A Tale Of Two Boobs *Part 2*

Continued…

To re-cap, I had returned to the *kind and motherly* LC that I’ve been working with since my baby was just a few days old. At last check my girl had gained 4oz in a week, which is not good but is permissable. I still had a lot of work to do in order to continue to EBF. Or, I was going to have to come to terms with supplementing.

After I published “A Tale of Two Boobs” I had an outpouring of support and I was feeling inspired–thank you for that. Hopefully this update will help some of you if you are having trouble with nipple injury/mastitis and/or low supply.

So…

A day or two after I published “A Tale of Two Boobs”, I was surfing facespace and a post from ‘The Baby Guy NYC’ caught my attention (side note–follow him on facespace; he’s witty and extremely resourceful). This post was about a product called *Silverettes*. These are little silver nipple cups (like a nipple shield made of silver) and supposedly they help your nipples heal and also prevent mastitis/thrush because silver is naturally anti-microbial and anti-bacterial. I was intrigued. The Baby Guy was doing a giveaway and if you left a comment then you were entered to win a set of these Silverette cups–they are $65 and I wasn’t convinced they were worth buying so I left a comment to see if I might win a set. I said “I could really use these!”

About 15 minutes later Mr. MLACS texted me from work (in Canada) and said “Your Silverette cups are on the way and you’ll have them by tomorrow (Friday) evening”. Because he had seen my comment. F*cking awesome husband, my Mr. MLACS 🙂

The charming thing about the Silverettes is that the company encourages you to send the cups in when you are finished breastfeeding and they will melt the silver and fashion it into a keepsake charm with your baby’s name and birth date. At no additional cost! They even cover the shipping. How cool is that?! I looooove repurposing items, and keepsakes (fyi I hate frivolous crap).

So, I waited with anticipation for the cups to arrive, but I dared not hope that they would *actually solve* my nipple issues.

I had been using Muciprocin ointment on my nipples for the last 10 days, per my dermatologist, and had seen improvement–but I woke up that Friday and my nipples (particularly my left nipple) were purple/red, swollen, and sore. And don’t forget; I have Raynaud’s of the nipples. I was grinding my teeth and breathing like I was having a contraction every time she would latch. It HURT. And I was taking 800mg of Motrin every few hours, just to take the edge off.

The Silverettes arrived circa 3pm and I ripped them open, looked them over, and popped them on my tattered nipples. And then took them off to nurse my baby around 4:30pm…

And I discovered that my nipples had been marinating in my own breastmilk. And they were no longer red–they were pink! And when I went to latch my baby I hardly even cringed! My shoulders relaxed. My jaw unlocked. My breathing returned to normal.

The Silverettes WORK!!!

My nipples have continued to heal over this past week–my right nipple is completely healed and pain-free. My left nipple is 90% healed and mostly pain-free. My nipples are protected from illness and injury (bonus: picking up my kid and holding her against my breasts doesn’t hurt and no worries if she flails and kicks or hits my opposite nipple while I nurse her). The Silverettes are low maintinence–just wash them with soap & water. And another neat thing: they encourage my let-down and sometimes when there’s a gulp of milk in them I will feed it to my baby–she can drink from a cup! Random fact.

I was STOKED!

But then that evening my baby girl was screaming and writhing in pain, apparently due to gas pains. It was some terrible colic. Saturday was the same during the day and in the night, and pooping her brains out brought little to no relief. I was distraught. And then it dawned on me–she had been spitting up more and more and her gassy fits had been building all week…it obviously wasn’t something I ate or the fenugreek I’d been taking for weeks…

It was the *antibiotic Kflex* I’d been taking for my mastitis! Poor baby!

I felt AWFUL and SO defeated–here I’d been fighting to spare my child gut inflammation that feeding formula might cause, and instead *my milk* was CAUSING it! Exhausted after comforting my screaming infant, I emailed her new pediatrician at one o’clock in the morning–I haven’t even met her yet–to tell her about our ordeal and ask for some support as to how to help my baby with her gas/reflux and poor weight gain, given that my milk now appears to be a problem. I immediately stopped taking the Kflex, 3 days shy of the full 14 days I was prescribed, and worried that the mastitis/staph infection was not resolved and that I may have taken these f*ing antibiotics and hurt my kid (and my own gut was inflamed as well) all for nothing.

