were to mark a particular time in my life and I was no longer enjoying having the rings in my body. I still wasn't seriously considering having a baby - I was just done with the piercings. I kept the rings and the hematites in a little box with other jewelry I don't wear anymore.

When I got pregnant, I worried a bit about the piercings, as they were still quite visible on the sides of my nipples. I asked my doula who'd just done a breastfeeding seminar, if she'd heard anything about breastfeeding post-piercing. She thought about it, I believe she said she hadn't heard anything along those lines, and that she'd look into it but wasn't really worried about it.

We did have a big fat tongue tie problem with breastfeeding, but that had pretty much absolutely nothing to do with the piercings. I have noticed that milk does come out the holes in the sides of my nipples, but it's not a problem at all. It's mostly funny.

I don't think I leak any more than normal - after the first couple of weeks post-partum, I stopped needing to wear breastpads. I always keep some at work, in case I am stuck and unable to express milk, but I've never needed to use them.

Thanks for prompting me to finally post this Melodie!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

World Breastfeeding Week

Last year during World Breastfeeding Week, my baby and I started breastfeeding and I noted it here.

For World Breastfeeding Week this year, my baby and I have finished our first year of breastfeeding. She's still going strong and while giving me a little bite every once in awhile with her new teeth, I doubt she'll wean any time soon. It works for the both of us so I expect next year I'll be saying that we've completed our second year!

A whole lot is being written about World Breastfeeding Week. Here are a quick few of my favourite breastfeeding related posts (though they may not be strictly WBW posts) (of the few I've had time to read!):
  • Annie at PhD in Parenting outlined the original and some new reasons to boycott Nestle
  • Honest to Betsy wrote a lighthearted bit on four and a half years of breastfeeding and worked in the polar bears.
  • Elita at Blacktating asks where are the images of black women breastfeeding?
  • Melodie of Breastfeeding Moms Unite! has done a nice round of some other posts.
Any standout favourite posts on breastfeeding that you've read recently?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I less than three Metro Vancouver

Can't quite believe it's been since May that I've posted. The few of you still checking my RSS feed, goodness, you're optimistic, or family.

However, as I was carrying the baby to the garage where we do our laundry, and thinking about our landlords who live in the rest of our house with their extended family, I realize that the lifestyle change that was part of the motivation, hasn't entirely taken place.

Yes, I can now drive to see my parents and siblings in between four and six hours, assuming light traffic. However, the six hour trip is ridiculously expensive with the cost of the ferries we have to take. The drive isn't too bad - I haven't done the math on the gas but it's much less than what we're blowing on the ferries.

But somehow I had this vision of having people around us when we got here. We'd maybe not be dropping in distance from family, but we would be close to friends.

What friends? I've seen them once or twice each. I'm too busy/tired/cranky to return their call/email. Apparently they are in the same boat.

And holy cats, four hours in the car with the baby sucks balls. And while yes I can walk to work, I'm still spending 1.5 hours every day dropping off and picking up the baby from daycare. In the car. Yucko.

It's been rather disappointing. I'm responsible for daycare drop off and pick up, meaning I have to go back to (telecommuting) work in the evenings after the baby is asleep.

Weekends I'm so exhausted I can't think, and I sleep as long as the baby lets me.

I was not this tired all the time in DC. I made a fuckload lot more money. Here, if DH isn't working, we're screwed in under a month.

This climate is nice, and it's nice being closer to family. I know that it usually ends up being ok but right now, I feel like this move has been a huge mistake.

So the draft blog posts will go on as drafts until someone issues me less need for sleep.