Wordful Wednesday – Happy World Breastfeeding Week

*WARNING – Boobs and Nursing Pics to follow. But no nipples. I don’t do nipple pictures. It would be a bad latch if you could see them…

Today marks the beginning of World Breastfeeding Week. Something all of you know I am very passionate about (or should know if you’re new :).)

I have hailed the benefits of nursing Cedella, how important a bond it is, and how, even past two years old, it is one of the best nutrition I have ever given my children.

But I haven’t really talked much about Isora nursing probably because it’s just so normal and comfortable. And thankfully we have had no issues with nursing. She latched on a few moments after being born and has been sucking her way to good health ever since.

Isora nursing mere moments after she was born while we were still in the tub.

Though I want to believe it goes without saying that breast milk is the most perfect food you can give your baby I know that many people think that formula is just as good. It’s not. It’s adequate and will get the job done, sure. But it’s not Liquid Gold. Don’t believe me? The World Health Organization can school you.

I know that in so many circumstances many women can’t breastfeed (or continue to do so) often due to having to return to work so soon after having their babies. Or after having health problems or complications from giving birth. That sucks. On both accounts. But I understand.

What I don’t understand is having a free and infinitely better food source at your disposal and not using it. I like free. And healthy. Free and healthy? Yes please.

I know, I know, there are lots of other reasons women don’t or can’t breastfeed and I’m over-simplifying the issue. I feel this is an individual choice to be made and not regulated or legislated, but common sense should prevail and yet it doesn’t.

It’s hard to know what is more often the case. Is it that many women don’t have the information they need about why breastfeeding is so important? They are lacking help and support in starting and continuing their nursing (including help figuring out their right to pump in their workplace)?

Or is it that formula is just so much easier to use? Cause my ‘bottles’ are always warm and ready, and nothing’s easier than whipping out a boob. (Just ask Ms. Jackson if you’re nasty ;))

Simply put my Breastaurant* is always open and there’s only one (well, sometimes two) customers. (*Thanks Aunt Jacqueline for that term!)

Isora is an amazing little nurser. She can empty a breast in five minutes flat and tanks herself up during the day so that she gets about an 8 hour stretch of sleep every night. Yes, my nursing infant sleeps through the night. It’s not just an myth.

Izzie nursing on the beach. She then fell fast asleep. Nursing Champ.

Nursing with Cedella was something I did a lot of research about and made an informed decision. And it was HARD.

Though she nursed right away it was hard knowing when to feed her and wondering if she was ‘getting enough’. Don’t we all?

When my milk came in I was so engorged and sore for days that I would just cry and cry while she nursed cause it hurt so bad. I remember milking myself like a cow in the shower to relieve some of the pressure. It sucked.

Sore nipples for the first three months? Yep. Had them. Thought it was normal until I asked my friend Kelle about it. It was NOT normal. It was a bad latch.

Bitten nipples? Ugh. Those were the worst.

Leaking nipples at the most inopportune times? Man. This has happened more times than I can count. I have always completely forgotten about nursing pads. Oops.

I know. It sounds miserable. But for all of the issues I had with Cedella as soon as I found support it was like all of those issues started seeming smaller, or at least, more manageable. By the end of my first La Leche League meeting (which I’m sure I cried at) I felt a rush of relief and a renewed sense of purpose and strength.

I continued attending the Series meetings throughout my pregnancy with Isora. Helping to set myself up to start a strong nursing relationship from the beginning. And crazier yet, setting myself up to tandem nurse a toddler and a newborn (tandem referring to two children nursing from the same mother NOT necessarily at the same time. Cause I haven’t gotten that desperate to silence them both simultaneously yet).

And you know what? It worked.

Nursing the baby while comforting the toddler. Don’t I look thrilled? All in a day’s work.

Sure, I had engorgement, and it hurt like hell. But it was much better than the first time and didn’t last as long. My nipples are fine and not even a little bit sore. And leaking still happens. Because I’m lazy forgetful Mom of two and you’re all lucky if you see me out and about and my teeth are brushed.

If you’re pregnant or thinking about starting a family please consider breastfeeding your children. There are so many incredible benefits that far outweigh the challenges. And there is so much help and support out there if you need it. La Leche League International and WIC are great places to start.

In fact, just ask me. Me and my kids are down with the Boob!!

My Isora…a total Boob Man. 

Happy World Breastfeeding Week! And Happy W Wednesday too!!

 

 

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday: She’s Here!!

There are so many words I can’t wait to share but for now just the most important ones.

HAPPY BIRTH DAY ISORA ROSE!!

She was born on St. Patrick’s Day, which happens to be my beloved Grandma Rose’s birthday, at 11:55am.

She was a 8 lbs. 9 oz. and 21 inches long.

We had a really amazing birth experience at The Greenhouse Birth Center. And when I say amazing, I mean laughing hysterically and smiling with my husband and doula and then pushing out a baby ten minutes later in a luxurious bath tub.

Amazing.

Seeing this face for the first time is one of the most powerful and beautiful moments of my life.

She is calm, deliciously chubby, funny and oh so snuggly.

Her big sister loves her very much and calls her Baby Sister. Or Zorie. This picture was taken when we came home with Zorie 6 hours after her birth, the first time Cedella met her. Instant Love.

Her Auntie Kylara calls her Squishy.

TeTe calls her Izzie.

I can’t decide whether I like Zorie or Izzie better. But she’ll always be my Nugget.

And now I know just how possible it is for one’s heart to instantly expand and almost burst with instant love. Because in this moment my heart just about exploded for this little miracle.

Hope that your week is as amazing as mine has been! Happy WW!!