Deflated but Elated

The boob saga has come to a close.

What an amazing run it has been. Six months of breastfeeding!! But alas, it is time for our next phase.

My goal was to hit six months of breastfeeding with my sweet little girl and we hit that! I got so much joy from nursing her – comforting her and feeding her with my own milk.  I’ll never forget those moments we had in the middle of the night where I could just get up and go to her without having to fuss with making a bottle. The entire process was a total miracle in every sense of the word.

A month ago I stopped taking my essential oils (fennel/basil) and medication to help with milk supply (Domperidone), and finally I have stopped getting drops of milk. My milk makers have deflated; I loved them dearly. Yes, my boobs. It was one of the many highlights of this experience.

Baby girl had no problem transitioning back to the bottle, and though I do miss our intimate time together, I am glad to be done. I still cannot get over what a miracle that really was. Not everyone produces as much milk as I was able to get. Many women get huge hormonal imbalances as well, I didn’t observe many changes in that aspect. One change I did notice was some weight gain, but I can live with that.

Being able to nurse my child has built such an incredible bond between her and I. I’m not saying I don’t have that same bond with my son, but I wish I could have added that extra layer of attachment when he was an infant. Being able to nurse made me feel more feminine, something I’d been searching for. Infertility has made a direct attack on my feminine heart. I feel like being able to nurse was very healing for me in that aspect. I feel like I’m becoming a whole person rather than an adoptive mom who couldn’t have her “own” children. No one said this to me, I projected it onto myself.

My hope is that the next time I breastfeed, the milk will come in naturally after birth.  No pills or feverishly pumping, massaging, and coaxing my milk to come in.

Next time?

You see, we are trying for #3 or #3 and #4 — however that works out. Although my husband might lose his shit if a #5 sneaks in there.

A month after our sweet girl was brought home, we were notified that we had received embryos from our embryo adoption agency. It wasn’t a total surprise. We had signed up with them and accepted this set of embryos, but we were over six months into the match and things were moving so slowly. I was feeling as if nothing would work, so we jumped the gun and got on an adoption list as well. Ultimately we decided we were willing to continue with the embryos even if we received a child through adoption. So here we sit; potentially a family of five or six.  We could also remain a family of four, and that’s ok too. I’m starting to FINALLY come to terms with the unknown of our future.

In 2015, we adopted embryos as well. We transferred twice that summer, and both transfers “almost” took. As in, I was confirmed pregnant for nano-seconds (aka a few days). It was exciting to know I could potentially get pregnant, but there was so much more that needed to happen to produce a living child.

The statistics for embryos taking is about 40 percent per embryo.  So there is a 40 percent chance (x4) that we could have more children. We have four little “snowflakes” (the name termed for frozen embryos) waiting for us at our fertility clinic here in Colorado. We will likely transfer 1-2 at a time, but there is always a chance that those embryos won’t even survive the thaw. I think the statistic is 65 percent survive the thaw. All I know for sure is that, statistically speaking, if we don’t attempt to transfer the embryos, we will have no more children. So many numbers and statistics I could drown in. Thank goodness for an amazing fertility nurse and clinic that keeps all that information so I don’t have to.

At this point, it is up to God. I’m ready and willing to accept whatever path we are given…as long as it ends in a minivan. Because seriously, this mama deserves a minivan after nine years of intense family planning. 

Our embryo transfer will happen sometime this year if all goes as planned… which it never does.

SheilaKChester

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Breastfeeding my adopted baby: That was unexpected!

I am currently at 15 weeks starting this breastfeeding journey and a lot has happened. Baby girl is 25 weeks this week.

Major Happenings:

 

  1. Baby girl gets a majority of her diet (75%) from me directly.

  2. My boobs have grown more lopsided than ever. (C’MON right side!! Pick up some slack!)

  3. I haven’t gained “too much” weight from the medication. (common side effect)

  4. I’m getting much better about nursing in public.

  5. I thought I was pregnant for a fleeting moment!

 

Did you know that the hormones involved with breastfeeding could stop your period? Well I seemed to have forgotten that simple fact and blew through a pack of pregnancy tests in a weekend. I couldn’t decide if I was excited or terrified that I FINALLY got pregnant. But alas, the universe is an asshole that likes to play dirty tricks on people.

