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The BoldHeartMama desires to enjoy living out the choices that she’s made for herself and for her family. She is a relentless learner: curious, inquisitive, and open to the possibilities of her life and of the human condition. She understands that there isn't one right way—she asks questions that dig deeper to make sense of it all and to find her own path.

She pays attention to and nurtures whatever it is she really cares about, letting go of the rest (for now) knowing she can't do and be everything all at once. She embraces her imperfections in favor of "good enough"—her imperfect self, her imperfect home, her imperfect mothering, her imperfect desires—and she never stops evolving as a woman and mother. She is a BoldHeart, authentic and true to herself.

The BoldHeartMama knows there is only this one life and she's all in. She is present and engaged and making things happen. Her intuition is her guide. She seeks to be inspired and relies on her creativity and her resourcefulness to solve the big and little challenges that she and her family face together as they navigate their relationships and their world.

The BoldHeartMama is willing to take calculated risks to make her biggest dreams come true. She is living out her BoldHeart in the moment, making small moves and taking little steps that add up, and she's cultivating a good life for herself and her family in the process. Read More!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

We're a nursing pair!!

Not surprisingly, Merritt's birth story is not as straightforward to write as I had hoped. In the meantime, I thought I'd provide an update on our nursing progress.

First let me say that we're lucky to have an entire staff of breastfeeding supportive nurses working with us. I knew I was in the right place when the nursing guru and aptly named "breast whisperer" was assigned to care for Merritt.

Andy and I were able to visit with Merritt for the first time about 2.5 hours after he was born. Because he was stable I was allowed to hold him skin to skin for about 45 minutes. I started pumping when we left the nursery and have been following an every 2 hour pumping schedule.

My hope was to provide him with exclusive breast milk, so I was disappointed when they wanted to begin feeding him yesterday morning and my milk hadn't yet come in. The plan we established was to pump whatever amount of colostrum/milk that I could, and then they would make up the difference with formula until I was able to provide enough for his full feeds.

My first two sessions resulted in a combined 1/5 of a cc of colostrum, and at the time he needed 5ml every 3 hours. Slowly but surely I've been able to pump more and more, and I am so proud to tell you that I'm now making enough milk to exclusively feed him, no supplementation needed. I feel like one awesome Momma! By tomorrow my milk should be flowing, and I hope to begin banking surplus.

To coincide with his feedings, I also get to nurse him. The Neonatalogist encouraged me to offer the breast for the first time yesterday morning and Merritt surprised us all and latched on with ease. I forgot how intense those uterine contractions are postpartum (way worse this time than last!). They radiate all through my back and down my legs, and yesterday actually required me to deep breathe through them. Needless to say, Ibuprofin has become an integral part of the routine.

It was difficult to meet Merritt for the first time in the context of the NICU. He didn't really feel like our baby, and it seemed as if we had been catapulted into the unknown. All the barriers presented by the environment seemed to challenge our ability to act on our parental instinct. It can be discouraging to have to ask permission to care for your baby: to feed him, to change his diaper, to be an active part of his daily routine. Negotiating for our priorities hasn't been as difficult as I thought it might be, but we have had to make some comprises as well and concede to those things which do not fall at the top of our must-haves list.

Nursing, as I might have guessed, allows us each to assume our respective roles as Momma and Baby, pure and simple, in the face of all this chaos. The hours we spend together, and even the time I spend pumping, are the highlight of my day.


11 comments :

  1. Those pictures are stunning. The way he is looking at you brought tears to my eyes. No doubt he knows you are his mama! I'm so glad the feeding is going so well. I ended up using a thermacare thing for cramps to combat those uterine contractions while nursing. They are the worst!

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  2. Oh! I hadn't thought of that, I'm going to ask for one now. :)

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  3. So glad you're able to hold him and feed him and bond. I'm sure it's hard in that environment, but it sounds like you're surrounded by a very supportive staff. Reading this makes me so excited to have that bond again soon! The other day when we were leaving the midwife's office, I was holding Maddie and she reached up to play with my hair (as she does all the time - especially when tired) and my midwife said, "That's a nursing behavior you know," which of course I knew, but it gave me chills thinking about it again.

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  4. That is so beautiful!!
    You are amazing and so is your little man!!

    How is Roscoe holding up through all of this?

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  5. Wow I am so happy he is latching on. That picture of him looking up brought tears to my eyes(and made me broody Madame use to look up at me like that while we nursed but now she is to busy guzzling so she can go back to playing or being distracted by life!) I am SO happy the nursing is working for you!

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  6. I'm so happy for the two of you!!! Okay, for the four of you!!! But I'm so glad that Merritt is nursing. I know that must help you so much, and of course it's helping him.. I love the pic of him looking up at you, brow furrowed! What love!!!
    Blessings, Angie Adkisson

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  7. He clearly knows his Momma :) That is amazing that he is latching on well and eating. Hopefully he gains weight quickly. I'm happy to see that you are both doing well. He has the sweetest little face!

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  8. He s so beautiful! I'm so happy and relieved to hear he is doing so well.

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  9. He has such a gaze at you in those photos & they are priceless. I hope that he & you all are doing well & hang in there he will all yours in no time at all!!

    You are all in my thoughts & prayers!!

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  10. Glad to hear your MILK has come in!! I know you must be feeling AWSOOOOOME!!

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  11. The photos brought tears to my eyes too, the way he's looking up at you, so amazing... thank you for sharing...

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