Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesdays (Go Canada Go!)


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

In search of the elusive awesome nighttime diaper

I have heard rumours that this magical amazing night time diaper does exist...but what diaper is it? Well for every baby its a different diaper. For Little A we have found that awesome night time diaper! We have discovered that the happy hempy stuffable pocket diaper works really well on her. I stuff it...and I mean stuff it! Last night she had 4 soakers in that thing and she could barley move because it was so stuffed. But we really like it,hemp is very absorbant and with 4 layers of microfleece doublers in it...well lets just say that sucker holds everything! That being said someday I'd love to try the goodmama goodnights, maybe next month I can convince my hubby to let me buy one to test out on L as we have yet to find a night time diaper that can last for him.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Spirited Child Experience

I'm a day behind since I was supposed to post yesterday but it was a very loooong tiring weekend of single parenting two little ones. (We had

I started reading the Raising your Spirited Child book last week, and I read Chapters 1 and 2 because Chapter 1 was basically about defining your spirited child. I'm thinking about doing two chapters a week since there are 20 chapters to go through and let's face it...I really just wanted to keep reading!

Chapter 1 starts out by talking about spirited children and how to recognize your spirited child. It also gives us the parents of spirited children a "credo". The author reccomends posting this on your fridge or somewhere you can see it every day and remind yourself:

1. You are not alone

2. You did not make your child spirited

3. You are not powerless

4. You have permission to take care of yourself

5. You may celebrate and enjoy the delights of your spirited child

So what is a spirited child? A spirited child has many of the following characteristics (I will label each one that relates to L as we go along)

1. Intensity: L is very intense, he's noisy when he plays, overly energetic and his tantrums...well let's just say that his tantrums are quite epic. As the author puts it in the book "their tantrums are raw and enduring" that describes L very well.

2. Persistence: L exhibits some of the persistence characteristics. He is very focused, he fixates on things and convincing him to play with something else or do something else is very difficult.

3. Sensitivity: L isn't as sensitive towards alot of the listed items like clothes, food, smells etc but he does get easily overwhelmed by crowds, he is also keenly aware of other peoples' moods. He is very empathic.

4. Perceptivness: L has a very short attention span, something always catches his eye along the way and he gets distracted from what he is doing. Its always a joy to go for walks because he notices things that I wouldn't normally take the time to look at.

5. Adaptability: L isn't too uncomfortable with change, he's quick to adapt in most situations, but not all spirited children are the same.

Bonus Characteristics...oh yes there are bonus ones!

6. Regularity: L has no schedual, he eats when he wants, sleeps when he feels like it, we can put him to bed at the same time every night and some nights he'll go to sleep, other nights he'll be awake for two more hours.

7. Energy: L has LOTS of energy. He is often referred to as "wild" but we prefer to say he's very busy (labels...I'll get into that soon).

8. First Reaction: L doesn't really do this, he doesn't hide away, sometimes he hesitates at something new but it doesn't take much to get him involved.

9. Mood: L is almost always a happy child, unless he's having a tantrum. We always get smiles which we enjoy imensely.

Chapter 2 talks about labels and how they effect the way we see our children. It goes on to teach us how to change our negative labels into positive ones. Which is easier said then done. So here are our labels:

Doesn't listen
easily bored
Sounds bad doesn't it? These are just some of the negative labels we've used to describe L. I'm sure there are more and always will be more but finding a positive label to use instead really forces you to take a step back from the situation and reflect. Here are our alternative positive labels:

Knows what he wants
easily distracted

I've found even changing the labels changes how I look at L. Hubby looked at me yesterday and said "Creative...I like that!" and its true, he is a very creative little boy...yes things get destroyed in the process but he's creative about it.

