Thursday, December 31, 2009

info on pumping and storage

found this online and want to save it. i figured other people might want to know this too:) we've read varying information, but most of this matched up with other sources. please don't think that these are the definitive answers.

Breastfeeding: How to Pump and Store Your Breast Milk
Learning how to pump and store breast milk can make returning to work easier and less stressful. It does require some work and careful planning, but it can be done.
When should I start to pump my breasts?
If you will be pumping your breasts when you return to work, practice for 1 or 2 weeks before you actually go back to get the hang of it. You can try pumping just after your baby eats or you can pump your breasts between feedings.Practicing at home will help you learn how your pump works. During this time, you also can start to collect and store breast milk to be fed to your baby when you return to work.

How much milk will I get when I pump?
You may not get much milk when you first start pumping. After a few days of regular pumping, your breasts will begin to make more milk. Also, the more milk you pump, the more milk your breasts produce. You should drink lots of fluids to stay hydrated (which will help your milk supply).

How long should I pump each time?
Pumping your breasts takes about the same time as breastfeeding, but with practice and a good pump, you can pump your breasts in as little as 10 to 15 minutes. While you are at work, try to pump as often as your baby usually feeds or for about 15 minutes every few hours. To keep up your milk supply, give your baby extra feedings when you are together. You can also pump right after your baby feeds, which will help your breasts make more milk.

Will there be times that my baby will need more milk than I have ready?
Yes, your baby will probably want more milk during growth spurts. The best way to increase your milk supply for a growth spurt is to breastfeed or pump more often.

How should I store my breast milk?
Breast milk can be stored in a plastic or glass bottle with a sealable top, or in a sterile, sealable bag. Store your breast milk in amounts that you use every day to avoid wasting it. For example, if your baby eats 4 ounces in a feeding, put 4 ounces of breast milk in the storage container.

Where should I store my breast milk?
Pumped breast milk should be cooled in a refrigerator or other cooler as soon as possible. The milk can also be frozen if you aren't going to use it right away.

How long can I store my breast milk?
The following are some general breast milk storage guidelines:
At room temperature (less than 77°F) for 4 to 8 hours
At the back of a refrigerator for 3 to 8 days
At the back of a freezer for up to 3 months

The breast milk I have in my refrigerator looks funny. Is something wrong?
Breast milk can vary in color. It can be bluish, yellowish or brownish. It is also normal for breast milk to separate (the fatty part of the milk goes to the top). Shake the bottle or sealed bag, and the fat will go back into the milk.

How should I thaw frozen breast milk?
Thaw the milk slowly by swirling the container of milk in warm water or by putting the container in the refrigerator the day before it is to be used. Don't use hot water to thaw breast milk. Never thaw frozen breast milk in a microwave oven. The milk could get too hot and burn your baby's mouth. Microwaving can also damage valuable proteins in breast milk. Thawed breast milk can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours, but it should not be refrozen.

pumping and bottle-feeding

sometimes arden wants to eat every hour. this is just a bit exhausting, especially at night. anna wants to help relieve some of this burden (what a wonderful wifey) so today i pumped with the intention of anna giving arden a bottle.

we haven't actually gotten to the bottle yet. we needed to clean and sterilize things first. and we didn't to try when she was starving. and we wanted to go for a walk. and and and :)

suffice to say, i am excited to try. also any tips are greatly appreciated regarding pumping, storing, and feeding. we've read-up all the info in our books, and lots of things online, but first-hand experience could be more helpful. like regarding my sore right nipple. i think i just pumped too long on it, or something, but it's making feeding arden on that side painful.

ok, i hope everyone enjoys their new year. arden, anna, and i wish you all the very best in 2010. :)

baby arden says "happy new year!"

Monday, December 28, 2009

9 lbs 5 oz

miss arden is gettin' big :) we had our 4 week appointment today. arden has gained about 1/2 lb per week since regaining her birth weight. perfectly average :)

we're doing well around here still. our christmas was full of family. we went to anna's family christmas party. i think just about everyone there held her. she slept pretty much the whole time. arden also gave us a wonderful christmas present. she slept for a 3 1/2 hour stretch on xmas eve, and didn't fuss at all when falling asleep. it felt so nice,

she does seems to be getting better at night. she is still doing just 2 hour stretches, but she only has one fussy period, if any. we still aren't expecting anything to be permanent though.

i'm feeling a bit sleepy myself right now. so how about some pictures:) as requested by lynn, here are some cloth diaper shots. we're using primarily bumgenius, with a few random ones.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

peaceful moment

while the family has vacated the house, and arden has found the joy of the pacifier, i'm going to attempt a one-handed post:)

i'm managing to, somewhat, figure out arden's sleep/eat schedule for the day. there is no semblance of a schedule during the night, of course. we have good nights and bad nights. fortunately nothing as bad as our first weekend home. i think now that we are using a paci the nights might go a little smoother. she really likes to comfort suck. this exhausts all three of us. she wakes up often in the night, thus waking us. then it's the struggle of the nipple:) she wants to suck, but she doesn't want more food. oh so confusing.