BONUS: NO PERIOD UNTIL I DECIDE TO HAVE ONE!!! AKA, better than that birth control that stops your period forever but turns you into the HULK.

Seriously though, my left boob is twice the size of my right boob! Is this normal!?!?! Dear Righty McHooters, pull it together, this is a freakin’ team effort. I’m gonna need one of those chicken cutlet boobinators to level the playing field. My baby even looks at limpy right side like … are you seriously going to make me attempt to get milk out of this side even though WE ALL KNOW it produces jack? (I’m paraphrasing)

In all reality, I’m making progress. Quite a bit in fact. The only thing stopping me from hitting 100% is my sheer hatred for taking pills and my lack of following a schedule.

I’ve basically hit a full supply, but I absolutely have to be taking my Domperidone 4x a day. I upped my dose to 120mg per day. So I take three 10mg pills 4x a day. Sometimes I forget a dose and only hit 90mg for the day. One day two weeks ago I only remembered to take the Dom once for the day and my supply ran out by her bedtime so I had to hook up to my long lost supplementer that I didn’t miss. It’s worth it to remember to take the pills.

Last week I did really well, I took my 4 doses a day each day and didn’t even need to pump. When I do pump, I can get 4-5 ounces in a sitting (total with double pumping). She still got a bottle from grandma once a day because grandmas love to feed their grandbabies … so I let it slide.

Speaking of pumping, we had my cousin and his wife and son move in with us for a month so my lazy pumping came to a halt. No more pumping during morning cartoons or the Ellen show. But that is ok, I love having them here and helps me plan a little better. TAKE YOUR MEDICATION ALL READY! Really, I only pump at night now or if I become super uncomfortable and baby won’t eat … which rarely happens. The girl loves to eat! And for that, I am grateful.

On average I am feeding baby at 3 a.m., 7 a.m., 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 5 p.m., and 7 p.m. Generally, the 10 a.m. or 1 p.m. feeding is a bottle, but the rest are from the breast without supplementation. Plus now she is getting solid foods twice a day. I know I could feed her from me every feeding, but I would absolutely have to be regimented on my medications. I would have never made a very good military soldier. I don’t think they do “ish” very well in the military. “ISH” is what I live on. I’ll be there around 10-ish. Or I take my vitamins everyday (ish). Does oh-five-hundred mean 5 a.m. or p.m. (ish)? It would not have gone well at all.

My goal currently is to continue this process (ish) for the next 3 months. I’ve fed her with my milk for 3 months now and would like to do it another 3. I wish I could be one of those moms that just loves it so much that I want to feed her till she is in kindergarten, but I don’t really want to be taking this medicine for that long. Plus we have some big plans this summer that would force me to stop the medication anyway.

THE PLOT THICKENS!

 

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Thanks for following along, if this is the first article of my series you have seen, here are the links for the others: 

Part 1: When God Shouts… I listen

When God Shouts

Part 4: Week 2


Part 2: The Hospital


Part 5: The Protocol

Part 5

Part 3: One More Time


Part 6: Holy Boobs Batman!


Holy Boobs Batman! (Part 6)

breastfeedingmy-adoptedbaby-girl

I am 7 weeks from starting the thought process and 5 weeks from starting the medication. So I thought I would update you on my progress.

About ten days ago we went on a family vacation to California. I was fully prepared and brought my fancy pump and my supplementer. I was prepared to nurse on the takeoff and landing and had back up bottles as well. This would be my first public nursing experience, which I’ve had some anxiety over. This is also baby girls first flight. Our son has flown several times and does very well.

I brought my super fancy and trendy cover up to put myself at ease. Ultimately I knew baby girl could care less but this was all on my nerves. I know, why does it matter, women are fighting to normalize breastfeeding. It feels like I’m still getting past the legitimacy of deserving to breastfeed. As if everyone on the airplane will know that 1. I’m nursing and 2. that my child is adopted. And who cares if they did.