This week...Chapters 3 and 4 I can't wait! I'll upadte you again in a week!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Eye Openers

Today my BFF and I decided that we needed a "break" from our we stuck her poor husband with our two 2 yr olds and her 9 year old and literally RAN AWAY! We took the baby of course, it would be mean of us to leave her too lol! So we decided to go walk around walmart (of all places we chose walmart). Oh how I wish we were in an economic position where we didn't really have to shop at walmart for things, but let's face it we're poor enough that some of those deals at walmart really do save us money. But as we were walking around we started to REALLY take a look at things...from the cheap plastic tupperware like containers to the expensive for walmart "organic, green and holistic" things. We got chatting about what we wanted to do to help our households become even greener. We're already making an impact by reducing, reusing, recycling, buying organics and whole foods, making alot of our own foods etc. We do have to commend walmart though on their ever growing selection of gluten free healthy alternatives. Their organic section is getting fairly large and there is quite a bit to choose from. (AND it is cheaper then at some of the natural food stores here). But we came up with a couple of ideas of more things we can do to reduce our impact and make our homes greener. My BFF has a goal to remove all the plastics from her home this year. With all the concerns about BPA, pthalates etc she decided that she would go towards the glass and metal storage containers. Another idea that we came up with was to investigate doing the 100 mile challenge...We really think it would be interesting to do it, especially on a gluten free and low-dairy diet. It would be harder for us but we think that later this year (if our husbands agree) We want to give it two months and see how it goes.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cloth Diapering Tuesdays

Well its tuesday...Good Morning everyone! (anyone?) I've come to the conclusion that not many people might read my blog but I'm still going to plug away at it :) Today is Cloth Diapering Tuesday! wella ctually is cloth diaper laundry day at our house lol! But I thought I would do a post about cloth diapers and laundry. What the heck do we do with all that poop? Well in our house we scrape or shake the poop into the toilet before tossing the diaper in the wetbag for laundry...if its a bad poop diaper then we rinse it (oh how I would LOVE a diaper sprayer...seriously its on my wishlist!)

We don't do a wet pail method for our diapers, I found it too much of a pain in the butt to carry a heavy pail full of diapers and water to the laundry so we use a dry pail method. We run our diapers through on a cold wash/cold rinse cycle with no soap to rinse out most of the excess stuff. The more water you use on the rinse cycle the better!! Then we toss them back in on a hot wash/cold rinse cycle with some soap (we have been using Castille soap but we just discovered Rockin' Green Cloth Diaper Detergent!!! AMAZING STUFF) then in the winter they go in the dryer and in the summer I hang them up outside (winter line drying isn't an option here when 98% of winter days are -40 with a windchill and/or snowing) I can't wait for spring so I can sun some of the stains outta my dipes!

Soooo what about woolies? Well we have a huge collection of woolies and I don't put those through the laundry! I fill my tub with hot water and wool wash (Eucalan) and then I gently squish my woolies into the water and let them soak for awhile. Then I gently agitate (very very gently!) then squish the water out of them, do a clean water rinse at approx the same temperature and then squish out the water again and I lay them all flat to dry. Simple as that!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Babywearing and older babies

I had an email from a mama friend today which inspired me to right this blog post. Is it ever too late to start wearing your baby?

Well no not really...Babywearing does not have to start with a newborn. There are many benefits to wearing a newborn but this post is about older babies.

I started babywearing with L when he was 4 months old, before that I had no idea that there was anything out there besides the awful snuggli that we had. It was uncomfortable and L hated it. I discovered it quite by accident because I saw a mommy in one of our baby groups who had a stretchy wrap and from there I started searching. Of course when I got the wrap I had absolutely no idea what to do with it. I read over the instructions and went Huh!? what!? I tried it out while L was napping (I used a teddy bear to try out the ties) well that didn't work so well so I just winged it and we figured it out sort of...I was so excited because he actually liked it! Then I discovered our local babywearing guru! (she's an amazing lady! you should check out her website and I also discovered that it was called babywearing and there weren't just strechy wraps...there were gazilions of differnt types of carriers out there...and an Addict was born (but that's another story haha!)

Ok so what are the benefits of babywearing with an older baby?

Well I could probaby pull up a ton of research about babywearing with an older baby (anyone with google can do the same) and I could preach boring facts and studies. But I figure I will tell you what my top 5 benefits are.

1. Being close to your baby...remember when your newborn baby used to snuggle in right to your chest and fall asleep and it gave you the best feeling in the whole entire world? Well you can get that back with babywearing! There's no better feeling in the world then when after a long day of a fussy teething baby who won't calm down, and you finally bring out the wrap and the snuggle in right to your chest listening to your beating heart and breathing and they go to sleep.