Sunday I went to one of the local natural foods stores and bought some tea tree oil soap, tea tree essential oil, and lavender essential oil–these oils have anti-bacterial/anti-microbial properties and I desperately needed to control the overgrowth of staph and possibly yeast on my skin and prevent further infection of my nipples–the silverettes are effective but I was looking to ensure I won’t need to suffer and/or take more antibiotics for repeat infection. I use the tea tree oil soap in the shower and more frequently if my nipples feel inflamed. I mixed the essential oils into a lotion that I use on my whole body (except for my nipples). Sunday I noticed an improvement in my baby’s gassy fits and felt reassured that I was right to stop the antibiotics.

Monday I called my dermatologist for a re-check and to let them know I had quit the Kflex–I had a same-day appointment. Both my derm and his NP were fascinated by my silverettes and impressed with my healing progress. They said don’t worry about quitting the antibiotic before the full 14 days–11 days is not bad. Also Monday I received an email reply from my pediatrician, encouraging me to keep breastfeeding and offering me a script for my baby’s reflux/gas. I look forward to meeting her this week!

Then came Tuesday…

To preface Tuesday, I had been trying to obtain Domperidone (a drug to increase prolactin and thereby increase milk supply) for a week already. It was turning out to be f*ing impossible to get in the United States, thanks to the stupid FDA banning it for breastfeeding due to *one* incident when a lady who was *already ill* took it *intravenously* in large amounts and had cardiac issues. I sh*t you not, this one case is why so many women will not be able to breastfeed in the USA. It is SO safe. And ironically Reglan, another drug which is NOT safe, is approved. WTELF.

So anyways, Dr. Angel sent a script to an online Canadian pharmacy for me. And they made me jump through hoops and email pics of a voided check and my ID, and give them my bank account # and routing #, and called to arrange the order–knowing it was for breastfeeding–THEN informed me *they can’t release the drug for the purpose of breastfeeding. And as it turns out, NO pharmacies in CA will release Domperidone to the USA for the purpose of breastfeeding. WTELF Canada?! I thought you were cool. However, just FYI, you can lie to them and say you are not breastfeeding and that you’re taking it for GI issues, and then you won’t have a problem–a tidbit I picked up after these fools wasted A WEEK of my precious time.

I went to my LC for my baby’s weight check on Tuesday of this week, knowing that she likely had not gained much, if any, weight after her gassy fits and extreme pooping. I was right. She only gained 2.5oz from last week–I was surprised it was THAT bad, and my head drooped and my shoulder schlumped in defeat.

I just can’t catch a break here–despite my magic silver nipple cups.

My LC was enthralled with my Silverette nipple cups and I felt hopeful that she would share them with other new moms and possibly spare a few of them from getting as bad off as I was before I discovered them.

Also, my LC surprised me by telling me that:

1. She has 2 boxes of Domperidone stashed and would be happy to give them to me!

2. She gets her Domperidone from an online pharmacy out of New Zealand and *they don’t even require a prescription*!

As frustrated as I was about my baby’s lack of weight gain, I still left my LC’s office feeling proud and determined that things would work out and that I’d be able to continue EBF’ing. My LC told me to return to her office on Thursday to retrieve the Domperidone.

In the meantime, I rushed home and pulled up the website of the New Zealand online pharmacy to order my own stash of Domperidone and also repay my LC for what she was giving me, so she’d have some on-hand for the next desperate mother at her doorstep.

As it turns out, you DO need a prescription for Domperidone from this NZ pharmacy. But they *don’t* ask you if you’re breastfeeding (at least I don’t think they did). And they accept credit cards. So I called Dr. Angel’s office again on Wednesday and begged for another prescription, which they gladly obliged. And FINALLY I ordered my mf*ing drugs.

Thursday I woke up feeling anxious, and desperate to get my hands on the Domperidone my LC had promised me. We arranged to meet in a parking lot near the pharmacy, to avoid any issues of legality. I popped 2 pills right then and there in the parking lot. Then we went to the pharmacy and weighed my baby…and she hadn’t gained ANY weight in 2 days prior! And ironically I had thought I was producing more milk. That really spun me and a wave of PANIC began to rise up inside of me.