I realize have some things to work through here. Thank God for my incredible therapist who is filled with a fiery desire for me to reach my full potential and is also filled with enough grace to catch me when I fall. In combination with my amazing friends and husband I should be wonder woman by now. But then again, I am breastfeeding my adopted child with actual milk from my actual boobs … so maybe I’m getting close in at least one field.

Now, the flight. She did really well! I nursed her taking off with the supplementer and she slept the whole flight (2 hours) and was ready to nurse on landing but she didn’t wake up to bother with it. It was the same situation on the flight home. Totally fine.

As for keeping up with my nursing and pumping schedule while on vacation… well thats another story. I pumped twice a day and nursed twice a day. So that’s half as much that is recommended to keep your supply up. I was still pumping about 2 ounces total per session.

When we got home from vacation I remained at 2 oz per session. This week however, I am increasing to 3 oz in the mornings and 2 oz at each pumping session per day.

At this point I would say she is getting about
1/3 of her calories from breastmilk which is pretty incredible. My goals are adjusting as we continue on this journey. I’m comfortable if we stop here, but man… if I could create enough milk to not have to worry about packing formula everywhere… that would be AMAZING. Until then, I’ll keep plugging away and trying my best to stick to my nursing/pumping/nursing schedule.3-oz

Nursing has been so enjoyable for me. I love the connection that I get with my daughter.  She is showing a lot of preference for the breast vs the bottle so that keeps me pushing to increase my milk supply. Its a team effort between the two of us and so far we are kicking ass.

SIDE EFFECTS:

I’ve had a few changes at home since starting this process. My son (3) has lost a little bit of his mommy through this process which I feel very guilty about. He has latched onto dad pretty hard (not a bad thing) because I seem to always be feeding baby girl when he wants to play or he only wants to play when I’m feeding or pumping.  He is requiring daddy give him hugs and kisses prior to leaving for work (5:30am) which is kind of difficult because if daddy does this he is up for the day. Little man usually wakes up around 7am. So we are navigating that. The other morning he woke up in a panic because he thought dad had left without kissing him. Luckily it was a Saturday and he got to him immediately.  I really try to do one on one things with him, but it is challenging. Generally speaking he is still a super fun loving little guy that acts out by coloring on my bed sheets with sharpie. Typical three year old with a touch of awesome.

I’ve also had some physical side effects like feeling jittery throughout the day. I believe that is coming from a lack of hydration in combination with the domperidone I’m taking. I’m still around 80mg a day – which is the minimum dose my LC suggested. As I build my supply I’d like to wean off of it if I can. Many blogs I’ve read state they have to stay on the drug to maintain supply, so we shall see.

Next side effect:

HOLY BOOBS, BATMAN! I’ve probably increase by 2 sizes, so have had to do some wardrobe configuring. My husband is pretty much terrified of them. Either they are going to spontaneously squirt milk at him (this has never happened) or he feels like he is cheating on me with fake boobs. I’m sure he will come around. It doesn’t help that I chase him around with them and make him touch them when they are super hard in the morning. Poor guy. Total entertainment!!

holy-boobs-batman

up-arrow This 100% deserved its own quote box. You should probably pin this as “awesome”. You’re welcome.

That is where we are as of today! I’ll check back in a month to update those interested in hearing about my hoots. Thanks for keeping up! I really do get the gravity of how amazing this is… all joking aside.

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Breastfeeding my Adopted Baby (part 5): The Protocol

breastfeedingmy-adoptedbaby-girlMy motivation to begin the lactation process was at an all-time high. My body was on board and now, finally, my mind was on board. I can do this.

I meditate and journal a few times a week and before vising the LC I asked God to give me a heads up on how this whole breastfeeding situation is going to go. Should I go to the lactation consultant? Should I breastfeed? Is this going to be difficult?

