October 15, 2010
7 quick takes
1. It's 4:40am and I've been up for a little while. That kinda sucks. Also, I should be working on something else, if I'm gonna be working on anything, but I'd much rather eat Frosted Flakes and type this.
2. I'm in the midst of Operation Dry Up, but someone hasn't told my milk ducts. The only way I know to dry up is by getting pregnant and that's not gonna happen right now (mental note: begin charting). I am still pumping because I don't want mastitis, but I am not emptying the breasts. I was hoping to notice a drop in output after 3 or so days but no luck.
3. The reason for Operation Dry Up? JF will be coming home very soon and I don't think there's any way I can pump and take care of all the kids and not go crazy. And I'm not being flippant about the crazy part. I remember post partum with L and so I know it's within my realm to have a very, very ugly, difficult time adjusting. Taking one thing off my plate, even something as good as breastmilk is simply the right thing to do.
4. Ben had an appointment with an allergist earlier this week. As was suspected, he is allergic to dairy, eggs, peanuts, dogs, and cats. The good news: his allergy to dairy and eggs manifests itself only in itchy rashes and dry skin so there's a chance he may outgrow those. Yay for ice cream and French toast! The bad news: his peanut allergy is more severe and so we should begin reading labels and removing all peanut-y things from his diet. More bad news: the dog and cat thing he may also outgrow but it often morphs into seasonal allergies, pollens, trees, etc. He is also more likely to develop asthma. Because of this my in laws will have to do some major pet hair removal before his arrivals and my dad will have to quit smoking forever. Okay, so the quit smoking thing is really good for everyone, but it'll be hard for Dad. And really, he wouldn't have to quit, but we're going to use Ben's condition as another reason why he has to. But don't tell him that!
5. A lot of friends have been bringing us meals. I just want to thank you for doing that. It's soooo nice to not have to budget meal prep into my days. It leaves more time for kids, which is something I really need right now (so do they!). It's also wonderful - and I mean really, really wonderful - to not have to exert the mental energy for meal planning and grocery shopping. And, of course, it's also nice to get to eat really good dinners every night. :)
6. Today JF gets an upper gi test to see if he has acid reflux. If he does they will do some stomach surgery to correct it while they put in his feeding tube. (I encourage you to google "g tube" to see what it looks like.) So yes, JF is getting a feeding tube. Basically he is having problems nippling his entire feedings and is still at risk for aspirating. I have a very strong feeling that he will improve with these things when he's home, being fed by the same 2-4 people, not on a feeding schedule, not interrupted from his sleep for various reasons. However, I also know we will be using the g tube to make sure he's getting all the calories he needs, especially as he continues to heal and get stronger. I am not as scared or sad about the g tube as I once was, though I do pray for healing of JF's brain and throat so he will eat safely and normally.
7. Yesterday I went shopping for a few new pieces of clothes. For at least a year I've been wearing hand-me-down jeans from a friend with a different body type than mine. I finally got a new pair - and from a real department store - not Wal Mart or Target! I also bought a new pair of black flats since my old flats are now too small for my pregnancy-grown feet. I looked at shirts, too, but only felt affirmed that if you're large chested and all around fat there's not many choices available unless you want to wear things that are too small or have the same wardrobe as your mother. Mom's clothes look great on Mom, but they're not my style. This is why I looked like crap in high school.
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Nancy Mohrbacher in Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple lists the following strategies for mothers faced with an abrupt weaning. 1. wear chilled cabbage leaves inside the bra, change them out every 4-8 hours for fresh chilled leaves 2. For no more than 1 week every day drink 3 cups of sage tea made by steeping 1 1/2 tsp of dry sage leaves in a pint of freshly boiled water for 10 minutes. 3, Take two 100 mg vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) pills 3 times a day for the first day and one tablet daily there after; possible side effects include nausea, vominting, diarrhea and dark yellow-colored urine.ReplyDelete
Some people have found that eating Altoids diminishes milk production (that's one of the more pleasant suggestions I've seen, but I'd use it along with other strategies).
Ice packs may help as may drinking to thirst, but avoiding salt.
Does your hospital have an IBCLC (board certified lactation consultant) on staff? She might be able to offer more information and assistance.
I'm assuming that James is unable to suckle at the breast because it requires more of an active effort than a bottle. It's got to be a heart wrenching decision for you, but I can thoroughly understand why adding pumping to caring for a fragile infant as well as two other kids could seem like a put you over the edge overwhelming prospect.
If you can taper off on the pumping dropping one session every few days it may make the process easier on your body. Do be aware that abrupt weaning is apt to bring back fertility rapidly (especially in the super fertile!).
As far as tops are concerned, I recommend the tunic type tops that seem to be making a comeback. Besides your chest will be smaller soon. I'll bet you haven't seen your chest non-pregnant or lactating for a long time. You may be surprised at the result.
Prayers for all of you, particularly you as you deal with all of the physical discomfort on top of everything else.
Hi Bonnie, I am still praying for James recovery. I will pray for a smooth transition home as well. I wanted to mention that if you are comfortable with it you should look into receiving donated breast mild. I am sure James qualifies and I don't think it would cost anything for you all and it is cheaper then formula. I met a lady at a La Leache meeting who receives milk for her daughter because she had a low supply.ReplyDelete
I agree with you about the clothes and the bigger sizes. Although I have mostly given up on being fashionable :)
Have you started wearing tight sports bras? That helped me. And I've heard putting cabbage leaves in your bra helps too, but I haven't tried it.ReplyDelete
Love the bit about the clothes; new jeans and shoes go such a long way for me! Thanks for the updates about what's been going on and what to pray for. Btw, I too have a son with allergies (mostly minor, but too many to list) and a daughter named Lydia. :) Have you tried ice packs/binding for reducing milk supply and discomfort? It might just be "one more thing" on an already daunting list, but on the other hand, if you're getting uncomfortable, it could bring some relief - (decongestants can also help reduce/dry up). Prayers, prayers, prayers headed your way. I'm so glad the Lord has brought you to a place of peace re. the feeding tube. I pray it is a temporary solution.ReplyDelete
Praying for you! You sound more peaceful, that is great!ReplyDelete
I just wanted to throw it out for whenever you want it, My son has many many allergies, and we are seeing a doctor to help heal his body. Good news is he is no longer allergic to nuts and peanuts. If you ever are interested in that route (I understand now you are overwhelmed and it may not be the best time), I would be happy to talk to you about it.