Sunday, July 13, 2014

9 months & going strong

I was thinking the other day that it's been a while since I wrote anything about breastfeeding our little trio and then something came up that gave me a good reason to write one. =)  Before we get to that though I just want to reiterate how incredibly thankful I am that I was able to induce lactation so I can participate in this breastfeeding experience.  I know some people hate it, in fact I know Michelle wasn't a big fan at various times, but I love it.  And I think being able to breastfeed our babies fully satisfied any urge I might have had to be pregnant. (Good thing since I no longer have a uterus!)  I"m also thankful that I'm able to continue breastfeeding post hysterectomy!  Anyway, it's funny how this whole breastfeeding experience changes so much as the babies get older.  It used to take minutes at a time and a lot of work to help them latch, now they launch themselves at us and are pretty hilarious.  Isaiah thinks it is really funny to pull off the nipple while simultaneously pushing on Michelle's breast just to see what happens.  He's a little rascal that one and thinks it is really funny!  Ellie's silly thing is that she will start talking while she's nursing and then you know she's about to pull off and grab you. And Avery is just a little monkey who can't sit still and would rather be in any position besides a cradle hold, preferably standing up!  But overall it's been going well and I think we're all in a good place with nursing.  We don't have any specific weaning plan and will probably let them just lead that process.  They currently nurse five times a day plus any night feedings, but it seems like the mid day ones are all more like snacks now that they are eating so much food, so I feel like if we aren't here for those they could probably skip one or two of those and just have a food snack.

We've come a long way from this:
to this:

Now Michelle is trying to figure out how slowly let her supply adjust to the amount the babies are needing because as it stands right now we pump before we go to bed, but if the babies don't wake up to eat (or at least A baby) then Michelle has to wake up to pump just to be comfortable and that is just plain annoying.  On the positive side though, with these pumping sessions we've been continuing to build up our stash of freezer milk. But really, we don't need all that milk we already have in the freezer and the babies aren't big fans of the thawed milk, often refusing to drink more than an ounce unless it's mixed with fresh milk.  We've used some of the frozen milk to make banana avocado popsicles for the babies and used more in their oatmeal and other foods, but even with that we have way more milk than I think we will use before it "expires." Milk is supposed to be good in the deep freezer for up to a year and I estimated that we had over 350 ounces of milk dated October and November.  
"Our stash" 
We have so much from that time because the babies were so little and just not eating as much milk as we produced and we were pumping ALL THE TIME to make sure our supply was going to be enough for when they started nursing better.  We hated the idea of it going to waste so Michelle did a little research into milk banks that accept donated milk, but we don't qualify because we have always just mixed all of our milk together.  So I was super excited when I happened to see a coworkers post on facebook about donating milk thorugh a group called Human Milk 4 Human Babies which is a way for people who are looking for donor milk to connect directly with people who have milk to donate.  I posted our Oct/Nov milk this week and today a woman drove two hours to come pick it up.  She is trying to breastfeed her 3 month old baby, but has some health issues and isn't able to produce nearly enough milk for her little guy.  We are so happy that she is able to use that milk!  And I'm happy to reclaim some freezer space!!!  We have an entire shelf open now, though we will start filling it back up with milk soon enough I'm sure. We may donate more milk later, but want to see how things go over the next few months before we decide on that. 

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