Surgery Is Scheduled

Surgery Is Scheduled - Gallbladder Surgery

After my gallbladder attack I did a lot of research. Research on the foods I could and couldn’t eat, research on surgery, and research on the effects the surgery would have on my life.

My biggest concern, however, had nothing to do with me, but with Norah.

She still isn’t taking a bottle very well when I’m out and for the most part I can’t leave for longer than 2 hours without her becoming upset and sometimes unconsolable. Especially at night.

So I needed to know that having her with me at the hospital would be OK. And nursing wouldn’t be an issue after surgery. Except I’m getting conflicting responses and information.

I met with my surgeon today to discuss everything. How long the procedure would be (1-2 hours tops), what my diet would be like after the surgery, and then I talked about Norah. And the fact that she won’t take a bottle and my concerns about not being able to nurse.

Surgery Is Scheduled - Gallbladder

He said that the only thing he would have any concern with is the anesthesia in my system. Not to worry about the meds because they could work around that. And he said that I could discuss the type of anesthesia used with the anesthesiologist beforehand so that we use something they’d use on an infant if an infant was being put under.

I felt better. I felt like this wasn’t going to be a problem. And I was ready to schedule my surgery knowing that my little one would be able to be with me and nurse before and after surgery. Until his nurse came in to schedule the date of the surgery.

And she… well she told me differently. She mentioned that most doctors recommend pumping and dumping 24-48 hours after surgery. And then she went on to give me tips on how to get Norah to take my milk. Spoon feeding, using a nursing bra over the bottle to give her a familiar scent, etc. She told me a story of how she had to go to the hospital after one of her little ones was born and dealt with the same thing. And she got me worried all over again.

I did a few internet searches – yes, I know this is NOT the same as my doctor’s word – and from what I can tell I should be fine to nurse after surgery. KellyMom and Anesthesia Web shared research to back up their answers and stories from LaLecheLeague also confirmed that I should be able to nurse after surgery just fine.

For now I won’t stress about it. I’ll go by what my surgeon has said and will wait to talk to my anesthesiologist a few days before surgery. I’ll also still continue to give Norah to daddy on the weekends to try a bottle and will have pumped milk ready for them before surgery next month. Just in case.

As for the actual surgery… That seems easy enough.

Surgery Is Scheduled - laparoscopic surgery

When to Wean {Breastfeeding}

As my daughter gets closer and closer to 18 months of age I keep thinking about when we will wean from breastfeeding. From a young age we knew that she would be a difficult one to wean. I was even told by one of her pediatricians that she would more than likely nurse until she was three if we let her.

And you know what? That sounds fine to me!

Some days it can be hard. She wants to soothe and relax by nursing while I’m trying to do housework or take care of my son. She still nurses 5+ times a day although never longer than 5 minutes at a time unless its naptime or bedtime. So while it takes me away from the task at hand, it’s quick and then she’s ready for the next thing on her list.

I recently read a post over on Naptime is My Time on weaning your baby.  The post was part of a series from The Mommy Mindset where a handful of bloggers share their experience. I was relieved to hear that a few other mommies were in the same boat. Their kids just aren’t showing any signs of readiness even at 18+ months.

With my son I felt almost relieved when he finally decided he was ready to wean at 19 months. I was going into my third trimester with my daughter’s pregnancy and I honestly don’t think I was even producing much milk still. Plus he loved sippy cups (and took a bottle when he was younger!) which made a difference.

He happily stayed with family for a few days out of the week while I worked part time away from the home and was used to using his sippy for comfort instead of nursing. But since I’ve been home with my daughter she hasn’t had much experience with having to take her milk from a sippy. I have been told, however, that she happily took her milk when we recently out for a date night that didn’t end until well past bedtime.

I’m hoping that by following her cues and going with what feels right for both of us we’ll figure out a great time to wean. And while nursing can sometimes take a toll on me (my body tends to hold onto weight when I am nursing) I cherish this time I have with my babies. It’s definitely worth it in the end!

It Aint Always Rosy {Breastfeeding}


I have had a fairly easy time breastfeeding. My children, from the start, had a great latch and breastfed well. And they seemed to really enjoy breastfeeding. There was not something I did, or read, to allow for this. It really was just the right combination of everything that allowed me to continue to breastfeed with ease. And because it was so easy for me I just kept going.

I had to introduce a bottle to my son fairly early on. When he was only two days old I was told I had to supplement with formula until my milk came in due to jaundice. He had no problem taking the bottle and nipple confusion was non-existent. He took a pacifier, he breastfed and he took the bottle. It was pretty awesome. Then he gave up the pacifier at 9 months. And only wanted me to soothe him. It was hard. But we got through it. And now, even though I am not breastfeeding him anymore, he still rubs my arm to soothe himself.

When my daughter was born I just assumed she would take a bottle as well. Trying to figure out our lives after we brought her home we just forgot about the whole bottle thing until I started pumping when she was about 3-4 weeks old. I wanted to start a freezer stash for when I went back to work so I started pumping once in the morning. I asked my husband to give her the bottle when I was out for a bit one evening and came back to a screaming child. She had refused to take anything from the bottle.

We thought it was a fluke. So we continued trying every few days and she never seemed to take anything from the bottle. I was starting to get worried when my return date for work fast approached. The day before I was scheduled to come back to work I tried the bottle again. And she took 1.5 ounces!!! I was relieved. And I happily left her with my husband for the day. And she didn’t take anything from him so he ended up coming to me at lunch for her to nurse. And so it continued.

