Thursday, January 10, 2013

Adventures in Breast Feeding

**this post may contain too much information for some viewers. proceed with caution as you read about some of my experiences with breast feeding**

Before Kinley was born, I knew I wanted to attempt breast feeding. I had heard many facts and stories, good and horror, about it. We even took a class to learn about it (you can read again here if you'd like) because, obviously, neither one of us had experience with it. I was nervous about the whole thing. Would she latch on and would I make enough milk were two of my worries. Neither one that I can control so all I did was pray that whatever was best for our little family would happen.

Ever since Kinley was born I have been amazed with breast feeding. It is amazing that this body of mine is what is providing nourishment for my sweet baby. It also amazes me that she knew exactly what to do. She was used to food through her bellybutton but came out and within an hour knew exactly what to do. She didn't have some class to teach her... God just made her that way! The way milk can come shooting out is impressive. The way my body knows how much to make is amazing! It really is quite something! God really made a woman's body to be something special!

Without tooting my own horn (too much), I must say I am quite the milk maker. When you open our freezer, it looks like the only thing we can afford is breast milk. We even bought a new freezer to house milk. We have since out grown that freezer. I think it is safe to say there are 100 6-ounce bags in our new freezer. Currently, that is enough milk to feed Kinley 150 times. [i would say this has at least doubled since I first started this post 2months ago. the feeding amount maybe not since she eats more now but the amount of bags in our freezer? definitely. it still looks like we are poor and can only afford breast milk.]

While breastfeeding is amazing... I have found some downfalls along the way.
{keep in mind that these are personal downfalls, which are just things that I have found to be a nuisance every now and then. I still feel fortunate to be able to do it but just sometimes I feel annoyed.}
+I miss the days of falling asleep on the couch at 10pm and waking up at 7 a.m. the next morning. I mean I could do that but I would wake up feeling like I couldn't move in fear of feeling like I would explode. It is quite uncomfortable.
+Tender body parts
+I miss the days of lounging around without a bra on.
+I miss waking up in the morning and getting straight in the shower
+Long gone are the days of waking up, showering, etc and being out the door in 30 minutes (being that it takes 20 minutes to pump it up)
+Having plan time at school to do things around my class? Nope, not right now.
+Tender body parts
+Packing up an extra bag for a day out (pump bag)
+Excusing myself or just disappearing for 20 minutes {at home when there are guests, at school, visiting my my grandparents, really anywhere that there are lots of people}
+Did I mention tender body parts?

While those are minor little set backs that annoy me every now and then, I know that doing it for Kinley far outweighs the nuisances of it and saves a lot of money in not having to buy formula.

Another positive thing is that I have decided to become a breast milk donor. Since we have outgrown three freezers, I do not feel like Kinley will go hungry and she will start getting a little real food in the near future so why not help out some other little babies along the way?! When getting ready to go back to school, I was nervous about making this commitment. I wanted to see how my body took to going back to work and keeping up with Kinley's demand. Clearly, it has done fine... so on with the donation process! There are no donation sites in the Tulsa area so we have to ship my mild to Fort Worth, Texas. The  milk bank sent me a Styrofoam cooler inside a box with a pre-paid FedEx label so when my blood work is complete and my doctor and Kinley's doctor sign off, I should be good to go. Luckily, I have not been incarcerated for longer than 72 hours, shared my drug needles with others or recently gotten a tattoo so I was able to easily pass the phone screening.

During my breast feeding and pumping adventures, I had some inquiring questions, mainly from men like my dad or grandpa's friend [awkward, but I guess that happens when you have to whip it out to feed your baby] while nursing or pumping.
-so when she is breast feeding, how do you know when she is full?
-does that (the pump) suck or work like Kinley works on a bottle?
I also experienced what it was like for women before work places where required to provide a private space to pump while pumping in the bathroom to avoid answering any questions a five year old may have about what I am doing. I just don't find that is my job to explain until I am explaining it to my own child so lock myself in the bathroom it is!

While it is a lot of work, I wouldn't change making the decision to do it or sticking to it even when the days come that I feel like quitting or I am asked "so how long do you have to do that (when having to go someplace other than my classroom for 'nutrition' time at school)?".

***As of this post, we have shipped off our first donation! We sent 35- 6 ounce bags of milk. If you are like me and slow at math that is 210 ounces of milk. One of the 'requirements' is to commit to donating 100 ounces in a year. I could call it quits if I wanted to but we could still stand to clear out a little more in the freezer(s)... so they are sending another box.

Since I finished up this post on our iPad, I was able to take pictures of our freezers:

freezer in our house

'beer fridge' freezer in the garage

our new chest freezer


  1. I am very inpressed with what you have done by breast feeding, and I think you are hell of a granddaughter to do this, I am really pleased that you found away to help new babies and my mothers enjoy the fruits of your God given body. God continue to bless the three of you and I'm Just really really proud of you what you are doing. Love from the old man. Pa l.