Here is what He lead me to:

For seven days celebrate the feast of the Lord your God at the place the Lord will choose. For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete. Deuteronomy 16:15

Speechless.

I need to enjoy myself and cherish the moments I get with this precious baby and this incredible gift of nursing I have been given. Stop questioning, start trusting.

Expect Miracles.

I met with one of the best Lactation Consultants in the Denver Metro area on Wednesday. It was very expensive. I debated canceling the appointment several times. What on earth is this woman going to tell me that Google can’t? Why am I doing this again? Oh right, Jesus. Here we go.

This was another first for me, I was pretty nervous. As soon as I met her, she instantly put me at ease. We chatted about my goals for a bit:

1. Good latch
2. To build a greater attachment with my daughter
3. If we can induce lactation at the same time… win/win. (I wasn’t going to allow myself to get excited about this.)

“Now, lets see the girls”

Of course… she wants to see my boobs… here we go.

Well she inspected the girls and gave me some compliments then, tips and tricks to get baby girl to latch well. Of course while we were there baby girl wasn’t into it at all. We spent about 90 minutes together as she helped me and encouraged me. Money well spent.

The LC educated me on the Newman-Goldfarb Protocols which I had researched a little prior to this meeting. There was so much wording in the sites I had looked up that I quickly got overwhelmed and assumed it was too difficult to even try. The LC was super helpful, she made me a simple HOW TO:

  1. Get a hospital grade breast pump – Pump or Nurse 8-10x a day.
  2. Increase prolactin level by taking Domperidone 20mg 4x a day
  3. Look into and prepare for Insufficient Grandular Tissue (IGT) – Higher likelihood with infertile women.
  4. Potential Tongue Tie – Review with Pediatrician.

She said she expected me to have this all figured out within 6 weeks and then we can start the process. So, I got started right away remembering God was guiding this entire process.

Within 48 hours I had everything I needed.

  1. I was able to rent a hospital grade breast-pump from a local company immediatly.
  2. A friend had a sealed package of domperidone she let me use. (This has to be ordered from a non-USA location as it is not yet approved for sale here, so it takes several weeks to arrive. I ordered more to replace hers and set me up for the next round.)
  3. Wait and see on IGT.
  4. Pediatrician was able to get me in immediately and confirmed she did NOT have tongue tie. He even wrote me a prescription and letter of need for the breast pump so I could TRY to get it covered under insurance. Might as well right… I hear Jesus has connections in the insurance industry.

Here are the INCREDIBLE results my friends:

 

protocol

Sweet baby JESUS!!!!

I am at day 14 post protocol and am producing an ounce per session, sometimes more. I’m pumping between 10-15 min at a time. I save all that milk and feed it to her at the last feeding. I assume she is more efficient at getting my milk than the pump is – so she is likely getting around 8oz of my milk a day. She is taking in about 25oz of fluids a day so I have a ways to go, but at this pace I should get there soon.

I know some of you are likely wondering why I even decided to go on the drug Domperidone. The truth is, I wasn’t too keen on the idea but my friend had a spare set so I figured this was a sign I needed to do it. After all, God knows if it was going to be difficult I wouldn’t have done it.

I am up to date with my story as of now, but will continue to post my experiences and results.

This has been an unbelievably amazing journey. I don’t feel like I’m being strong as some of you have stated, I feel like I’m being led. I’m just along for the ride.

Thank you so much for reading my story. I hope it has helped you understand that

God is real.

He performs miracles.

There is ALWAYS hope.

Anything is possible.

Expect miracles every single day. Start looking for them. Ask God to show you those miracles if you are dense like me.

I love you all.

Pictured Below: Sheilas Actual boob, Sheilas Actual baby

nursing

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Breastfeeding my Adopted Baby (part 4): Week 2

breastfeedingmy-adoptedbaby-girlWell, I dove head first into breastfeeding of all things. How did I get here? I guess that’s why I’ve felt so compelled to write this. I’ve had this website for two years and never had the drive to write and share like I am now. I guess ‘GODs timing’ is really a thing.