2. Hands Free...With many different carriers you can wear your babies on your front, back or hip. If you need to get supper done and your toddler is screaming for attention but you just don't have time, well you can toss them up on your back in a carrier and they get the attention they are needing and your hands are free to finish supper, laundry or whatever. **Please note that it is not safe to cook with a baby on your front or your hip, if you have to cook, please practice putting your baby on your back so that they are away from sharp knives and hot things**

3. Keeping track of your little know those times that your little walker doesn't want to sit in the stroller but doesn't want to walk either? In those situations there's another option but carrying them without putting alot of stress on your body. Carriers are ergonomicaly designed to be comfortable for you and your little one when used properly.

4. Tantrum avoidance...this is one that I use alot when its time to leave the park. If I put L in sling and we avoid the screaming that usually happens when it is time to go.

5. Last but not least It's also a GREAT work out! No I'm serious, go for a long walk with a 30lb toddler on your'll definately feel it at the end!! Some places have exercise classes specifically designed for babywearing mamas! From bootcamp type strength training to belly dancing and everything in between!

Well there you have it, my top 5 benefits for wearing an older baby. Its never too late to start, even with a 2 year old the benefits of babywearing are still there.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Spirited Child

Do you have one of these? I know I sure do! Little L is definately a very spirited child, he does what he wants, when he wants to and that's that. In a way I guess he's alot like me, very stubborn, independant and doesn't want to be rushed or hurried along. He's been this way since birth, but I'm just as stubborn as he is and well I'm his mommy so therefor I win right? (I wish!) We are now starting on the adventure that is toddlerhood...we're full blown into the "terrible twos" and I have a full blown kicking, screaming, pushing, shoving, biting little boy who thinks everything is "mine". And most days I really just want to pull my hair out when it comes to trying to deal with him. Luckily for me I have a bunch of amazing mommy friends who have been in my situation with their children and I can rely on them for support. I don't get looked at like I'm a horrible parent because my child is the one pushing the other kids at the playground while I'm desperately trying to get him to listen and slow down while juggling an almost 1 year old who really really just wants to get down and get going (sorry Miss A you can't even walk yet, no way are you going to try climbing the monkey bars!) This amazing group of mommies kind of helps watch out for him and I'm really greatful! You know the saying "it takes a village to raise a child" well in this instance I think it takes an army to raise this one!

Some of these amazing mommy friends attended a wonderful workshop put on by the Author of Raising Your Spirited Child, which I had wanted to go to but my munchkins were sick and it was snowing and my hubby was out trying to keep ahead of the 6 inches of snow that was falling. But they came back with lots of suggestions and ideas and they were really excited about it. So i'm starting an adventure into the book, I borrowed it from a friend and I haven't yet cracked it open, its sitting here beside me and I'm itching to read it. I think I'll crack it on my way out to the farm today to pick up little L and get our pictures taken. I think that I will try to read a chapter a week and let you know on Sunday what I thought about it, and how it is going with new tips and tricks.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Photography, parties and birthdays oh my!

Today I am very excited, I am getting to do a photo shoot with a local photographer, its the first part of our shoot. We are doing family picutes with L and A and the Hubby tomorrow (pray the weather holds out!) and we are planning on doing a small breastfeeding photo shoot today...why breastfeeding? well because I've secretly been dying to have a beautiful spread of photos to celebrate breastfeeding (oh I know I'm weird haha!) Our photographer is very excited to work with us and us with her. We wanted pictures that capture "us" and that means capturing us as a babywearing, breastfeeding and fun loving family. If you want to check out work done by our photographer go to She does an absolutely amazing job I can't wait! After the photoshoot today we're going out with some friends (kid free! A is staying at home with a dear friend and L is visiting Grandma and Grandpa for the day) then its off to a birthday party for a very very dear friend. I get to bake her a birthday cake today (Gluten and Dairy free!!!) we'll see how that goes, I might have to blog about it tomorrow lol! And she has requested that we do some family photos for them :) so I get to break out my rebel and play around and have some fun! I might post a sneak peak later on too!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Positive Affirmations

