Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Breastfeeding Experiences

I am a lactavist. I staunchly belive that breast milk is to formula like diamonds are to cubic zirconia, a cheap imitation.  If you can't get diamonds, wear CZ, but if you had a choice why would you want something less?  This is especially true when you consider that the diamonds in this case are free.

I breastfed all four of my children. Each time, I had a different life situation but somehow I managed to make it work.  With my the Astronaut, I was an 18 year old single parent, four months out of high school.  I waited a year to go to college, but worked from the time he was 2 months old. Maybe one bottle of formula passed that child's lips.  It didn't make it down his throat because he spit it out.  He has quite a discerning palate.  My mom brought him to my job to nurse. I was waiting tables intially, and worked a semi-slow shift.  I left the state and went to college full time when he was nine months old and still breastfeeding. I expressed milk for him and he began whole milk at age one.  We made it 13 months, at which point he self-weaned.  Two months later, I was pregnant.

When I had the Princess, my son had just turned two and I was back home. I worked two jobs in her infancy, begin when she was 5 weeks old.  It was a much more difficult situation.  I was having problems with my then-boyfriend and with my family. I only made it 4 months with my sweet girl.  Then we fell into a vicious cycle of eczema, ear infections, and colds that actually cost me my job.  I didn't qualify for FMLA and my job wasn't very sympathetic to the plight of single mothers with sick children.

The Squirrel was up next. I was determined to make it with her. I returned to work when she was 6 weeks old. She was a fussy little girl, my smallest baby.  Caesar wasn't working then so he stayed with her. I began pumping and freezing as soon as she was born.We began bottles of pumped milk at 2 weeks to try to avoid nipple confusion and my Avent Isis and I spent lunch together in the lacation room at work. My precious girl girl was EBF for 7 months, then hit a huge growth spurt and depleted my stored supply.  She was BF/FF for two months and then FF after 9 months. She couldn't tolerate cow milk based formula and was switch to soy with moderate success. She developed severe eczema which she still suffers from. She's allergic to all nuts (peanut/tree nut), dogs, dairy, and dust. 

Three days after I was laid off from my job, I found out I was pregnant with Side Salad. My little chunky monkey (the biggest of teh babes) was born so fast we shared our first meal together less than 30 minutes after arriving at the hospital, he from the boob and me from the hospital cafeteria.  SS was the lucky one. He was born when I was at the ripe old age of 26, much wiser and more confident as a mother than I had ever been. Formula never graced the palate of my precious papoose. Before the big kids, my mom and I went on a cruise, I stocked up the deep freezer with the help of my Avent Isis iQ Uno.   This kid was EBF until he was 21 months old.  That's right; he was walking, talking, eating from a plate, drinking from a real cup, using the potty, and all.  It was a mutual decision. He just nursed less and less until one day, I realized it'd been about a week since he nursed. I offered and he refused.

You'd assume people who had known me for a long time would be used to my breastfeeding. 

You assume too much, dear reader.  In my next blog, I will outline the infamous "NIP makes you close minded" incident of 2009.

It's a hoot.

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