I’m coming into my spirituality slowly and need to be hit over the head with a 2×4 to really get a clear picture. Five years of infertility really jacked me and my relationship with God. I should probably write a post about that.

Now where was I? Ah yes.. Jesus and week 2.

I continued feeding her 2-3 times a day. As often as I could do it comfortably. Unfortunately we had a ‘boob down’ situation, literally my left nipple was bleeding. A small blister had formed. Oddly enough I didn’t care. I was enjoying this SO MUCH that I didn’t care that my nipple was bleeding. My husband on the other hand was like… uhh… get that shit taken care of.  So I gave the left side some oils and a week off.

I started doing breast massage to try to wake up the milk ducts. I was trying to avoid getting a breast pump and my LC told me this was the next best thing and in some cases the better thing to do. So I massaged.

Often.

In the car… at home.. in Target…. the usual spots.

Lots of massaging.

Tuesday night I’m massaging and just for kicks I try to squeeze into the nipple to see what would happen. Expecting fireworks of milk, obviously.

You Guys.

The slightest drop of white came out.

It came out of MY BARREN BREASTS!!!

Even Limpy Left side!!

I immediately screamed for my husband to come upstairs and look. He was mildly impressed and slightly freaked out that something came out of my breasts. Mostly I think he was expecting some action… to then find me milking myself… sorry dude.

I was FULLY committed. Jesus was there telling me DON’T QUIT – I’m proving to you that I am here. I will do it for you if you just DON’T QUIT!

**I realize that my segway from ‘milking myself’ to Jesus may have been a little intense for some of you. That’s how I roll. Hang on or move out.**

The next day I added in the lactation herbs. More Milk Plus and FenuGreek

On one of my fb groups someone suggested I take a look at Adoptive Breastfeeding Choices (Under Construction). Turns out this website was created by a local woman who had breastfed her adopted child. I reached out to her of course!

She called me back and told me her incredible story of breastfeeding her son. Her story was similar to mine – was on birth control for several months prior to adopting for reasons not related to inducing lactation. She was not planning on breastfeeding but alas, her son had other plans. In the process of her journey she was not only able to exclusively breastfeed her son within 12 weeks of starting the protocol, but she was also able to donate 3000 ounces of breast milk to another adoptive family. See her full story HERE.

MASSIVELY INSPIRING!

She recommended a local lactation consultant that had successfully helped 23 adoptive mothers breastfeed their adopted children. I made an appointment immediately.

Even though everything was pointing me to the direction of inducing lactation – I was still hesitant to believe this was a possibility. I was still focusing on the attachment part of this experience. I was guarding and not trusting.

NO MATTER WHAT, if all we get is that extra attachment during supplemental nursing, that is enough.

That Friday I went to my first breastfeeding group. It was difficult and I had asked my girlfriends to pray for me during this experience. I don’t ask people to pray for me. I’m still learning how to do this.

Being an adoptive mom often makes me feel like a fraud.

I feel like I don’t deserve these types of mom connections. I definitely feel like I don’t ‘deserve’ to be in with a group of women who have biological children. What could we possibly have in common?

I literally expected to walk in to the room to find a bunch of topless hippies openly breastfeeding their 5yr olds. Truth. I was terrified.

In reality they were normal looking moms with babies and toddlers that acted just like mine. Who would have thought!?!?! It’s very possible that my sense of self is a little off.  Ok, its way off. This is why I have a therapist.

We discussed sleep issues, behavior issues, and then breastfeeding issues. It was so interesting and helpful. They wanted to hear my story and encouraged me to continue my journey. I needed that. More encouragement. My self doubt is so strong.

My shame from not being able to create a child – that my deepest sense of womanliness is broken. My shame was being challenged in a big way. Eight years of infertility. Eight years of fighting to become a mother in any way possible.

Eight years of fighting with my body and my mind. Eight years of fighting God.

I’m beginning to see why this is my path.