I was doing some research last night into positive birth affirmations (no I'm not pregnant :P) I'm a birth doula in training and I thought that including an exercise in positive affirmations in my prenatal meetings might help some of my clients prepare for the birthing process. As I started to dig into the positive affirmations I discovered that hey these don't have to just be about birth! I got really excited about this, I have a client who I am sort of pre-doulaing on her journey to getting pregnant (please send all the healthy, happy fertility vibes you can her way!) and I found her some positive affirmations for getting pregnant along with her "homework" of finding some of her favorites and and using them every time she is getting frustrated. Then last night I was doing some thinking and I decided that I need some positive affirmations in my life. Lately there has been alot of stress, drama etc and I have felt a need to take a step back from it all and breathe. So I am going to use positive affirmations to do just that! My goal is to use at least one positive affirmation a day. Today's positive affirmation is "This too shall pass" in regards to the fighting and squabbling of my two munchkins over toys. It made me take a step back and breath and not yell at them for fighting, I was able to be rational and work with them to solve the issue. I am a reacter more so then a thinker and I'm hoping that it helps me to stop and take in the situation and find a better way of dealing with it, and as I would do for my clients...Can you think of 1 positive affirmation you can use in your day to day life?

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Your baby is too attached to you! I hear these words quite often, pretty much since day one with both my children. With L it was "put him down, holding him will spoil him, let him cry its good for his lungs, he doesn't need you he's manipulating you..." the list could go on and on and on. With little A the vocals had toned down a little bit, but I still hear "she's too attached, you can't leave her with anyone, you need to stop nursing her, she should take a bottle" Comments to which I've replied several times, She will not take a bottle...we tried, she refused. End of story. I can't leave her if she won't take a bottle, naturally she needs me to feed her so she comes with me. I don't think she's too attached, she's happy and very independant of me. And then I get hmphed and grumbled about because I don't know what I'm doing and this is going to cause all sorts of trouble later in life, she'll be breastfeeding until she's 5 and sleeping in our bed until she's a teenager...Oh the HORROR!!!!!!!

Which brings me to the point of my post today. Is there such a thing as too attached? Honestly in a normal healthy situation I don't think so. Attachment is defined as a feeling that binds one to a person, thing, cause, ideal, or the like; devotion; regard: a fond attachment to his cousin; a profound attachment to the cause of peace. (Thanks!) Does this really sound like a bad thing? I have an attachment to my husband...I love him very much, does that make me too attached to him? I am quite attached to my children, as their mother I brought them into the world, nourished them, gave them unconditional love and I revel in every snuggle, hug etc I get in return. Yes I babywear, no it doesn't mean my baby will never walk, Yes I breastfeed...again no it doesn't mean she'll only want to breastfeed for her entire life. A is slowly starting to wean herself, she's slowed down feedings, started taking more solids, she's deciding when she's ready. I can't force her to stop nor would I want to. Just like I can't force her to be ready to be away from me for any length of time. We have in the past week left her with a babysitter (a trusted friend) twice for less than 3 hours each time. Our babysitter has understood how to get her to fall asleep, with lots of cuddling, walking etc, and each time we've come home to a peaceful sleeping baby and happy reports of very little crying or fussing. We've never really left her for that length of time before, she wasn't ready for it, now she is. She decided when she was ready, we were poised both times to come running back home if SHE needed us.

To me, babies need their parents, they need to feel close to them. So do older children, L still needs to come have a cuddle when he's feeling sad, or he's bonked his head or even just because. I don't think attachment is as bad as I'm being told it is. I also don't think there is this magical age where a child HAS to be independant from their parents. Why is it when a child turns 1 they have to all of a sudden grow up and stop being a baby? We expect too much of them. Can't we just let them be little for as long as they want? I for one intend to exactly that! So sorry to all of the people out there that think my poor little A is too attached to me, I guess she's just not quite ready to be unattached...Maybe I'll look into some glue remover when's she's 3 or 4...or not

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Importance of....