she's getting bigger already. we've discovered a few outfits that she can fit into now, but by next week will most likely be too large for. i love seeing her little double chin:)

we switched to cloth diapers around a week and a half ago. it's going great (thanks stephanie and jenny!!). lots of laundry, but oh well. i think it's unavoidable with a baby even if you're doing disposable. the only issue i've had is the occasionally leak out the side when i'm feeding her. no biggie though. it's sterile :)

our dog, olive, loves arden. i'm sure if we allowed unsupervised access, arden would be covered in puppy kisses. for now, olive has to content herself with being in the same room as arden at all times. when she hears arden start to fuss in her crib, she immediately goes to her door and waits for us to let her in to check on arden.

we are co-sleeping at night. it's comforting to me to have her right there. also, it makes feeding and soothing her easier. she seems to like her crib though. she has no problem sleeping in there for naps. we'll see if that continues as she gets older and more aware of her surroundings.

anna has been absolutely fabulous. she's been off work since arden was born, and doesn't go back till the beginning of january. i know arden and i would do fine alone, but not nearly as well as we've been with anna. to have that constant support is making the transition to life with baby easier. i don't worry about waking her up to help at night. she's been taking care of the laundry and most of the food. i wish she didn't have to work, but i suppose one of us needs to:) she's such a wonderful mommy too. i love seeing her with arden. they fit so well together. i worried about them creating a bond, but i didn't need to. anna knows exactly how to soothe arden. she loves to take photos of her. she actually took a photo of her in each different color diaper:) too cute! she has been deemed the swaddle-poop mommy (i'm the boob momma) because those are her primary care tasks :) looking at the two of them, you can tell anna is totally in love with arden.

well the fam has returned. i'll leave you with pictures :)
happy baby!
my two burritos :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

birth story

this is a long one, so you might want to go get a snack and a drink:)

monday, november 30th, i woke up after an odd dream. i was shopping with my mom and i told her i was having a cramping feeling. she responded with great concern that we needed to leave. as we were walking across the parking lot, i started crying. i had inferred from her response that i was going to need a c-section, and that meant the end of our birth plan. it went on to get a little weirder, but didn't relate to the baby/birth.

i did have an odd feeling in my uterus when i woke up, but didn't really pay attention to it. just took notice. i went on to have that feeling occasionally all day. i didn't tell my mom or anna. by the time we were having dinner, i was noticing the contractions had some regularity. i told them, and we began timing at 8pm. the contractions were around 5 mins apart and 30-45 sec long.
i called the midwives around 10:30. she, of course, told us to go to bed. that was a joke:) i tried to go to sleep at 11:30, didn't happen. anna didn't come to bed until 12:30, she slept a bit. mom was the only one able to sleep for real. i tossed and turned as my contractions increased.
around 2:30 i had to get up to throw up- unfortunately this became a theme for my labor. i woke anna up after that. we called the midwives to check in. she said to hold on a bit longer, and that, when i notice a "shift" in my contractions/over-all state, that would be the time to come in. we woke my mom up at 3:30 to get things together. i noticed that i was no longer able to focus on the outside world as well as before. this was the shift.

we moved into high gear and got out to the car. we made sure to have airline puke bags on hand, as well as water and saltines. i wasn't feeling very well. we got on the road at 4:15 and called the midwives. this was a bit out of order; we should have called from the house. we found out the on call midwife was at the hospital with another birth and that the second on call would need 45 mins to get to the birth center. we were going to beat her there for sure. i figured i would be fine laboring in the car for a while.

we got to the parking lot at 4:45. the time in the car ended up feeling like forever. i got sick again and really just wanted to go to bed. finally at 5:15, our midwife (we'll call her S) let us in. she had already prepared our room. the lighting was dim, candles were lit, and the bath was running. it was instantly comforting. i stripped down and got into bed.

S did an internal exam to determine were i was in labor. as she was checking my cervix, which hurt a lot, i had a strong contraction... and i threw up all over the floor. bad news. S said that during that contraction it felt as though i had gone from 4 cm to 6 cm.

the next five hours were a blur of laboring in the tub, on the toilet and in the bed. i was sick some more. they kept trying to feed me saltines and give me water. a big mistake we made was not bringing a drink with electrolytes.

around 10 S wanted to check me again, and asked if i could sit on the birth stool. when she checked me, she discovered that there was a bubble of my bag next to arden's head. i had thought my water had broken when i was on the toilet at one point, but it wasn't all of it. S moved the bubble and the rest of my water spilled out. this is when we discovered our first problem. there was meconium in the water. this meant an instant transfer to a hospital because they don't have the equipment to handle the potential problems related to meconium.

this was very hard to accept. i had always wanted to do a natural birth outside of the hospital. i felt that the transfer to the hospital was the first step towards interventions i didn't want. it needed to be done though. i didn't want anything to happen to arden.

