Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Car rides

how I hate them. It seems that we are beginning to like the car less and less. Joy. You would think since we have been traveling close to every day since ummmm he was born he would be used to the car. Not a chance. Some days we have beautiful peace. That translates to Peter sleeping peacefully in the back and me listening to the radio. More often then not lately I have a fussing crying baby in the back. I'm driving down the road with one arm stretched behind me, caressing Peter's face and offering him my finger to chew on. Some times it works and the payoff is a calm, nearly content baby and one arm nearly popped out of it's socket. What fun! Another option is having someone else drive and me leaning over the car seat to nurse him. Peter thinks this is the best way to drive EVER! I on the other hand have sustained countless bruises from the carseat and the jolting.  In otherwords. I despise the car. On that happy note, we'll probably be running errands today. :-)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Breastfeeding and Fertility Thoughts 2

About the seven standards of ecological breastfeeding the closer you stick to them; the longer your fertility stays away. I'm not trying to say that I follow the rules to the 'T' because I don't. Peter has had a pacifer (although he doesnt' like them and would rather play with them), he has been given expressed milk in a bottle. Peter stays with my mom when I want to go to the grocery store or sonic or whatever. Short trips. I tend to side with some of the moms who say that they just need time! I think if I had more interaction with other adults then I do, I probably wouldn't feel like that, but it is as it is. People who use a pacifier, totally understandable. Peter would gladly suckle for 3 hours at a time while he sleeps. That's part of the reason ecological breastfeeding works. It's the suckling that increases prolactin levels which in turn keeps ovulation at bay. I can usually let him snack for a few hours every day (what are movies for?) however, I would also be using a pacifer sometimes to get Peter to take longer naps if I couldn't lay down with him.

Here are some facts about prolactin and the data on it.

Although, I have had a really good breastfeeding experience so far, I won't go so far as to say it's perfect or doesn't have it's own annoyances. In fact, I'm experiencing minor annoyances now, as I type. Last night while on the phone with another good friend of mine we were talking about the annoyances of nursing. My biggest peeve right now is Peter pinches. This may not seem like a big deal but it's super annoying and painful. He gets just a little bit of skin between his little nails and leaves bruises! Or he just grabs a handful of whatever he can and rubs kneads it between his fingers. Ouch! But is that too much to deal with so that he can have the most nutritious food possible? Not when I think about how he'll benefit long term. Sometimes though, I'll sit him up, tell him no and then say something along the lines of "That's it kid, your weaned!". Hahaha yea right mom!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Breastfeeding and Fertility Thoughts 1

Life with Peter requires a lot of hands on and not so much time for the computer. I have been working on this post for two weeks now. :-)

"However, the spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and then the spiritual." 1 Cor. 15:46

Breastfeeding and fertility, mothering styles and babies. Those are the thoughts that have been clouding my mind lately. The delicate balance of all breastfeeding, mothering, and fertility and how the three things work together and by various methods of breastfeeding and mothering you alter your fertility. Crash course learning going on right here in my home. My friend Whitney just did a few posts 1-3 on things you may not know about breastfeeding. Very interesting. She also went over briefly the difference between ecological and on demand breastfeeding. There is a book called Breastfeeding and Catholic Motherhood; God's Plan for You and Your Baby by Sheila Kippley and it briefly goes over the 7 standards of ecological breastfeeding. The rest of the book is dedicated to your spiritual decision to breastfeed as well as your emotional and physical health decision. Super positive book and I really want to get her book The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding; the Frequency Factor.

It was to my horror that a couple weeks ago I woke up to find my period had returned or what I thought was my period. I literally cried. Lord knows it's not the most tragic thing to happen to a woman and in this culture it happens pretty frequently around 12 to 18 weeks post partum. "But I breastfeed!" was my defensive, angry thought! This shouldn't be happening. As the frustrated part of my brain was angrily complaining, the rational voice in my head was speaking a voice of reason. I had heard that breastfeeding and extended amenorrhea (lack of menstrual cycle in a average woman of reproductive age) was a delicate balance of frequency of nursing and mothering methods. I just wanted to have both freedom and amenorrhea. Kind of selfish. However, there is such a thing as false periods where your body bleeds monthly or as a normal cycle but there is no ovulation. This appears to be what I am experiencing. I am curious to know how many other moms experience anovulatory bleeding? I am sure that many new moms (and older ones) experience it but believe that they are in fact having a normal cycle in which they ovulate. For me, not the case.

Here are the 7 standards of Ecological Breastfeeding:

1. Do exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months.
2. Pacify your baby at your breasts.
3. Don't use bottles or pacifers.
4. Sleep with your baby with night feedings.
5. Sleep with your baby for a daily nap-feeding.
6. Nurse frequently day and night and avoid schedules.
7. Avoid any practice that restricts nursing or separates you from your baby.

So if you would like on average 18-30 months between children the above should work for you. THIS IS NOT EASY. So the sympto thermal method is also an option for catholic couples. I continue to temp as well as go off of other fertility signs, since I am experiencing anovulatory bleeding but it is nice to get a base line in for what my body naturally does without ovulating. Especially since I didn't have much time to establish that before we became pregnant with Peter. As well as using the sympto-thermal method, I am also definitely giving the 7 standards a shot.

It's so hard though especially since it is such a demand on you.Many people say that they are ecologically breastfeeding because they believe that it's the only "right" way to breastfeed. This is simply not true, there is nothing better about ecologically breastfeeding or on demand feeding, it's whatever works best for you and your baby and your lifestyle. I personally do not mind being a milk bar 24/7. In fact I love it. However, I realize that as time goes on and I do have other children I am not sure that ecologically breastfeeding will be practical or even desirable as it takes up soooo much time. Time that I might need to be devoting to my other children rather then lounging around all day letting my little one suckle because...well just because! :-) I love taking Peter with me. What I feel like is the hardest thing is explaining to family members that I'm not ready to leave Peter. Peter isn't ready to leave me and that includes just being babysat for several hours or going out on a date. It's hard for family to accept and understand that this is the way I choose to mother and that it effects them as well. It's sad that in this culture to be a "good" aunt, uncle, grandma, grandpa you have to babysit and that to be a "good" mom you have to leave your baby with family members so they get there time. Babies thrive on the care of one individual for the first three years of their lives! It's crucial to their development and only God knows the long term benefits of such a close attachment.

"I carried you for nine months in my womb and nursed you for three years" 2 Macc. 7:27

Beautiful! I am sometimes asked how long I plan on letting Peter nurse. I think some people think that babies will naturally wean themselves. In fact, moms tell me this all the time. While this is true to some extent most of the time they are unconsciously encouraging early weaning.
Hopefully i can continue this later

video This is Peter's latest big thing. He likes to get people all concerned about his health by coughing. I think it's pretty obvious it's not real but apparently he can be quite convincing! :-)

Also, this morning he woke me up bright and early at 6:30 with this >>>

video Such a cheerful way to wake up! Although this video is taken from last night after our evening walk which I personally think is his favorite time of day.