So I had all these grand plans of what I was going to blog about this year, all the soap boxes I would get up on...and probably get knocked off of but in the absence of sleep and the excitment of being able to go out on a date night with my darling husband...I've forgotten them all! Obviously they weren't all that important in the grand scheme of things. Or maybe they were but sleep, family time, and time with the hubby have won out as more important. So this will be a post about the importance of....well of life, love etc. Right now as I sit here, A and L are fighting over a toy and I'm thinking of the importance of serenity. Oh sweet serenity how I long for you. Once there was a day where I could sit in silence and enjoy a cup of tea, read a book, watch a movie without screaming, fighting, someone pestering me because they are hungry, tired, poopy or whatever. I would love to just for a fleeting moment have that back. Think of it, a nice comfy chair, a cuddly warm blanket, a hot beverage of your choice and a damn good romance novel...ahhhh blissss....I can almost envision it, and then out of nowhere I'm snapped back into reality by a scream of "Noooooooo!" And I have to look around at the chaos around me and smile, I really wouldn't trade this for anything, no matter how many times I wish to run and lock myself in the bathroom for 5 minutes alone, I always come back to this spot and I count my blessing that I have the love of my life standing strong beside me...ready to face whatever battle might entail with our little munchkins and the two most wonderful, beautiful childen who are brilliant, cute and sometimes sassy. Oh yes I wouldn't change it for anything...well maybe I'd trade it right now. Did I mention we're getting a babysitter tonight...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Our Breastfeeding Journey

My little baby girl will be turning one in just over a month (where has all the time gone?) and I have to face the looming probability that eventually she will want to wean and no longer breastfeed. Which is going to be a very bittersweet time for me and is causing me to reflect on my breastfeeding journey over the past 2 and a half years through two children.

When I got pregnant with L I didn't know for sure if I wanted to breastfeed him or not. I was young and I didn't know much about it or have any support. Heck I didn't even really know much about babies, sure I'd babysat a few times, seen other moms breastfeed and formula feed but I didn't know that much. I assumed that you would probably have to supplement with a bottle as well as breastfeed. As I dilligently researched the pros and cons, I got caught up in the babyfeeding frenzy. I listened to all the "Breast is Best but have some formula just in case" and I had idealized expectations, but as I dug deeper the pros of breastfeeding seemed to outweigh the cons. I decided that I would breastfeed because well it was the best thing for my baby and besides that it is cheap! But I would bottle feed as well, ideally pumped milk but formula might be ok too. I figured it would be super easy, you just latch the baby on and its all perfect from there. Boy was I wrong...but we're getting to that eventually. I listened to what everyone else told me and completely ignored my own instincts (when it came to everything about my baby). Then it came time for little L to make his apperance into the world and I had made my decision, we were going to breastfeed! of course my mother, mother-in-law and my husband were all very supportive of my decision. My mother had been pushing me to breastfeed since she breastfed me (Thanks mom!)

I gave birth to little L after being induced and 6 hours of hard labour and some minor complications. The nurses took him, got him all bathed and swaddled and I was given my precious bundle of joy. Well I'd like to say those first moments were beautiful and wonderful and amazing...which they were but they were also very awkward, here I was holding this teeny little bundle that I didn't know anything about. The nurse came to help me breastfeed and it took two nurses and my hubby to get him positioned "correctly" at my breast. Then he latched on "perfectly" and proceeded to nurse. I was in my element...hey this was super easy!! I was gleeful until the next time I needed to nurse him...two hours later...I soon discovered that it was painful when he chomped down and started to nurse, and those afterpains were horrid too. But I preservered through it. Our nursing sessions seemed to get better while we were in the hospital and finally we were released to go home. Things were going alright for the first two weeks, he cried, slept, pooped etc and latched on pretty well. I had listened to my mother and was dilligently feeding him every 3 hours for 10 minutes on each side, and dealing with the pain of being engorged the rest of the time and trying everything I could to shush him when it wasn't time to feed. (Obviously I wasn't follwoing MY instincts at this point and time). Things were going great, we went for his 2 week check up and the nurses weighed him. He had dropped down to just below 8lbs when we left the hospital (normal) and at his two week check up the nurse weighed him in at 9lbs 9 ozs (apparently a little TOO big for the doctor's liking) It was suggested that because he was a bit fussy and he was weighing in that big, that maybe he needed to go on a diet...yes a diet...I should only nurse him every 4 hours...well that lasted for a few days and all H#$% broke loose. He was colicky, screaming, fussing, not sleeping...we were sitting up all night long rocking him as he screamed himself to sleep.