I left the pharmacy, got in my car, and began to sob–big, heaving, can’t breathe, *sobs* and tears streamed down my cheeks and literally soaked my shirt. It was all too much.

I literally felt myself begin to unravel. It’s a strange feeling to know that you are *losing your grip* and be powerless to stop it. I did not see this coming and it hit me like a ton of bricks.

I went home and sobbed the rest of the afternoon. I apologized over and over again to my baby. I felt guilty and ashamed for being so pathetic. I took another 2 pills in the early evening. I googled and Dr. Jack Newman (breastfeeding guru based in Canada) recommends starting at NINE pills per day. My LC only told me to take four pills. So I was convinced the Domperidone wasn’t going to work anyways, unless I doubled my doses. My colon had started to hurt after my first two doses and I thought…”This is it? ALL this and now I can’t even take these f*ing drugs because they irritate my colon and may cause my UC to flare. Really?!” I sobbed. My baby wailed. We had an awful night. I was convinced that the Domperidone wouldn’t work. I was convinced it was making me ill. And finally, I mixed up a 2oz bottle of formula and…

My baby *spit it out*.

She HATED it so much she refused to swallow it and screamed at the top of her lungs like it was poison. But she also refused to latch properly and wasn’t taking in milk from my boobs. I was E.X.H.A.U.S T.E.D. I put her to my empty breast and we fell asleep. And when we woke up for our 4am feeding…

My silver nipple cups were overflowing with milk!!!

My colon had stopped hurting. And my baby happily suckled both breasts and fell back to sleep.

I went ahead and took the Domperidone yesterday, but only one pill at a time instead of 2 pills. My colon was fine. And I noticed my breasts were fuller and my baby seemed to be getting ample milk at each feeding. But I dared not hope.

Then today…Saturday…a mere 48 hours after my first Domperidone dose, I hesitantly and anxiously weighed my baby at the request of my LC…and…

She gained THREE OUNCES in 2 days!

Thank you Jesus!!!

All day, at every feeding, I’ve been able to nurse my baby and watch her fall asleep with a full belly. Usually my milk is full in the morning and becomes more and more sparse into the evening hours. But not anymore! My breasts are now fountains of milk! I celebrated with a pepsi and some peanut m&m’s 🙂

Please Lord, let her continue to gain weight without any more setbacks/bad weeks. Please let this be the end of our breastfeeding struggle. Please let my motherf*ing drugs arrive safe and in a timely manner from New Zealand. Amen.

To be continued…

***I wrote this on my phone so I couldn’t add links but you can purchase Silverette nipple cups on http://www.amazon.com

***If you are having trouble with low milk supply and your doctor is willing to write you a prescription for Domperidone, please feel free to contact me for information regarding which website I ordered from and which brand of Domperidone I purchased

A Tale of Two Boobs

I still haven’t written my birth story, but I have another story to tell…

A Tale of Two Boobs.

These boobs come from humble beginnings. I went to the OBGYN for the first time at age 13 because my little sister started her period *before* me (and she was also naturally thin and blossomed into a D cup at the tender age of 12–the antithesis of me, her older, fatter, flat-chested sibling). I was humiliated. While I was there I asked the OBGYN (an older unattractive brute of a woman) why my breasts had not grown, why they were cone-shaped with disproportionately large nipples, and *how and when* could I expect them to shape up and look like the pillowy mounds that graced the pages of my father’s (giant) collection of Playboy magazines (one of the many paternal issues I discuss in therapy). And this woman felt me up and looked me up and down (I could have died, I was 13) and bluntly informed me that my breasts probably won’t look like the boobs in mens magazines. Tough titty.

I. Was. D.E.V.A.S.T.A.T.E.D.

My teenaged years were hell–depressed (undiagnosed/untreated) with horrible body image issues–I loathed myself. I wore a padded bra and hid in the locker room so nobody could see me change for gym class. I never went skinny dipping. I was terrified of boys yet craved their attention, but was awkward and endured indifference and rejection.

Ok enough sob story, you get the point–my boobs  (lack thereof) were my achilles heel and I was miserable.

So I tried to accept my boobs, but when that didn’t work I started saving for (a boob job)  breast augmentation surgery. Oddly enough, my (assh*le) father wouldn’t co-sign for my student loans, but he didn’t hesitate to co-sign for my boob job. I finally realized my dream of having nice round “magazine boobs” (like I literally picked them out of a Playboy magazine) at the ripe old age of 20, in the year 2000–the millenium marked the death of my miserable teens and the birth of my fairytale 20’s–all thanks to my boobs and the new-found confidence they gave me.

