Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Breastfeeding Saga, Part 2

                                             Cassidy Nicole, 6 weeks

 Six weeks and we are still going at it. That may seem like a small feat for all you mommies out there who are flowing with milk and honey, but for Cassidy and me, it is something for which to be very proud. At just five days old, I set a goal with my lactation consultant to nurse until my baby was 2 weeks old. Meeting that goal required a tremendous amount of dedication and very little sleep. It required nursing my very sleepy baby (who also had a poor latch), pumping, and supplementing with formula every three hours around the clock. (I supplemented with formula because barely anything came out when I pumped.) Yes, I know that all newborn babies are supposed to get fed every three hours, but it was the pumping and supplementing that stole the breastfeeding fantasy from me. The entire process took between 1 1/2 to 2 hours, leaving very little time to truly enjoy the Long Awaited One before it was time to start all over again.

Cassidy did not return to her birth weight until she was three weeks old. For the first two weeks of her life, I was very reluctant to give her formula because I wanted her to be hungry for Mommy. I finally came to terms with the fact that Mommy was not enough (not in that respect, anyway), and gave her the food she needed in the way I was able. She immediately began to flourish, put on weight, and had more alert time, letting me see those unbelievable eyes of her's.

At the three week mark (that's one week longer than my initial two week goal, BTW), I stopped the pumping madness. My consultant and I discussed reducing the pumpings to three times a day, which I intended to do, but I got tired of laying my baby down to cry while I sat hooked to a machine. I decided that, rather than nursing and then pumping to make sure my breasts were empty, I would just have the baby nurse twice. She was stronger then and able to do a better job than the pump, anyway. Letting her nurse both breasts twice doesn't take any longer than nursing once and then pumping, but my baby and I are both happier and are able to spend more time cuddling and enjoying each other.

Kissing the pump goodbye has not decreased my milk supply. Cassidy's latch is better than ever, and her suckling is enough to keep me producing milk. I am still supplementing with formula, and it looks like I will always have to do that. However, I appear to be producing a little more milk than before. Lately, she has been spitting up after nursing. It breaks my heart to see her spit up my precious milk, but I like seeing that I made her belly so full that she needed to make more room. Two nights ago, I pumped in place of a feeding because she was asleep on the couch with her dad, and I wanted to go to sleep. I surprised myself by pumping two ounces! I have only previously been able to pump 1 1/2 ounces, so this was pretty exciting.

I had to work last Tuesday, so Cassidy spent her first day away from me with the babysitter. At the end of the day, I found myself rushing home to nurse her. I couldn't wait to be reunited with my baby daughter in this very intimate way. It was a great feeling because I was dismayed in the beginning to find that nursing felt more like a job than the magical experience I dreamed of. Now that we both have the hang of it, I really like it. I actually look forward to it if we've been apart for any reason, even if it's just because someone else was holding her. This is the reason I never gave up. I know when I return to work in a few days and my sweet baby starts spending her entire day with someone else, I want to be the one to give her what she wants, what no one else can give her.

I want that baby to be a Mommy's girl!

Thank you, God, for enabling me where I am unable. 

A note from the author: The next time I post, I'm going to change the name of this blog. The new title will be "Bonnie's Books and Babies." BBQ is out, but I'm keeping the books part. I owe it to Gabe to try harder to get his book published. Plus, I'm pretty sure he meant for it to have one more final chapter.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


I tell her a million times a day that she is beautiful. I think you'll agree; the Lord really out did Himself on this girl. He wanted her to be worth the wait. She was totally worth every bit of it.

Cassidy Nicole, 4 Weeks

We like to have little talks when I'm rocking her and she wills those gorgeous eyes to stay open and look at Mommy.

I like this story, Mom.

I tell her how Mommy and Daddy prayed and prayed and prayed and hoped and hoped and hoped for the longest time to have a little child to love. I tell her how, one day, we got a little child. And we loved him. But he had important stuff to do, so he had to fly away to Heaven. Then I tell her how Mommy and Daddy prayed and prayed and prayed and hope and hoped and hoped some more. Then, we were blessed with another little child--a selfless one who had another big job to do. So, she flew away, too. Then, I tell her how our hearts were so sad, and we cried sad tears. But, we didn't give up and we prayed and prayed and prayed and hoped and hoped and hope even more. And God said, "Yes. Yes, you can have a perfect, healthy, beautiful child." That's when He gave us our very own Cassidy Nicole. She glued our broken hearts back together. Now, Mommy and Daddy aren't sad anymore. We are so very happy.

We still cry, though. Happy tears.