Nothing we did seemed to calm him down. And so I threw away the doctor's advice and started to feed him more often again, but the damage had already been done. My milk supply had dropped significantly by that time and I was barely producing enough to keep him from loosing weight, but that wouldn't be discovered until much later on. So I pushed on through with my colicky baby, sleep deprived and feeling like a failure as a mother. It didn't help that the weigh ins with the health nurses didn't go so well, "he's not gaining weight fast enough...are you sure your feeding him enough?...well we don't know why he's not gaining weight...feed him more often" So off I this point we were nursing every half hour to hour all day and all night and the rest of the time he screamed...and screamed...and screamed some more...

Finally I was at my wits end...there was no support, I was in tears all the time, not knowing what to do. The doctor had me try the motillium at a low dose to see if that might help because well maybe it was a milk supply issue. Well that didn't work at all... We had resorted to starting to supplement with formula which was wreaking havoc with L's tummy, more consitpation battles, gas, screaming etc. I had almost given up, I was seriously considering switching to formula and being done with breastfeeding. At about 3 and a half months I finally saw a light at the end of a very dark tunnel, it came in the form of a phone call from an unknow health nurse filling in at the small town clinic but she was from the city. The phone call went something like this "Hi we're just checking in with you to see how you and L are is the breastfeedin? Well not great...we're still having issues and he's not gaining weight...Oh! well have you tried eating a bowl of oatmeal every morning? It will help increase your supply, also there are these herbs you can try, I'll look up the information and let you know...really? REALLY!!!!...Oh and there are lactaction consultants in the city that you can go see as well that will be able to help you further...wait a second...WHAT?...There's lactation consultants at the health unit, I can get you a referral if you'd like...Yes! oh Yes please! thank you so much!" So I finally had some ideas of what was going on and what to do to fix it. I started taking the fenugreek and blessed thistle supplements, and eating oatmeal and waited for my appointment with the LC...

L was just over 4 months when we saw the LC for the first time, she was a very nice lady who was very concerned because by this time L had plateaued on the growth curve, he wasn't loosing weight but he wasn't gaining weight either. Usually it doesn't take until 4 months to figure this out, that's what I was told. She suspected that we might not get my supply back completely but we'd give it our best shot. So she gave me a hospital grade breastpump to borrow, got me switch nursing, upped my fenugreek and blessed thistle, got me a better perscription for the motillium and instructions on how much to take and how long to be on it etc. She listened to me, counselled me, reassured me that I wasn't a failure as a mother. She checked his latch, gave me suggestions on changing positions and we started twice weekly visits to the LC for weigh ins. We were still giving him formula, but she had suggested we switch to a hypoallergenic brand to help with the tummy issues. We were also not allowed to swap out a breastfeeding session for a was breastfeeding first as much as he would take and then top him up with the formula. I was pumping both breasts for 15-20 minutes after EVERY nursing session, including the ones at night, nursing him as often as he wanted...and we started to see some change. He started to slowly gain some weight...Our visits to the LC became less frequent and just before 6 months we stopped going to the LC but we were still struggling with our breastfeeding routine.

And then it around 6 months little L came down with RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) not fun...we were quarantined for 6 weeks and I helplessly watched my little boy spike in fevers, struggle to breath and have issues nursing yet again. It was a struggle but by now I knew breastfeeding was going to get him better so it was all or nothing, I called the LC and got some much needed advice on how to get him to nurse effectively while he was having breathing troubles. 6 weeks later we were in the clear no more RSV.

I'm not going to lie, by this point I hated breastfeeding, I absolutely hated it. Each time I put L to the breast I nearly had a melt down from all the stress and guilt I was feeling. Most people would have just given up at this point...and why didn't I? well honestly I don't know why I didn't just quit. I think it has to do with the fact I'm a perfectionist and not a quitter, I stuck to it...Even my husband was starting to wonder if this was the right thing for us. With the breastfeeding issues, L's sleep issues and planning our wedding we were both near our breaking point. We snapped at each other all the time and argued and well lets just say it wasn't a very happy household. But by the time L was 8 months old something just clicked, we were no longer using formula, bottles stayed in the cupboard and not only were we breastfeeding but I was enjoying it, bonding with my baby boy. I was loving those moments, even in the middle of the night after his 10th wake up and we were sitting in the rocker in his room, him latched on nursing back to sleep I was able to relax and smile.