Naturally, I moved to Hawaii and became a (stripper) exotic dancer to (show off my boobs and get the attention I craved as a fat flat-chested teen with “daddy issues”) put myself through college. I wore halter tops and triangle bikini tops and low-cut dresses. I never lacked for male attention or company. I never paid cover to get into a club. Oh yeah, and I graduated college with honors–but I was waaaay more proud of my boobs.

My life was M.A.D.E.

But by the age of 30 I had grown weary of dating men who “only wanted one thing” and I began to fantasize about settling down and having a family. I put my boobs away and started paying for my own drinks. Then I met Mr. MLACS (a man who saw through my boobs and wanted my heart) and we were married a year to the day that we met.

We struggled to start our family and I was painfully reminded that no matter how I had altered my appearance, I was *still broken* on the inside (PCOS, Hypothyroid, Ulcerative Colitis, Lichen Sclerosus, etc.). I was sick. We suffered through 2 miscarriages and 6 IUI’s.

But by the grace of God, we saw those beautiful *two pink lines* for a third time, and this time our pregnancy was viable.

As my boobs and belly expanded, friends started asking me “Are you going to breastfeed?” and my reply was “I don’t know if I *can* and I’m not sure if I *should*.” I didn’t know if I *could* breastfeed, because I had read that women with PCOS/tubular breasts often had trouble breastfeeding due to lack of glandular tissue. Also, I had breast augmentation surgery and in order to re-shape my boobs to look like “magazine boobs” my surgeon had removed my nipple and lifted it higher onto my breast, then reattached it.  I didn’t know if I *should* breastfeed because I take Welbutrin for depression and extraordinary amounts of Pentasa (mesalamine) to keep my Ulcerative Colitis in remission–these meds can be found in breastmilk. What’s more is that the mesalamine can cause bloody diarrhea in infants. I would just die if I hurt my child.

So I maintained a surface level of ambivalence towards breastfeeding. Like, no big deal, we’ll see. And I made sure to have a container of organic formula on-hand in anticipation of needing formula and wanting to give my baby the best nutrition possible (if not my own milk). My fear of formula was/is that it would irritate her digestive tract and make her more prone to gut issues like mine (chronic constipation, food allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, etc.)

But OH, was I surprised at how good it felt when my baby rooted for my breast and latched immediately post-birth. It felt so natural–every fiber of my being just craved to care for her and bond with her and be everything she needed. (crying now) I was no longer ambivalent about breastfeeding–I wanted…I NEEDED…to be able to breastfeed–I felt the same longing and urgency that I had felt when I was 13 and waiting for my breasts to “arrive”.

She was born 7lb13oz and 19.75in long. While in the hospital I kept her in my room and hardly slept (I didn’t mind). She continued to latch and eat like a pro, but the (stupid) nurses would still mess with us because I “have flat nipples” and made me use a nipple shield which gave me a blister on one side. The other nipple also sustained injury from my baby’s latch but I was undeterred. I saw a lactation consultant when our baby was a few days old and she was very encouraging. By this time my milk was coming in and I became “engorged”, which gave me chills, body aches, fatigue, and night sweats. Some friends suggested it might be *mastitis* but I shrugged off that idea because my (dear departed) Mother had mastitis with me and said it was THE most painful thing she had ever experienced, and I was not in mearly so much pain plus it got better after 48 hours without antibiotics.

I continued to see my lactation consultant (LC) as my pediatrician was starting to push formula the first freakin’ week post-birth! Seriously. I needed my LC’s support. Everything I read said a breastfed baby:

1. Should not lose more than 10% of their bodyweight. My baby lost exactly 10% and at her lowest weighed 7lb1oz.

2. A breastfed baby needs to gain and be back to their birth weight by 2 weeks of age. Which I did manage to accomplish–no thanks to the pushy pediatrician.