 

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darkness

 

Courtney’s Story

I got a hold of Courtney through her adoptive breastfeeding website and when she called and told me her story I knew the direction I had to go. It was time to be brave. SC

HERE IS COURTNEYS STORY: 

I have always known that I wanted to be a mother. Being a mother is what I was born to do! I was quite young (only 19) when it was discovered that I would most likely not be able to bear children. The loss of that part of me was something that I grieved a long time ago. I knew that adoption would be the way I would grow my family one day. Having children, and being a mother was what I wanted, how I got there didn’t make any difference. Love is love and family is family… no matter how you come together. Breastfeeding, however… that was something I mourned. I watched other moms, especially my sister, breastfeed their children and it made me sad to think that I would not get to share that bond with my children. It broke my heart.

I was 36 when my daughter’s birthmom chose us (about 8 weeks before her birth). I started thinking about getting more information about adoptive breastfeeding. I went to the first place many people go when seeking medical advice, my doctor. What a mistake! He told be that there were hormone shots, it would be painful, I would never make any milk and that being a new mother was hard enough. His advice? “Don’t even try”. Stupidly, I listened. My sweet baby girl arrived and I nourished her with donated breastmilk for the first 6 months of her life, never even attempting to breastfeed. I remember sitting with her, wondering if I was crazy for wanting to nurse so badly… wanting to comfort her in that amazing way, but feeling like it was wrong to even think it. But, she flourished and has grown into an amazing young lady, a whopping 7 years old! I am proud to have been chosen to be her mother.

Fast forward four years and we were in the process of adopting our second child, a boy. I knew that I still longed to breastfeed, but wasn’t sure what to do. This time, I had the luck of a new friend who just happened to be a lactation consultant in Canada. She told me that not only was it possible, but that many women have great success. I was excited to find out more, but getting ready to adopt a baby is stressful and I didn’t pursue it further. The day our son was born, his birthmom came to the hospital with bedbugs (!). By the time that was discovered, our son was already with us in our room. To make sure that the bedbugs didn’t come home with us, he and I had to take a “decontamination” shower together. Well, while we were in the shower – HE LATCHED!!! In that moment I knew that we would just have to figure out how to breastfeed. I called in the hospitals lactation consultant and she showed me how to use an at-breast supplementer. My son and I both got the hang of using it quickly and he continued to latch like a pro. Looking back, he was making it so clear that being at the breast was the place he felt the most safe and loved. We continued most every feed using the supplementer. When we got home, I scoured the internet looking for information and called my friend in Canada non-stop. After two weeks of frustrated searching for information, I got an appointment with an adoption-friendly lactation consultant in my town and ordered Domperidone. Lucky for me, I was already taking BCP (skipping placebo) for a different issue, and was able to start the Dom right away. By the time my son was about 3 months old, I had achieved a full supply of milk, (an over-supply actually, I ended up donating about 3,000 ounces to another adopted baby!!) and we were exclusively breastfeeding!

At the writing of this page, he is 3 1/2 years old and still nursing 4-8 times a day. It is how we connect, how I console him when he’s sad/hurt and how we settle down before sleeping. It is the best part of my life and I would not be the woman I am today if it weren’t for beastfeeding. The fact that I am able to nourish my child now, when I couldn’t do that for him in the womb – is so incredibly healing. By not allowing me to create him, I felt that my body had betrayed me. But, being able to breastfeed my son has allowed me to forgive my body and grow to love it in a way that I couldn’t before. I do not exaggerate when I say that breastfeeding changed my life.

Courtney Eckelberry

Breastfeeding my Adopted baby (part 3): One more time

 

breastfeedingmy-adoptedbaby-girl

 

The weeks after baby was born was a dream. It was such a quick adoption transition that I was truly in lala land… and I still am 4 months later.

I felt a tug at my heart for several weeks. We had a busy first few months of her life. Three road trips in 10 weeks. Ultimately I didn’t have time to look into the breastfeeding thing again. We had other fish to fry and she was developing just fine.passion-for-orphans

 

The last weekend in September I spent a weekend in the mountains with several other women at the Passion for Orphans retreat. This was my 3rd year attending this event and every time Jesus shows up and gives me a swift kick in the ass. I should really write a post on all of my experiences here. Wow! I am on a roll with all of these post ideas.