The two days I worked she would hold out until my husband, mother-in-law and aunt-in-law brought her to me. I couldn’t handle it any longer and decided we would be better off if I was home with her 100% of the time until we could focus on other foods for her main source of nutrition (solids are not the main form of nutrition for infants until they hit 12 months, formula or breast milk should still be the main portion of their diet). So I have actually quit my job to feed my child.

I don’t know what would have happened if things didn’t go well with breastfeeding from the start. I really didn’t have a large support group of lactivists around me when I came home with my son. Sure there was the friendly internet but I didn’t feel like I had a buddy right next to me whom I could confide in for help. I think I felt more of the opposite. Those around me were more willing to encourage me to throw in the towel and start formula. I’m not sure if I’d push forward and seek the help I might need if I did need assistance or if I had problems I couldn’t figure out the answers for.

I now know that I need to be more open about my knowledge of breastfeeding, my experiences and the research I’ve done. I want new mothers to feel empowered, not scared to admit that it isn’t as easy as everyone makes it to be. I want new mothers who run into problems to know that if they truly want to exhaust all resources before throwing in the towel then there’s someone here for them to help them along the way. I also want new mothers to know that they AREN’T horrible parents if they choose to formula feed. That is their personal choice and no matter what the story is behind it they should not be chastised or feel bad about their choice.

The World of Breastfeeding: When Your Infant Refuses to Take A Bottle

Now that Miss M is two months old I feel comfortable talking about our success (and failures) in breastfeeding. Miss M is completely different from her brother in many ways and eating is one of them. Now she’s a champ at latching and sucking just like he was but she’s not as driven by hunger (or she’s more successful at nursing long enough to get enough hindmilk to fill her up). She lets me know when she’s hungry but she never acts ravenous like E did. I can let her go 2-3 hours and she’ll let me know by her facial expressions and coos when she’s ready to eat. Her brother wouldn’t let me go much past 2 hours for the first two months of life much less past 1.5 hours!

Now the problem comes with her taking a bottle. I feel totally fine leaving the house for 2-3 hours at a time while Joseph watches her but anything beyond that and I have to rush home. Sometimes she doesn’t even last that period of time for him and is screaming by the time I arrive at the front door. She has only once successfully taken a (pumped) bottle and that was two ounces from me when I decided to try on a whim a few Fridays ago. She has yet to take another and is quite irritated that we keep offering it to her. I really hope she starts taking it soon! I have started a pretty good freezer stash for when I return to work and I don’t need the added stress of her not eating to add to the craziness of returning to work…

Another problem we’ve run into is Thrush. She’s basically had it since day one. It’s a yeast build up in the mouth and hasn’t quite effected me the same as it did when Ethan had it (oh the excruciating pain!) and I think we’ve managed to keep it under control. But we’ve been giving her medication for it since she was a week old and it’s still there! I HATE yeast! I’m hoping we can clear things up at her next pedi appointment this week.

Now the yeast isn’t hurting her. She probably doesn’t notice that anything is off or different but when that yeast goes to me and starts to build up or worse, create an infection, then I’ll be in a world of hurt. Itching, burning pain. Yes, it’s treatable but I want to prevent it from even happening! So I’m currently taking probiotics and eating yogurt every day to build myself some resistance from it. And hopefully this is transferring to her through my breastmilk.

I have been really lucky with these two wonderful children. Breastfeeding for the most part has come quite naturally to them and with the help of nurses, lactation consultants and friends I’ve grown to be very educated and confident in breastfeeding. I nursed E until he was just over 18 months and hope to be as successful in breastfeeding Miss M. We’ll start with the same goals I set for her brother in that if she makes it to six months we’ll try for a year and if we make it to a year we’ll leave it up to her to decide when she wants to wean. I pray that things go as well as they are now and am prepared to do what I can to keep it going. Now we just have to work on that darn bottle!

Breastfeeding: A Vent

Can I vent a little here?? When I first got pregnant (well… I guess before then too) I knew that I wanted to do everything I could to successfully breastfeed my baby. I read about all of the health benefits of breastmilk and the statistics of breastfed babies vs. formula fed babies. I was very aware of the different problems I could have and the ways to get help if needed.

Now that I am actually breastfeeding I am lucky enough to have had no major problems and no supply issues. I had a bit of thrush early on but that was quickly resolved by applying yeast cream to the nips (yes, I put vag yeast cream on my boobs!). E seems to enjoy breastfeeding as much as I do and it just feels so natural.

Now that I’ve been breastfeeding for 7.5 months I’m starting to get comments from various people about when I am going to stop. Why do people feel the need to ask this? Why would I consider stopping? Why would I share this personal information with others??? I completely understand if a family member or close friend were to ask this if they were truly curious but I get this comment from people I barely know and from co-workers.

My standard answer is I’ll stop when he wants to. And I get various reactions. Some are shocked that I would even think about breastfeeding after he gets teeth or after he turns one. Others ask if he wants to keep breastfeeding until he’s in school will I continue. And sometimes I get the jaw-drop. “Seriously? You’d breastfeed for that long? Isn’t that a bit weird?” Again, there’s a line… and they just crossed it. I shouldn’t have to justify myself with regards to how I raise/care for my child.

And FWIW, I will probably try to wean E when he’s two if he hasn’t already done so himself. I don’t mind getting through the teething. I don’t mind the night wakings. I don’t mind his using me for comfort by nursing. I actually quite enjoy it. I am nourishing my baby and he is thriving. And if he chooses to earlier than we’ll do that.

This post is in no way criticizing those who choose to formula feed, or who breastfeed for a few months. I think that whatever works out best for the family is the best thing to do. And this works for us.

Now you tell me how you feel on the subject. I know I don’t have a lot of readers but those of you who read my blog… let me know how you feel 🙂

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