Mr. MLACS had to leave and go back to Canada for work the day our baby turned 3 weeks old. I cried every day that first week of his absence. It was SO hard being apart after having his constant companionship for 3 consecutive months. Then I got a low blow when I saw the LC at the end of that week and our baby had gained NO weight. I was shocked–no wonder she had been so fussy–I had no clue. I felt like a child abuser for my failure to provide adequate nutrition and my failure to recognize the issue. My LC was very warm and kind and told me I didn’t need formula *yet* but that I needed to feed her as much as possible and also pump and try to supplement her with my own milk.

Pumping proved to be a monumental task. My nipples were sore and I could only tolerate the pump on a mild setting. And I only could get 1/2oz to 1oz *at best* per session (of course now I can tell you that my pump needed to be turned up and I needed to pump at strategic times, which my LC never taught me).

Also during this week of frantic pumping/nursing, I saw my therapist and she suggested I try motherwort to curb my anxiety, because my stress level had obviously hurt my milk supply. And per the advice of my LC and therapist I began using Fenugreek capsules and “more milk” tincture by Motherlove. It worked. Between weeks 3-4 she gained 7oz’s. I was SO relieved! But my nipples still hurt. They were red and would “blanche” when pressure was put on them. I was told by my LC to try using anti-yeast cream so I bought clobetasol. But it didn’t help. So I was diagnosed with Reynaud’s of the nipple, which is a *painful* disorder whereby the blood vessels constrict and stop blood flow to the nipple. I was told to take high doses of B6 for 4 days and then back off to a regular dose. It helped somewhat but not for long.

THEN at 5 weeks old my baby was (finally) diagnosed with a slight tongue tie and my LC referred us to a pediatric ENT to have her frenulum cut. This was a big deal to me because *I* had a slight tongue tie that went undiagnosed and I endured SIX f*ing years of speech therapy to correct speech impediments–most notably a *lisp* (can you picture me now…a chubby, flat-chested, frizzy-haired girl with crooked teeth and a lisp…SMH). I was not diagnosed until age 18 when an ENT notice my short frenulum and cut it during my tonsillectomy. So then, you understand why I was hot-to-trot to get this fixed for my little girl. Also the LC told me that fixing her tongue-tie would fix my nipple issues and make breastfeeding “comfortable for mom”. I took her to the ENT and he wavered about cutting her frenulum (the LC told me he would try to dismiss it but that I should insist because oft times docs blow off slight tongue tie because breastfeeding is not encouraged in the US) but I told him my story and showed him my tongue and he said her tongue looks just like mine and agreed she should have her frenulum clipped. I COULD NOT be in the room while they hurt my kid so I stepped into the bathroom, cried, got myself together and stepped out just as they had finished.

She was calm and I breastfed her immediately. She gained 8oz from week 5-6! HOORAY for my boobs! My nipples were still red, cracked, and scabbed though.

Mr. MLACS arrived home from work when she was 6w2d old–the day after they cut her frenulum. Things were going so well! But the day before he had to leave we went to see the LC for a perfunctory weight check and…she had only gained 3oz’s… And I didn’t feel good. I actually asked Dr. Angel to check my TSH (thyroid) thinking it might be hypo again–I was aching all over, puffy, and run down. My upper body itched in a “creepy-crawly” way. I had mouth sores. My nipples throbbed at the thought of breastfeeding. I felt the same way I did when I was “engorged” when my milk came in–I had chills and night sweats and horrible body aches. The LC was concerned that baby girl had only gained 3oz’s. She was also concerned that my nipples were so inflamed, so she referred me (ironically) to my dermatologist–I had just been there the day before to see him about my Rosacea! I had breastfed in his office while speaking to him! It never occurred to me to mention my nipple issues to my dermatologist. But the biggest revelation was…

My LC informed me that I had *mastitis*!

Indeed, the side of my left boob was red and hot to the touch, in addition to my other symptoms. So I guess you don’t have to feel like you’re dying to have mastitis (as per my mother’s description), you just have to feel like complete sh*t.

And I also realized that I had mastitis before, too. I saw the dermatologist and he prescribed Cephalexin 4x per day for 2 weeks. Plus an antibacterial ointment called Muciprocin. He swabbed the crevice in my left nipple for Staph infection.

By this time I had grown weary. I felt like a fool for not getting to the bottom of all this sooner. Why hadn’t I done my research? Why had I just blindly trusted my LC? And then, what can I do better? Am I hurting my kid? I also ran through thoughts of denial, like “Maybe 3oz is just ,”normal” for my long and lean baby”–but the seeds of doubt were firmly planted in my mind and in my heart.

