Monday, 15 November 2010

Lactivism, and AWESOME friends, and why I fed my baby formula

 Let me start of by saying that prior to last week, I was proud of the fact that formula had never, by my knowledge, touched my children's lips. I had no intention of changing that. Sometimes though, babies turn your world and what you might think you know upside down.

When I posted this picture on our facebook album my husband wrote:
"Some clarification, Isaac was 5 pounds 4 ounces at birth, 4 lbs 7 ounces after day 1, and slightly jaundiced from day 1. Also because of the c-section Danelle's milk wasn't coming in on day 1 (this is normal). Normally a kid not eating for a day or so isn't a big deal, so most moms won't need formula even if milk doesn't come in for a day or so (just keep counting wets until it does), but we needed to start feeding right away to keep the jaundice from becoming serious. This was one of those medically necessary times when formula saves lives - I'm glad we had the 20 oz or so that he ate, I hope we never need it again. Also, formula tastes absolutely disgusting, and based on how much more breast milk he ate as soon as he got the chance, I'm pretty sure Isaac thought so as well."
Chad fed Isaac the formula (after he taste tested it, and I think it is really cool that he would try it first), I wanted no chance there would be nipple confusion. Our doula called to check on us and drove out to us at 10 pm at night to bring us fenugreek pills and tea, just to help things along. She had JUST arrived at home from vacation too, her back up had attended the birth. I was a little anxious because I wasn't even producing colostrum or feeling the tissue changes that usually follow birth and precede milk flow.
While Chad fed Isaac, I picked up my phone and did something most people would find really hard to do. I called a friend and asked her if I could have some of her breastmilk for Isaac. Before I even finished breathing through that sentence, she said yes. We only needed a little bit, a 1/2 pint, maybe a pint. Just to get him through until my milk came in. She was there, driving 65+ miles, the next morning, milk in hand. 

Then I was worried how the hospital staff would react. Silly me. They all thought it was GREAT! They even separated out the feedings into prepped bottles for us. Seriously, this has got to be the most mama friendly hospital birth center EVER.
We were discharged the next day and my milk let down, pretty much as we walked in the door home. 

I wish there were more milk banks. I wish more mamas and babies had access to friends who would donate the liquid gold that is breastmilk. The sad fact is that most do not, most mamas in situations like ours face the insecurity that the delayed milk let down brings, most have no choice but formula, don't know to keep pumping, don't have doula support that will go to three different stores late at night to bring them tea, don't have the blessing of an extremely mama/baby friendly birth center, friends that will pump and deliver milk......most mom's have formula and panic that their baby is sick. 

We were blessed for true and if I could change the world, every county would have a milk bank or at least a network of mamas in milk that would pump at a moment's notice to help new babies.  

You know what though, the biggest factor in our continuing success in breastfeeding despite difficulties with latch, let down, ect.....was my husband. He researched, cheered me on, bought nipple shields at Babies R' Us, and cheered me on in the middle of the night when things were particularly frustrating. Much of our support system the first time around was very pro formula and even anti breastfeeding. Couple that with our initial difficulties and we would have quit and given in to social pressure, unnecessarily. Honestly, formula is not evil, but it is meant to be a breastmilk substitute in medically necessary situations. Somehow it has become a lifestyle choice, and that is something that makes me sad for mamas and for babies who really want to and are led to believe they can't.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Family Day, Meeting the Baby

Mama and baby Zap. Not even newborn clothes fit him.

All tired out.....

Grandma Nana

Tanning Booth

Grampa Tex

Aunt Bee

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Baby Zap, Lil'Bug, and Blueberry Girl

Monday, 8 November 2010

You know what's awesome? Babies.

Isaac Waldren Stamps was born today - he wasn't very happy about it though. 18" tall, 5.5 pounds. I hear he is several thousand dollars in debt but I haven't told him yet. Baby and Mama are fine.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Something is Actually Wrong This Time

The retest on Friday did not come out all happy sunshine like I wanted. I've developed Pre-eclampsia and it is slowing getting worse. Lucky for me and baby, the key word there is slowly, so I am back at home on full bed rest. The only "cure" for this condition is having the baby, but the baby has decided to protest by backing off contractions almost entirely. I have no other symptoms other than higher than normal and increasing BP and protein spilling. No swelling, no headaches. Unless you count frustration over bedrest an actual symptom.

I was relived to find out that the swelling in my toe is merely and infection. Possibly from an ingrown I removed at home, possibly from a splinter I removed from the nailbed, either way it's infected pretty bad. I'm on antibiotics now and "should" start feeling relief Monday or Tuesday.  I was worried edema was starting. Glad it's not that.

Some other thoughts I had....

I looked a lot of resources online about Pre-e and a lot say that it can be prevented by a good diet. Talk about guilt. My my diet is awesome. I take prenatals. I only drank 1 small cup of coffee on occasion (think every other week). Fresh and local eggs and meat and veg. So why do I feel guilty? For the slice of cheesecake? The breakfast pizza from Casey's while doing pork deliveries? I can't imagine that those rare diversions from our normally awesome diet could have caused this? But the thought lingers.

And then regarding salt restriction.....I don't consume a lot of salt. Less than a teaspoon a day.In fact when I make dinner, 4-8 servings will get about that much overall. I use a seasoning salt on our eggs, but for four servings together the eggs get 1/2 or less a teaspoon of the seasoning mix. I use salted butter for somethings. So how to restrict salt intake without eliminating it all together? The reason I am worried about that is many sources I found said restrict, do NOT eliminate, and use sea salt -which we already do. In fact many of those sources said even restricting salt makes problems worse for pregnancy pre-eclampsia, which is the opposite effect it might have on a non pregnant person with high blood pressure. This is because the root causes are different. But I don't have a medical degree, and the Internet is full of good and bad advice and data. So I am frustrated.