we were transferred to a hospital that had a good midwife staff so we would have a chance of continuing the birth the way we envisioned. i managed to nap a little on the drive because i was given a shot that eased contractions for a short time.

at the hospital, i remember getting into the room and instantly throwing my clothes off. :) i don't think they were prepared for that, but i wanted to be comfortable. i got an iv, since i had been throwing up the whole time at the birth center. they strapped on fetal and contraction monitors. i had another internal, and found out i was at 5 cm. i hadn't progressed at all. the midwife mentioned pitocin, but wanted us to have time to continue unassisted.

i labored till the early afternoon. though i had the iv and was feeling better, i was exhausted. i hadn't slept since 8 the previous morning. the midwife (we'll call her M) came back and again suggested pitocin. i conceded. i was so tired and hadn't progressed beyond 5 cm still. so i got an epidural and pitocin. then i slept and it felt soooo good. unfortunately, my appetite came back then too, and i couldn't have real food. i ate loads of jello and drank oodles of apple juice. :)

time gets a little fuzzy here for both anna and i. at some point i had another internal and they discovered that arden was face up. i tried doing different labor positions to move arden naturally, but to no avail. they brought in an OB to try to turn arden face down. i was told the doctor had the smallest hands. they didn't feel so small when she was up there. damn that hurt. i did allow them one more try later on in the evening. arden wouldn't cooperate. the doctor said that arden actively turned her head back into the face up position. she's never had a baby do that before. we have a stubborn girl on our hands:) by this time i had completely dilated.

finally, at 9 pm the midwife said it was time to try to labor arden down, since she was a bit high still. i did this for an hour. arden moved down some with this. the midwife wanted me to start pushing at 10 and coached me on how to do this since the epidural erased any urge to push.

i pushed for three hours. i ended up with incredible shoulder pain that was distracting me from pushing. i've neglected to mention what mom and anna were doing through all this. they were being a great team. encouraging me, feeding me. anna was awesome at coaching me on breathing during pushing. i ended up needing them to hold my legs while i pushed because the shoulder pain was too great. i labored on my back, on my sides, and sitting up. the sitting caused major tailbone pain.

i was told that i pushed very well and effectively. i pushed hard and strong for three hours, and arden wouldn't come. she would move down a bit and then back up. by this time, i was feeling my contractions again. i was beyond exhaustion. the contractions were often coming right on top of each other so i didn't get much of a break.

the midwife decided to mention what we feared the most: c-section. anna and i started bawling. even now i makes me get choked up. i could still continue to push and hope to get arden out, but that hope was very, very slim. i couldn't continue. it was 1 in the morning and i was physically and emotionally spent.

i went into surgery at 3:30 with anna at my side. the local anesthesia didn't numb my right side. i had to have general anesthesia. that meant anna had to leave the room. that was hard. but at 4:14 on wednesday, december 2nd, our little girl came out into the world. she was nice and healthy. the meconium had caused to problems. she was very sleepy though and wouldn't cry for the doctors no matter what they did:) again, our stubborn little girl.

i woke up to anna handing me a little bundle she called our daughter. i was so out of it, but so happy. she took to nursing wonderfully. and i couldn't stop staring at her.

we stayed in the hospital till friday. she was cleared, i was cleared. we've had some rough patches since being home: the night before my milk came in, the night my milk did come in. trying to figure out what she needs to calm down. trying to get a semi-adequate amount of sleep.

it's such a new world we have now. i could keep writing on this subject, but i should probably end this incredibly long post:) i do intend to keep this blog up, and i hope you'll all bear with me while i try to figure out time-management with a baby. i know we have a lot to share with all of you:)

Friday, December 11, 2009

before the fun story

some sad news. my pepere (pep-ae: means grandpa in colloquial french) passed away today. he went into the hospital early this week. it was determined that his kidneys were failing. they did dialysis. though i wasn't told directly, my assumption is that it didn't work. he was put on life support because his heart and lungs started to fail. this morning they determined that the best thing was to let him go.

all the kids gathered (my mom is the oldest of eight), and they took him off support this afternoon. i really wish i could have been there. they were in new hampshire. if i could travel with arden right now, i would jump on the next plane. the funeral is tuesday. everyone else will be there. imagine 8 kids, all married, most with kids. this is tearing me apart.

my pepere was a wonderful, kind, and funny man. one of my favorite memories is of him making a funny face where he would pop his top dentures out half way and be goofy. it cracked us up:) i think i made him make that face until i was a teen. he started to fade these past years. his memories got a little mixed up. when i saw him the past two summers he often called me my mom's name. i really wish he could have met arden, but at least he got to see me pregnant and meet anna.

it was his time to go, but i'm going to miss him terribly. i love you pepere.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


we have our baby! arden rose was born at 4:14 wednesday morning. she weighed 7 lbs 13 oz, and was 21 1/2 inches long. i ended up having a c-section. we are all happy and healthy.

i will post the birth story as soon as possible. finding time is hard, as a lot of you know:) i'll leave you with photos for now.

anna and arden right after birth