Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mother's Intuition

Never doubt it! ;)

At Charlie's nine-month appointment, he had fluid in his ears. He had one ear infection in September (along with the one a couple of weeks ago) and the doctor had noticed fluid off and on. She referred us to an ENT so they could do some further testing. We met with a doctor in late December and he suggested ear tubes. Ugh. Not what I wanted to hear, but if necessary, that's what we'd have to do. But the more I researched it (I know, I know, google is your frenemy) the more I thought that maybe this wasn't the only option. While the surgery is so minor, it would require anesthesia and I wasn't crazy about that at all. So we set up an appointment with another ENT for a second opinion. First of all, I just got a better "vibe" from this practice. And the doctor we met with was AWESOME! She reviewed his history and wasn't as concerned with the two infections. Instead, she's going to try to treat the fluid first with some medication before we explore surgery as a last resort. This sounded much better to me!

This reminded me of when Charlie was struggling to gain weight around six months. I was convinced my supply was fine, but that his spit-up was the real issue. Our pedi suggested supplementing with formula and sent me on my merry way. I cried the entire way home! When I settled down, I called a lactation consultant and made an appointment for the next day. After a weighed feeding, Charlie took in plenty of milk on one side and started nursing on the other. After that, he showed his beautiful spit-up colors and lost three ounces of his feeding! I also followed up with a gastroenterologist and had to pump for three days to confirm my supply was indeed fine - and it was! Again, I'm glad I trusted my gut and kept nursing. I'm so proud that we made it to a year (almost there!) with breast milk. Of course, there's nothing wrong with formula, but I knew we didn't have to go that route.

So there you have it... two examples to show that a mother's intuition is usually right! Trust your instincts, Mommas!

Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Year Brings... the Weaning Process

First of all, I can't even believe that we are at this stage. Charlie will be eleven months old on Thursday and I have a freezer full of breast milk. As a result, I have decided to cut back my pumping sessions at work. Currently I pump once in the morning at home on the side from which Charlie doesn't nurse. Then I pump before school, at lunch, and after school. I come home and nurse at 5 on one side and at bedtime (between 6 and 6:30) on the other. This week, I'm going to eliminate the after school pump and see how it goes. Charlie will still get his three bottles (well, two bottles and one straw cup) of milk at day care. He hasn't indicated any signs of wanting to stop nursing though, so I don't have any plans to go cold turkey. While we were home together all last week (which was so great, btw) I wondered if I might notice a decrease in interest - but definitely not! The boy loves his milk. :) So last week I cleaned out the freezer and turned this...

into this...

All neat and organized now! Ironically, on my first day of less pumping, I still pumped enough for tomorrow without having to go into my freezer stash. I'm sure that will change as my body adjusts to the new supply/demand schedule. It was nice to have the extra time after school to work and clean up the classroom, but I felt really weird not pumping. I almost felt like I was doing something bad or wrong for Charlie, even though I know I can't nurse him forever. I think it will be tough to let go, but I'm excited to see my baby transition into a little boy.

And for your viewing pleasure, here are a few photos from the holiday season:

Official Christmas Card of 2011

He's very serious about Santa

Picking out Charlie's first Christmas tree!
And a quick little video of Champion Charlie who's almost ready to turn one...