 

The women I meet at this event are extraordinary. It pushes me to be extraordinary.

Often at this event I hear a lot about children from trauma. Growing up with mild to severe physical or emotional trauma. I see these families working their tails off to help their children work through these issues. Therapies sometimes daily and multiple medications. These women give everything they have for their children – foster, adopted, or biological. You often hear people say – ‘Oh I wish I could foster a child, but I just couldn’t handle the emotional aspect of it’ — well these are the women that CAN handle it or at least force themselves to handle it. Fostering must be hard, but watching the powerful women at that retreat makes me KNOW that their work is WORTH any emotional suffering they may feel.

My biggest takeaway:

A foster mothers love for orphans is more powerful than their fear of their own emotional suffering.

I did some research and found that attachment disorders can exist in 10-30% of children adopted at infancy. see this article Granted this is anecdotal evidence. My adoption agency warned us this was a possibility and a personal friend of mine is currently going through this with all 3 of her adopted teen children (adopted at infancy). It exists. I researched more and found this scientific study on attachment and how breastfeeding – even when lactation is not induced – increases security of attachment in the child and increases the desire of a parent to be with their child. The skin to skin is forced often with breastfeeding mothers. Whereas women who don’t breastfeed don’t necessarily place their baby on their bare skin for 20 min 5-7x a day otherwise. I wasn’t doing this nearly enough!

I did not breastfeed my son. He is very healthy with no attachment issues that I can see at this point and time. He is smart as a whip and a lot sassy. Not sure where that comes from…. ok its from me. I’ll admit it!!

Every child is different. BUT what if this ONE ACT does make a difference in HER life? Why wouldn’t I give my child everything I had in this moment? Why not just try it again. Just one more time.

It is time to be extraordinary.


Night 1:

Baby girl is 10 weeks old. What are the chances this will work? I hear often of the struggles of biological parents breastfeeding – why on earth would I think this could work 10 weeks along? But again, Jesus has pushed me here so it’s time to put some TRUST in him and stop thinking I am in control. Like I need anymore proof of that.

So I just tried to get her to latch as I was putting her to bed that night. I wasn’t forceful. I told her that I’d like to start this amazing bonding experience with her if she was up for it. She didn’t have too if she didn’t want to. (Yes, I talk to my baby like she is an adult)

She looked at me, smiled, and jumped right on. I was shocked. For several reasons really – it was a weird feeling…. oddly stimulating… awkward. She actually did it. I am capable. Why do I doubt? All of my fears turned instantly into confidence. I CAN DO THIS!

She put herself to sleep nursing on me that night. It was surreal.

Night 2:

I got my Supplemental Nursing System out (If you click that link you will see boobs – not
mine. Sorry. Not sorry.) I put a few ounces of formula in there and tried again. It took a little longer… some youtube watching to see how the heck I was supposed to get that tiny hoot-spraystring hose into her mouth as well as get her to latch properly on me…. but again she is amazing… and apparently has a direct connection with Jesus so we got it figured out.

That night I made a Lactation Inducing Concoction. If I was going to do this nursing thing I might as well consider inducing lactation. Who knows… Jesus seems to want me to do this for a reason… maybe He can get some milk to come out of my barren breasts as well.

Day 3:

I nursed her with the sns in the morning and in the evening.

Day 4:

Again, nursed her morning and night. I worked on the latch more. My left side was getting very raw so I decided to reach out to a lactation consultant. She immediately gave me some advice and directed me toward some very helpful websites and videos. She also invited me to a local breastfeeding group. That sounded exceptionally terrifying. Terrifying is something Jesus would want me to do right? WHAT AM I DOING!!!! So I put it on my calendar. I also joined a local breastfeeding facebook group and a national adoptive breastfeeding facebook group. Here we go. All in.

Day 5: 

I also started asking some friends if they had any advice.

#1: Buy Soothies.

