Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Crying Over Burnt Milk

I just burnt 3 cups of milk because I just HAD to go look at the Internet while I was doing my nightly scalding which I know only takes minutes and I should never even walk away from the stove.

I know I should let it go, but I just can't.

Eric had to throw it out for me as I couldn't bare the thought.

Do you see what my life has become? Milk milk milk, poop, milk.

Oh, and since I must live up to the mommy blogger status that I am trying to maintain, we have had our first turds. I know, you're so glad you know that.

Coming soon... Sleep Training. Why are we doing this again?

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Sorry Earth

Back when we were trying to get pregnant I became a little obsessed with researching cloth diapering. I picked out the diapers I wanted to use, it became a factor when we were searching for a house/apt rental, and I convinced my husband that we should give it a try. He's the earth loving type and was willing to do whatever I thought was best, I had done the research!

Then my mom's singing group gifted us a WHOLE YEAR of cloth diapering service. Now, I was a little taken back because it caused me to rethink things because it meant doing cloth diapering a different way than I had planned. I'm not a really quick to accept a change in my expectations, so it took me a while to accept such an awesome gift. You see, I wanted to use pocket diapers ($$$ and fancy as all heck) but the diaper service pretty much forces you to use flat pre-folds and diaper covers. I LOVE the cute diaper covers, so I convinced myself to give it a try since hello! Awesome gift! Plus, one of my good girlfriends used the same service and she raved about it and loaned us her newborn diaper covers while we gave it a try.

Then we had the baby. A teeny tiny baby (well teeny to me) . She came home wearing Pamper Swaddlers Preemie size. So, so tiny. I wish I had thought to keep one. We decided to wait on the cloth because they were HUGE on her and I'd have to buy all new covers so we kept using the glorious Pampers Swaddlers. GLORIOUS I TELL YOU!

When the wee one was big enough, we started using the cloth. She had some fairly caustic poops for her sensitive bum and would end up with horror of all horrors in rashes every day we used cloth. She was getting changed 1-2 times an hour and yet still the rashes were causing my baby to cry each time we walked to the changing pad. So we went back to using disposables whenever there was a rash because they soaked up the Breastmilk poo so well it kept her pretty darn dry. I know this is the opposite of what "they" say, but that's how it worked for us.

It's been a couple of months of cloth when at home and disposables when out for more than an hour and overnight. It's been working well. We've gotten very good at folding the diaper so her monstrous poops stay contained. Most poop leaks have actually been when using disposables. (yes, i'm talking poop on my blog... I'm a mommy now, it comes with the territory, deal). However it's time to move up in diaper sizes, buy new covers and she's getting more and more squirmy, and the big kicker... Eric is going to stay home with her during the day and he favors the convenience of the disposables (and I don't think he liked that I asked him to dunk and swish poopy diapers in the toilet to cut back on the.... smell).

The thing is, we learned the greatness that is the disposable diaper. Yes, landfill bad. Yes, resources to make bad. Yes, awesome gel is questionable to babies health. But also, cloth diapers aren't really all bright and shiny for the environment either and the parent happiness is a factor. In my opinion cloth is still better, but the convenience of the amazing absorption and super dryness of the glorious Swaddlers has won over her daddy and I'm choosing to let this one go.

I'll have to tell my mom today that she'll stop getting the diaper bill soon. I hope she doesn't feel it's turning down the awesome gift, because it's been great. I just think, for us, right now, we're gonna try something different.

(yes, I'm writing this to convince myself of this decision)

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Mmmm Milk

The most unnatural thing I did today was to grab my pump while my baby was crying that she was hungry and I headed into our home office.

My frozen milk stash has grown. Grown to over 400 ounces (I stopped keeping track) It was hard earned and took many hours of lost sleep to obtain. When I was so obsessed with pumping, I was thinking I was building and protecting my milk production because my LilMiss was tiny (TMI - or I'm err uhh large?) and we both had a hard time with breastfeeding and as a bonus I was growing this stash of awesome milk for my baby to use when we started solids, or when I went back to work or in case of emergency or illness, so I thought it was a necessary evil but it was for the good of the baby and you'd do just about do anything for them. But a few things have happened since we started down this road:

#1 - I have a little bit of oversupply now so I HAVE to pump at least once a day usually 2-3x though since I haven't gone back to work yet and LilMiss isn't needing the extra I produce at the moment which is why the freezer stash grows an average of 6 ounces a day.

#2 - I have discovered I have an issue with excess lipase in my milk. Lipase is an enzyme which breaks down the milk fat to ease digestion for the baby. However at times I have produced too much of this enzyme so it causes my stored milk (even while frozen) to turn a little, and sometimes a lot, funky. Ok fine, it's worse than funky, it tastes and smells of fish. Sweet fish, but still fish. Yea, gross I know. The degree of smell/taste change seems to be totally variable as I've thawed out some from different times that smelled a little different than fresh and some that were outright gross to my nose. They say this milk is still perfectly fine to give to the baby if they accept the taste/smell change. Luckily LilMiss seems to still take it just fine in a bottle but I have opted not to use it when making her cereal and thinning out her purees as I don't want her to think all her food has this same fishy taste.

Since I've discovered this (MONTHS LATER), every night I scald the milk which I'm going to store and not use within a day. The scalding process stops the enzyme but also kills off some of the beneficial elements of the milk. Not all, but some. Since I haven't returned to work yet (3 more weeks), I am freezing almost everything I pump. I have been freezing in 4 and 2 ounce bags, so if there is any over that then I save it for the next days cereal.

Frankly I feel lucky I only have to do the whole scalding process once a day. Some women's milk gets the funk on within minutes or hours of pumping. I seem to have a little over 24 hours though I haven't time tested it lately.

#3 - The earliest milk in the stash has hit the 3-4 month freezer expiration, so even though I haven't returned to work (WHOA IS ME! I GO BACK IN 3 WEEKS) we don't really need to give her a bottle at all but I don't want to throw out this milk. So this brings us to me pumping even though we're together.

Eric is now giving her a bottle in the afternoon from the freezer stash and I pump to maintain my supply and replace the milk in the stash on the other end of the date range. Realistically, this would be the time he would be giving her a bottle when I'm back at work so it seems to make sense. Sure he could give her this freezer stash bottle at night, but I actually cherish that time I have with her and when I'm at work, her nighttime feeding(s) will be a special time I still get with her (so I say now while I can still nap and sleep in late. I might feel differently when I'm expected to be able to think at 3 in the afternoon instead of nap).

#4 - Our fridge freezer filled up with milk a few months ago, um yea.. that's a lot of milk, so we went out and bought a manual defrosting chest freezer. Milk primarily stored in this type of freezer can be held for 6-12 months! I don't know how long I'll be able to keep up this whole pumping thing, and I've heard way too many stories of moms not being able to keep up with the demand once they are back at work or just have voraciously hungry babies or both. So maybe this freezer stash will help keep us in booby milk for her as long as we can, preferable to her first birthday. It's perfectly fine if it doesn't but might as well give it a shot.

I knew you were all dying to know what's going on with Cherry and her boobies, so that's the current story. I'm not a die hard breastfeeding maniac at all, to each her own. I feel lucky it worked out for us and honestly I have enjoyed this time with her even though, yes, it does still hurt just not as bad as those excruciating first 2 months where the sleep deprived state put me in a terrible place to deal with such pain and frustration. Plus, it's pretty darn convenient when we are out of the house a little longer than we had planned and she gets hungry.
Why look.. I have a little snack for you right her darling. nom nom nom.