Are my boobs enough??? Am I inadequate???

I made an appointment to see a different LC at a large clinic. Let me cut to the chase and say–it was a disaster. Her nurse treated me like an idiot. I was nervous and she made it worse. She had me feed the baby in an uncomfortable position on my “wounded” nipple while I was also trying to talk to her. The baby was stripped naked and also uncomfortable. They took no other measurement besides weight. Then the LC and the nurse basically told me that I am *winning a gold medal in the “Special Olympics” of nursing*…which is to say that with my PCOS, breast augmentation/nipple relocation, Reynauds, Mastitis, and nipple inflammation/infection–it’s a miracle I’m able to feed at all. They didn’t present this in a “you’re kicking ass” kind of way. Their tone was “OMFG we need to FIX her before this situation implodes and her kid is starving”.

At the end of the feeding they weighed her again and said she’d only taken an ounce. The LC and her nurse then blew my mind by suggesting I supplement with 8-12 oz’s of milk or formula per day. They knew there was no way in hell I could pump that much of my own milk so they were essentially telling me to use formula. And they said (unconvincingly) that I could just use the formula until my supply returned, but I knew that’s not what they meant. I left the office shaking.

I was M.O.R.T.I.F.I.E.D.

I cried. And cried. And cried.

I didn’t know who to trust–I didn’t trust these women. I looked at my baby and I saw a long, skinny, *healthy*, *happy* baby. These women don’t even know me or my kid–how could they so flippantly suggest I use formula based on some arbitrary measurements and statistics? Who the f*ck do they think they are?! And aren’t LC’s supposed to be pro “breast is best”? I guess my breasts didn’t make varsity so I should just give up?!

But I didn’t trust my boobs either.

I went home and researched formulas and begrudgingly ordered the best available and had it express shipped it from amazon. If I am going to use formula then it has to be the Dom Perignon of formula.

This did not comfort me though. I contacted my therapist and she reassured me that my 2nd opinion LC’s were not “right” and that I was ok to question them and return to my initial LC who made me feel comfortable. A girlfriend of mine (and fellow IF blogger http://www.stephmignon.com) Steph called and related her own struggles with breastfeeding and formula decisions, and I was comforted by talking to her.

Things that were/are running through my head…

Will I ever be able to pump enough to have a reserve for my kid? Am I on a downward spiral where my production will perpetually not meet my child’s needs? If I use formula, will it negatively impact her–will she be prone to obesity (like her parents) and prone to gut disorders (like her mama)? How can I integrate it into breastfeeding without disruption? How much formula would I really need to use? And then…

Why am I so upset about using formula? What is my issue (besides the above) that makes me so emotional about it? How can I reconcile my burning desire to EBF with the impending reality that that may not be possible?

I received the formula in the mail on Saturday, and I was relieved to have it. But I was not compelled to use it and I listened to my gut–with hesitation. I gut-checked and truly felt it wasn’t time yet. Then on Sunday I ran into an old friend at Target who is a former LLLI leader and an RN, and she further encouraged me to keep pushing to breastfeed as much as possible–but she was cool about using formula too.

Sunday was Mother’s Day and I spent most of it breastfeeding my baby and hoping I was doing enough to help her gain weight. So far I’ve been pumping after feedings 1-2x per day (usually the 4am feeding and a later one). It’s awkward but I try to pump the boob she ate first while she’s eating the 2nd boob in my lap, because it’s hard to sneak away in between feedings. I end up just nursing her more often instead, because she’s more effective than the pump is anyways.

Today I went back to see my original LC and I brought her a beautiful orchid to show her how much I appreciate her and how I regret seeing another LC. We talked about me obtaining a prescription lactation aide called Domperidone–some of you ladies know of it or may have used it yourselves, as it is used to induce lactation in adoptive/surrogate moms. Dr. Angel already offered me a prescription, but I’ll have to order it from Canada because pharmacies in the US won’t make it. Another useful piece of information–my TSH is ridiculously low, like .007, so Dr. Angel has reduced my dosage of Synthroid and this should help my milk supply but it will take awhile.