#2: DIY Nipple Cream (AKA Anit-Chappie Cream)

anti-chappie

 

Well, that made my life 10x easier.

The soothies were cooling to my chapped nipples and the balm was well… balmy.

What? You thought I was some sort of professional blogger here? Not so much. Just here to tell my miracle story and say nipples, breasts, and boobs as often as possible.

To be continued….

SC

Breastfeeding my adopted baby (part 1): When God Shouts….

breastfeedingmy-adoptedbaby-girl

 

The day we found out that we had been matched with an expectant mother, is a day I will never forget. Over the phone I heard… expectant mom… baby girl… can you come now?

A few facts about me

  • I’ve never been pregnant past a few weeks along.
  • I’ve never attempted breastfeeding before.
  • I had no intention of breastfeeding.

Immediately my body reacted. My head hurt, my brain was on overdrive, I was shaking and pacing around my house trying to figure out what to do next. Yes, the obvious thing was to get going, but baby stuff.. clothes… carseat… brain.. where did I put my BRAIN!! But something else also happened, my breasts became tender immediately.. and my uterus started cramping… maybe not so much cramping as pulsing?? I have no idea how to describe what I was feeling but I was feeling SOMETHING.

Over the next 2 weeks of getting to know the expectant family, my “feelings” intensified. Constantly sore breasts, constantly sore abdomen. It’s almost as if my body was preparing to give birth.

I went to see my spiritual counselor and she asked me if I had planned on breastfeeding the baby. I looked at her, because I felt as if she had read my mind. I felt my body was pushing me this direction. I’ve looked into it, but it seems so difficult. Especially for someone who has never even been pregnant. She suggested I give it a go.

A few days later I spoke with my agency social worker, she asked if I was planning on breastfeeding the baby. Apparently the expectant mother was hoping I could attempt it. I was surprised, but also everything within me was saying I’M GIVING YOU EVERY POSSIBLE SIGN!! PAY ATTENTION!!

I told the social worker I was considering it. My entire body ached… my body had already decided. My brain had some catching up to do.

I researched the protocol.

Step 1: Take birth control for 8-12 weeks.
– I had been on birth control preparing for our embryo transfer. Check.

Step 2: Start pumping every 2 hours for at least 8-12 weeks. Or feed baby every 2 hours with a supplemental nursing system.
– I don’t have a pump.
– I like my sleep
– I don’t have a baby

Step 3: Start taking supplements to increase your prolactin.
– Prolactin? I’ve heard that word before.
– Google search:
Prolactin (PRL), also known as luteotropic hormone or luteotropin, is a protein that in humans is best known for its role in enabling mammals, usually females, to produce milk.
– Email Search: AHH YES!
From my fertility nurse 3 days prior to finding out about baby: Your prolactin level came back slightly elevated, we need to recheck to make sure everything is alright. It is ok to be elevated if you are breastfeeding, but you are not so we need so recheck it.

Ok Ok Ok… I’m not losing my mind.

So let me get this straight, my body knew before my agency knew that my baby was coming. I mean, that sounds totally reasonable.

WHAT THE F&#! IS HAPPENING!!!

REFOCUS

Supplements I need to consider:
1. Essential Oils (fennel & Basil)
2. Herbs (Blessed Thissle, FenuGreek, Nettle Herb, Fennel Seed, Goats Rue)

Drugs to consider:

  1. Domparidone (Not FDA approved or available in the US, but easily purchased online with a secret handshake of sorts) … this seems sketchy. I’m in.

*I’ll write up a separate post notating the importance of each of these supplements and drugs.

Decision Time:
How deep am I going to go into this journey.

I don’t have to dive deep at all.

I could just try it and see what happens.

I could take no supplements and just use the supplementation device.

Yes.

That seems like a good plan.

The least amount of work. I’m sure that is what God is saying to me. Because why would he be SHOUTING at me if he wanted me to put in 100% effort. Ok, I’m clearly dense but this is what I’m going with for now.

I could look at it as the most astounding way to connect and attach with my adopted child… milk or no milk.

when-god-shouts-i-listen

SC