Our breastfeeding relationship continued without any major hitches for a month or so...and then I got pregnant with little A. I wasn't too worried because we were still breastfeeding smoothly, and the doctor reassured me I would be able to nurse as long as L wanted to nurse but he might decide to wean when I hit the 2nd trimester and my milk started to change. Well L decided that 2 weeks before his first birthday (right at the beginning of my second trimester) that he no longer wanted to nurse. It was a fight to get him to the breast, there was screaming and biting and flailing. At this point I just knew he was done, he had made up his mind, so I said goodbye to my almost 4 months of a beautiful breastfeeding relationship and let him slowly wean himself off of the breast. I was sad that he stopped nursing but proud of myself for making it through all of that past year and not giving up.

By this point though I started to think about breastfeeding the new baby...What if I had the same problems again? I wasn't sure I had the strength to go through that again. I started researching, I found a local La Leche League group and although I didn't attend meetings until after I had little A, I started to feel more confident...paranoid but confident. I started prepping, I had my pump ready to go, I had stocked up on nursing tea, I had the herbal supplements sitting waiting, I even bought a huge box of oatmeal. I was going to nip this in the bud this time. I vowed that this time it would be different, I was going to let my baby do the talking and nurse on demand, no bottles, no formula, no soothers no nothing!!! Just the breast! My husband was a little concerned that I was setting myself up for failure but he supported me anyways.

Little A's birth was alot better then L's birth and I got her latched on the the breast perfectly all by myself before the nurse was even back in the room. She looked a little shocked when she walked in and I was happily breastfeeding my new little bundle of joy. So far so good...I started to nurse on demand which was tiring at times as she nursed frequently and agressively for the first couple days. When we got home I was suffering from engorgment...oh the pain...the incredible feeling of pain and fullness...finally I needed relief and started to pump and I was pumping 5 ozs from each breast and still had enough to keep little A happy. I wasn't satisfied it would last though, so I continued to pump on occasion, not at every feed but at a significant majority through of them. I brought A to bed so she could nurse on demand. I was still paranoid of loosing my supply. I researched skin to skin care, diligently practiced it, wore her in wraps and slings as much as possible and kind of was a little obsessive about my supply. Until our La Leche League Leader (who is now a dear friend of mine) basically told me to relax we were doing fine and I should stop pumping since I seemed to have the opposite problem this time. I had too much milk!!!

I wish I could say that I was complaining about oversupply but at that time I wasn't. I was so happy that it meant I wasn't loosing my milk. But oversupply has its downfalls and can be just as frustrating. I stopped pumping and hoped that the first 6 weeks of just nursing would help level things out like they should. Well they didn't, we had to devise new ways to nurse so that A wasn't drowning in milk, after the 6 week mark I started expressing a little bit before each feed so she could latch on and hopefully not drown, we went through lots of shirt changes, breast pads and spent days covered in breastmilk. I constantly had plugged ducts that I needed to deal with. But I was much more relaxed this time, and more confident in what I was doing. I attended the monthly leche league meetings, got to know other moms and got lots of support for breastfeeding.

So weeks turned into montsh and although I was dealing with the oversupply, constant letdowns, pouring milk, choking and sputtering baby, I was at peace. My baby was breastfeeding, she was gaining weight, by 6 months she had more then doubled her birthweight, weighing in at just over 17lbs. (She was 8lbs exactly at birth) We have breastfed exclusively, no formula for almost 11 months now. She is on solids but is still breastfeeding frequently with no signs of slowing down any time soon. She's a happy chubby beautiful baby girl and I've gained an amazing support network of amazing mamas, without them I'm not sure this time would have gone so smoothly. We have almost reached our goal of 1 year of breastfeeding...for us that is very important. I have proved to myself that I can do it! despite all the challenges we have faced I can do this! What does the next year have in store for us? Will I wean A after a year...well right now I can say with absolute certainty that she will continue breastfeeding until she shows an interest in weaning, we are both content with our breastfeeding relationship and I wouldn't trade it for the world. As for my breastfeeding relationship with L, well I've grieved for it, I've come to terms with it, and I'm now able to love it for what it was. It was an experience to learn and grow, in a way it was a blessing in disguise. Sure there are moments when I wish that I knew then what I know now but I wouldn't trade the past 2 and a half years for anything in the world.

Here's to the past 2 and a half years and to my two wonderful beautiful children that I love so much!