Did I mention bedrest is horrible? My girls get lots of extra cuddles, but I feel guilty that Lily makes us breakfast and lunch. I feel awful watching my overwhelmed and overworked husband have to take over the majority of housework when he's already up at 5am, home from work at 6, dinner, and out with evening farm chores until 8-9 only to come in and put the girls to bed.....all while I am in bed or on the couch. He looks like he's about to drop and now he's got a head cold to boot. That is the most horrible part of this whole ordeal, watching my family suffer and feeling completely responsible for it.

So here's to having a baby soon!

My Girls on Halloween

Lil'Bug wanted to be a ghost bride for Halloween. This required make-up (not flour, she said). I am not good at make up of any kind, but I did my best. She also wanted sparkle in her hair, which is still there a week later.

Blueberry Girl wanted to be a fairy like Tinkerbell but not Tinkerbell. So she picked out this orange petticoat ensemble, plus orange wings (not pictured) and when we got home she dug the main dress out of the dress up box. Some days she is still a little baby, and some days is so grown up.

Sometimes I forget. I forget what it was like to be a kid and have such imagination, that kids are able to envision and put together projects with both needed material and things on hand. Halloween is fun like that, but really my girls do this everyday. When left unrestrained, boredom quickly necessitates creativity, especially if kids are given access to materials. If they aren't, even then they improvise (um, flour?).

I love my girls. I love that I learn right along with them.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Baby is almost here.

This pregnancy is blessed/cursed with false positives on routine tests. At first it freaked me out. Now I don't worry.

Tuesday was no different. Higher than normal for me blood pressure (still normal for most people) and protein in urine test. So I was put on modified bed rest and retesting Friday. No big deal. I was sick Sunday and Monday so I probably got dehydrated or some such. Why worry? If the doc was worried, I'd have been admitted or retested Wednesday.

Saturday I hit the medical files benchmark of 38 weeks. In my book its still just 37. Either way, I am good to go. Bags are packed. House is not clean (thank you modified bed rest!) but it's not terrible yet. I'll give the girls a few more days before it's designated totally destroyed (or you know, access to the pantry.)....Lily has been a huge help, she brought in groceries and put them away and THEN filled the firebox for me. She's also been in charge of Holly when I can't get up or fall asleep.

Clothes are washed. Almost put away. Need to pay bills and update grades. I think I'll do that tonight. I am glad not to have predromal labour this time. Just saying.

Simple Pasta Sauce

Diced Tomatoes (that's how I can mine) (2 cups)
Crushed garlic (1 large clove)

That's it. I use that for our homemade pizza and for basic pasta dishes. It tastes fresh and bright.

This week I made an extra fancy version and added 1 diced onion,  2 cups of spinach, and some Italian herbs. Then I added 1 cup of beef bone broth.

With that extra fancy sauce I  made a lasagna. For that I just layered the sauce, ground beef and pork sausage, a cheese mix (mozzarella, Parmesan, and cottage cheese mixed with 4 farm eggs), and noodles- topped with more mozzarella cheese. It was easy, extremely healthy, and so good everyone had seconds (even Blueberry Girl, whose mantra lately has been, "I don't like it!").

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

New Additions to the Farm!

Dolly - Dark brown and white female, registered, mother of Stormy.  Not extremely approachable but tolerates shearing.

Blizzard - a white unregistered full Icelandic wether, well tempered, probably also about 4-5 years old.

Flurry - a cinnamon (phaeomelanin) coloured unregistered Icelandic ewe with a poor bite (her teeth don't match up to her upper palate) but she had a lamb with no mouth problems.  She is 3-4 years old.

Or a handful of sheep and a llama. There are eight sheep. I think. They wouldn't pose for a picture all together, but there are 5 all white sheep and 3 coloured ones. We are still learning about these sheep, as individuals and as breeds. Learn as we go!

The llama let me hand feed her until the girls came up to the fence. She did not like Blueberry Girl especially or our dog. She didn't seem to mind Lil'Bug though. I fed them some grain from my hand and we petted them.

Poppy - a great mother - Rambouillet/Suffolk/Dorset mix ewe - I think also about 4-5 years old.  Mixed colours of black and white. I think. I still need to confirm with Claire!
 Grampa loading the sheep last night! We love that this is a whole FAMILY operation. I think, and this is really just a guess, that he might like the sheep better than the pigs. :)

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Sausage and Duck Gumbo

couple slices of bacon
1/2 cup of butter and flour (for roux)
Andouille sausage (1 lb), cut into bite size pieces
1 onion, chopped smaller than bite size
3 stalks of celery, chopped bite size
1 green bell pepper, chopped bite size
1 clove or garlic crushed and minced (or 1 tsp of garlic powder)
1 Tbs of seasoning salt (like Swamp Fire or Slap Yo Mama)
1 Tbs of dried parsley
2 quarts (1/2 gallon) of duck (or chicken) broth
3 bay leaves

Fry bacon slices and sausage
Add celery, crushed garlic, bell pepper, and onions
When everything is fried up and spattering, add the broth
Bring to a boil and then simmer.
Add bay leaves and season to taste
Make roux with melted butter and flour, add to soup to thicken.

I used Jasmine rice to serve it over, but traditionally long grain is used.

Later, I served it over rice noodles and the girls actually licked their bowls clean. THAT is a rare occasion. They had seconds and ate until all the gumbo was gone.

That meant that the recipe above made enough for two full meals for a very hungry family of four.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Happy Birthday to my not so little Lil'Bug

Happy 6th birthday my baby girl. I love you more than you will ever know.