In better but not great news, my girl gained 4oz this week. I’ve felt my supply improving the past 2 days so there is hope. It’s also worth mentioning that we measured her and she’s in the 90-95th percentile for height and near the 10th percentile for weight according to the WHO charts. This makes her a “banana baby” body type and this type typically grows in length but is slow to put on weight due to their hypermetabolisms. I wonder if my thyroid is influencing this growth pattern or if she’s just naturally tall and skinny, but she’s healthy and meeting milestones so that’s what counts…right?

I am hopeful, so very hopeful, that I will be able to continue to EBF my daughter for at least the first 6 months of her life. I want to spare her from having the health issues I’ve struggled with–autoimmune diseases, infertility, loss, and obesity. I really feel that breastfeeding helps to combat these issues, and I feel like this is a practical reason for me to continue my struggle to breastfeed.

But beyond practical reasons…I just love her so much and I feel like breastfeeding is a physical expression of my love and devotion to her.

My breasts may have come from humble beginnings and I used to consider them as an accessory (and also they paid my rent as a dancer) but now they mean so much more to me. They nourish my precious baby. I had no clue how important this would be to me, but it is.

To be continued….

6 Weeks

I still haven’t finished my birth story. Why? Because I suck. I won’t say “Because I’m soooooo busy being a mooooommy” because that is such a BS thing to say on an IF/RPL blog IMHO.

Will say though that Mr. MLACS was gone for 16 days and I’m quite proud that I made it all by myself (with support–I did have a friend/neighbor who checked on me daily and a few others who checked in on me). But glad to have him home with me (until next week).

We went to see my OBGYN, Dr. Angel, today and he said “Well you are ready to have another baby!” And I laughed because *HA* I’m sooooo am NOT ready. Dr. Angel also asked if we planned to use *birth control* and again *HA* because breastfeeding is 98% effective as birth control and we will never be the 2% because helloooo…6 IUI’s. Dr. Angel laughed too because he knows what’s up.

I had birth announcements made (sorry if that makes you cringe–I totally understand) and they are *magnets* because everyone needs to admire this little human I created every time they open their refrigerator/file cabinet/etc. I have 1/2 of them stamped and addressed so far, but it’s pretty low on the list of priorities during those precious few windows of time I have during the day and I spend that time eating, going to the bathroom, folding laundry, etc.

Other things…

I’ve now breastfed in lots of public places–restaurants, doctors offices, shopping malls, cars, etc. And I do cover up but I don’t go hide in a bathroom.

We have a rule about not obliging crazy old ladies that we randomly run into who want to see our baby, but I broke the rule at Walmart today and lifted the carseat cover for a crazy old lady in the shaving cream aisle. Mr. MLACS glared at me and I regretted it because she followed me down the aisle saying cray-cray random sh*t like “I bet you’re happy to have that bundle off your stomach”–she obviously was never IF/RPL. My bad.

I hardly post any pics of our baby on facespace. And people keep badgering me to “post more pics!” Like maybe I need to be reminded because I * just forgot* to document every waking moment of my child’s life. F*ck off. Thing is I enjoy and “like” other peoples’ pics of their kids but I don’t feel as open online as some parents do. No judging, to each their own.

We got Amazon prime (free 2 day shipping) and I now shop online like *every day*. I only buy baby stuff–mostly clothes. My favorite is a line of clothing called Hatley–they have the cutest most funky fresh prints and make whimsical children’s clothes. But they’re expensive (try $38 for footie pj’s) so I try to get them on sale. Online shopping is something I can do while breastfeeding and I do *a lot* of BF’ing.

I’m about to celebrate my first Mother’s Day. It feels like a BFD, but when Mr. MLACS asked me what I wanted/what I want to do to celebrate…all I could come up with was for him to make me gluten-free french toast slathered in butter and the gourmet maple syrup he picked up for me at the airport in Toronto. I mean, I’m so happy to have my family and my kid that I feel weird about being “celebrated” for doing/being exactly what I want to do/be. I don’t feel overworked or under-appreciated. But I DO want to celebrate the fact that my arms are not empty anymore. Mother’s Day is such a horrible awful gut-wrenching piece-of-sh*t day for women dealing with IF/RPL. It sucked for me the past couple years, I get it. And much love to my ladies in the trenches.

I still can’t believe I’m a Mom, even though every breath I take is for her. Juxtapose.

XOXO,

MLACS