101 Things I Have Learned From The Little Man.

Friday, May 8, 2009

#100 A Little Sand Never Hurt Anyone.

When I first gave birth to the little man I'm ashamed to admit that I was one of those moms. You know the kind I'm talking about. The whole, "I'm going to breast feed my child until he is at least one, he is only eating organic and not processed food for the rest of his life, please wash you hands prior to handling my precious baby," kind of mom. Yeah, I'm sure you can guess how well and how long that worked for me. I would say that lasted about 3 weeks. If you ask The Husband he would say it was 3 months. So for argument's sake let's just assume it's somewhere in the middle. 

When the little man was about 8 weeks old I completely lost my milk supply. I won't bore you with the details, but in our household you would have though someone died. Like someone who was very, very (VERY) close to us died. I would cry all day and all night while I fed the little man frozen breast milk from a bottle. I would count ounces, micro ounces, literally drops to determine just how much of the "liquid gold" we had left. I went to lactation consultants, drank herbs, drank tea, pumped non stop, and cried..... did I mention I cried a lot? At the time the thought of giving just one sip of formula to my precious little baby made me not only feel like a failure as a mother, but also like I would be in some way making him "less healthy" for the rest of his life. His ENTIRE life. 

The Husband and most of those around me thought I had gone completely off the deep end, and I too was questioning my own sanity when miracously, about a week later, I woke up and had enough milk to feed a starving village. (seriously, I should have sold that stuff on ebay) All was again right with the world and I felt like supermom for being able to fend off the "devil juice" aka formula for the time being.

That lasted about another 4 months. When the little man was about 7 months old the following conversation took place. 
Me: Breast feeding blows. I am so over this.
The Husband: You have got to be kidding me.
Me: Why?
The Husband: Don't you remember how you carried on a few months back about the "devil juice?"
Me: I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.
The Husband: That's how you're going to play this?
Me:  He eats sand out of the sandbox, how bad can the formula really be?
The Husband: The sandbox that all the neighborhood dogs pee in?
Me: Yeah, I probably should stop letting him do that.

Cut to me mixing bottles while wearing a REGULAR bra smiling as I look down and once again see my A Cup chest. The little man? Never got any sicker than any of his breast fed friends and finally slept completely though the night (like a gift from God that was!) No longer being a milk cow and finally getting a full night sleep can really put things in perspective. Like everything else I unfortunately had to find this out the hard way. 

Back to the sand. What can I say the kid loves the sand. He used to eat it by the mouthful and I would be less than shocked when, the day after we went to the beach, his morning diaper would contain at least two buckets worth of the stuff. I stopped letting him eat out the neighborhood litter box aka the sand box when he was about 9 months old but every now and again he sneaks in a little shovel full, when I'm not looking. 

What made me think of this was when, today, we were eating watermelon down on the beach. The little guy got so excited that he dropped his whole slice right into the dirt. He was so upset, and without flinching I gave it back to him. He said, "Yucky?" and I responded....no it's cool, a little sand never hurt anyone. 


barefoot-n-pregnant said...

It's funny that you write about nursing on this, my last day of breastfeeding. After 10 weeks I am officially giving up...and I feel horrible about it. I'd love to continue to breastfeed but my supply seems to continually diminish. I've tried the herbal teas, prescription pills, positive thoughts, pumping more often (which totally sucks), but to no avail. Mind if I ask what caused your supply to come back?

But three things that will totally be bonuses if I can get over the guilt:

1. All my healthy chested friends were right, big boobs really are overrated. I look forward to returning to a B...and a regular bra.

2. Now Dad can feed baby too.

3. A whole night's sleep? Why that's just dreamy!

Yummy Mummy said...

Oh, the old milk supply. It really is a tricky little bastard isn't it? What happened to me was that I got super dehydrated from the stomach flu and really never rebounded. I took the Fenugreek (sp) herb and that is what I think helped. That and lots of fluid. Even after I got it back, up until 7 months of age I still "lost" it every other week or so. Once the little man was eating real food around 4 months aka baby cereal mush and sweet potato mush I found I was able to stretch it a little more.

I had a few mommies that also couldn't breast feed as long as they wanted for whatever reason and let me tell you I have never seen people so conflicted (myself included.) I was convinced this was my first failure as a mother and it was going to be all downhill from there.

The opposite occurred in ALL of our situations. Once that stress is gone it's like you can again enjoy all the great parts of motherhood. After one week it was like a distant memory, kind of like the pushing and stitches. I should also mention that I think I did above all of our kids turned out healthy and happy. Sure breast milk is best but not if it comes at the expense of turning you into a miserable mommy at the expense of missing out on all of the things that are great in the first few months.

I must warn you though, you may need some new bras. The old girls are usually smaller (as if that could be possible for me), and so so much sadder. Think of the last time you saw your grandma naked and you will have an idea what I', talking about.

Good luck!


Lauren said...

Happy Birthday! Can't imagine a better way to celebrate, on the beach with your favorate people.

Polly said...

Same thing happened to me at around 8 weeks, I perservered for another 1.5 months and did everything possible to try and recreate my supply, finally I was told if Ollie didn't put on weight he would have to be hospitalised, that was certainly a wake up call and a half.