Monday, April 4, 2011

April: Reflection & Rejuvenation

What a month! I seriously can't believe Henry was born in February (granted, it was the last day of February) and now it's already April. I'm going to have to gobble up all of this infant time while I have it!

Here were my intentions for March:
  • Heal, heal, heal! I did a really good job of this for the first three weeks, but then I started to push it by walking Henry to sleep too much. My midwife advises against a lot of walking until the bleeding stops because too much exertion can cause the wound to keep opening. I've started swaying him to sleep on our front porch swing instead, and I've noticed that my bleeding is really lightening up.
  • Rest, rest, rest! Our days definitely have a restful rhythm to them. I try to get out once, so I can maintain my sanity, but other than that, I haven't been pushing myself too hard (with housework or any other kind of work).
  • Love, love, love my son! Yep! I love him more and more with each passing day...
  • Figure out breastfeeding: We're getting there. It's been a somewhat difficult road, but I met with a lactation consultant again, and we're on a good path.
  • Attend a Montessori class with Henry: The class got postponed two weeks, so we'll start this in April.
  • Start promoting the next Purposeful Conception course: Yep! The class started yesterday. Good times! I always get to meet the most interesting people through the course.

And now it's time to set my intentions for April. I always love this part!
  • Savor my time with my son, Henry, despite the difficult parts
  • Send printed photos to the grandparents, like I promised to do every month for their Christmas presents last year
  • Study Spanish for 20 minutes every weekday (I do this while breast feeding)
  • Attend a Montessori class twice a week with Henry and learn as much as I can
  • Actively participate in the Purposeful Conception community
  • Make a great dish and present for my good friend's Potluck Picnic Birthday Party
  • Continue to strengthen my partnership with Matt through each interaction and passing day
  • Figure out how to pump and store breast milk
  • Go on a date night with Matt
  • Continue to meet up with other new mothers frequently
  • Take time to be by myself and go on outings
  • Nap! Nap! Nap!
  • Send birthday cards to my friends/family
  • Start going to yoga once a week and running twice a week (when my midwife clears me)
  • Finalize my book outline

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amber said...

finalize your book outline!!?? how exciting! what will this book be about? hmmmm, i wish we lived closer to one another. you would motivate me to finish all of my tasks on my to do list. and crosby would have such a good friend, so close in age (and behaviors....)!

Carrie said...

Sara, did you already buy your breast pump? If not, I'd recommend the Medela Pump in Style and the Lansinoh milk storage bags (coming from someone who pumped almost exclusively for 9 months). I tried many brands of bags, and this brand is least likely to leak from my experience. There is nothing that can bring a mom to tears faster than wasted or spilled breast milk!

Sara E. Cotner said...

Hi, Amber! The book is about how to plan a meaningful and memorable wedding without losing your savings or sanity. And I, too, wish we lived closer! Any chance you want to move to Austin in the next few years? My dream is to start an intentional neighborhood with five or so families. Here's a link with a sketch of what I'm thinking:

Hi, Carrie: That's the exact set-up I have! Please tell me: 1) How do you get the milk from frozen to infant-ready? 2) Can I use big bottles even though Henry only needs like 3-4 ounces? (I got big bottles as a gift.)


Carrie said...

@Sara: You take it out of the freezer about 24 hours ahead of time and put it in the fridge to defrost in the bag. Then you just pour what you need into the bottle. I believe I put 6oz in every bag so as to maximize their usage.

As for getting the bottle ready, at first, we heated it up in a cup of very hot water, but that ended up taking to long, so we invested in a bottle warmer, which was entirely worth it (just pulled that out of storage this weekend!).

Yes, you can use big bottles for 3-4 oz. I suspect there is an increased risk of air being in the bottle/increased gas in Henry, but any decent bottle should be fine. What brand of bottle did you get?

Carrie said...

@Sara: I forgot to add that the milk separates into its various parts during the freezing/thawing process, so you see-saw the bag back and forth to mix it back up before pouring into the bottle. Feel free to email me separately if you want to talk more about the pumping/bottle situation.

Sara E. Cotner said...

Thanks, Carrie! I think the bottles are Dr. Brauner or something. They have a special vent system to reduce air...

Do I just keep adding freshly pumped milk to the bag with already frozen milk to get up to six ounces?

Carrie said...

@Sara: I'm sure you have Dr. Brown's bottles--people speak very highly of those. For me, they had too many parts! :)

No, just keep the bag in the fridge until you have the 6oz and are ready to freeze it. I wouldn't think it would take more than a few pumps, at most, to get your 6 oz. even if you pump after feeding Henry. I watched the "Laugh and Learn" video last night at your suggestion, and you will likely have extra soon enough, if you do not already, assuming you're producing enough. I think I started freezing about 2 months after Selwyn was born. At one point I had about 50 bags in the freezer. It felt like such an accomplishment! :)

Also keep in mind that you can keep breast milk stored right in bottles in the fridge for about 7 days. I remember when my entire top shelf had little breast milk-filled bottles. I guess it's almost time to move the yogurt again if things take the same path... ;)

Finally, test out the bottles you have with Henry before you need to rely on them for any reason. Often babies do not like a particular nipple for no apparent reason, and this might be another bit that you three need to figure out together.

Great job, Mama!

Jennifer said...

Seconding the recommendation for Lansinoh bags. My strategy for pumping was to start pumping once a day at 6 weeks old in preparation for returning to work at 12 weeks. This also coincided with my daughter having a bit of a longer stretch of sleep so I would pump with my manual pump at that wake-up and was able to build up quite a stash before returning to work. Now I use the Medela Pump in Style Advanced at work and have the manual pump at home if I should need it.

I would actually recommend that you freeze some smaller amounts of milk as well. At 4.5 months my daughter still only takes 4 oz at a feeding and since you need to use frozen milk within 24 hours of thawing I'd waste a lot of milk if I froze everything in 6 oz bags. Also, I've started freezing some milk in 1 oz cubes for use when we start solids. If you're in a hurry to defrost milk you can also put it in a bowl of cool water or run it under running water to thaw in just a few minutes.

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