Friday, May 05, 2006

Superwoman is dropping her cloak

My baby girl is six months old today.

McKenna had her six month check up today. Her pediatrician is ecstatic to see how well she is absolutely thriving. She is 18 lbs, 11 ounces...almost exactly ten pounds heavier now than she was the night she was born. She is 26.5"...almost six inches taller than she was the night she was born. She can almost sit up by herself. She is rolling around at abandon. She is mesmerized by her little friends at school, particularly one girl named Alyssa who is going to the big girl's side of the infant room Monday. She loves her activity center, both at school and at home. She has her umpteenth ear infections in both ears and is headed for tubes in her ear faster than a speeding bullet. She is now eating bananas AND sweet potatoes (soon to add brown rice cereal to her menu), smiling like a clown, and playing with her monkey toes. And to boot, she has survived getting any of the crud that has befallen her poor mother.

Good job, McKenna! You've survived six months with your crazy obsessive mom and your laidback funny dad and in the house of the many animals.

And we've survived HER! In so many ways, it feels like we were at the hospital last week and I was calling everyone I knew to tell them I was a mom at last. These first six months have absolutely flown by. In many ways, they have been the hardest six months of my life, but not nearly as hard as I expected that they would have been prior to delivering McKenna. Every day with her is a joy and a blessing and I love her more than anything in this world.

So, you are thinking, what's up with the dropping the cloak?

Today I was whining and bemoaning my milk battles to McKenna's pediatrician, and telling her how much I hated it but that I was just going to have to start adding some formula to her bottles to take to school. I have tried everything, y'all...fenugreek, mother's milk tea, more pumping, more nursing, you name it, and it's just not the same. I can feel it. I'm not going to be a dairy maid like I was before until I have kid #2. I might surprise myself, but I just can feel it. My boobs don't feel as full anymore when I pump or when I nurse. My appetite is not what it was. And I'm not constantly thirsty.

Dr. W listened quietly with a wise smile on her lips and let me vent about the fact that I just can't make my boobs produce ANY MORE MILK than they are, and the evils of formula, and then proceeded to give me the lecture on how I should not feel guilty about giving her formula and how as a working mom, I should feel SO proud that I have managed to give McKenna nothing but breast milk.

I just hung my head and nodded quietly.

Her response?

"Superwoman's cloak got really heavy all of a sudden, didn't it?"

He he he.

What she thinks is that since I'm having no problem feeding McKenna on nights and on weekends is that my body is adjusting to the permanent feeding schedule and just isn't responding as well to the pump anymore. Makes sense.

I'm going to continue to do what I'm doing and continue to give McKenna my milk as long as I can. The important thing is that she's getting what I can give her, and I DID reach my original feed her with my milk exclusively for six months. For a working mother, that's pretty amazing.

So, poll time...what formulas did you all have good luck with? I've heard Carnation Good Start is pretty of my friends liked the Costco formula...I gave McKenna Enfamil Lipil the first week when she was jaundiced, and she wasn't a big fan of it.

At least I'm going to make McKenna's baby food! Superwoman is still alive and kicking!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Erica, keep in mind, too, that as you begin to introduce more solid food, less of McKenna's nutrients are from milk/formula. Formula/breast milk should stay the basis of her nutrition, but it's no longer ALL of it.

The other good news is that you'll be amazed at how long your milk supply will last for just a couple of feedings. :) My oldest was eating solids at 8 weeks (long story, but he simply couldn't get enough nutrition with liquid only, pediatrician suggested starting cereal and it worked), and we switched from breast milk to formula at 4 months. BUT...I continued to nurse one or two feedings for 3 more months. It was a very special time for longer the pressure to "produce," but a joyful, quiet, relaxing time for us. I'd come home from working 2nd shift and nurse him before bedtime.

As for formula, we used Enfamil.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Another Enfamil here, and we just used the plain old regular kind, not the ultra super mega DHA stuff. That was actually recommended by our pediatrician, since some babies have trouble digesting the new stuff (which smells horrid! regular smells much better).

And don't you dare be down on yourself! You did awesome, girl, really. And some breastmilk is better than none at all, so continue with the schedule you have (nights and weekends). Breastmilk is best, but there is nothing wrong with formula! Luke gave up one feeding session every couple of weeks starting around six months until he had completely weaned himself before 9 months. He had formula the rest of the time. And he's just fine! McKenna will be, too. {{{hugs}}}

8:34 PM  
Anonymous phyllis said...

Way to go, Erica!!! You nursed how many months while working?!?! I find that pure dedication and lots of determination!! You are to be commended!! You deserve tons of credit-- many Moms don't even give BF a try, and you suceeded for alomost 6 months!!! Way to go, girl!! I promise you McKenna will continue to thrive- you gave her a wonderful start!
My oldest DD was a 'Similac' baby-- she did very well on it from Day One. (I couldn't BF her at the time--long story!)
My youngest DD was a 'Carnation Good Start' baby. She was nursed exclusively for about 4 months, then we switched to formula (I was sick, and unable to nurse). She tolerated the change very well. I think my DH was thrilled when I stopped nursing, because he got the extra cuddle time every night with the bottle.
Congrats that you did such a wonderful job, and continue to have fun with McKenna-- the fun is really beginning now when she really begins to interact with you!!

9:49 AM  
Blogger WhizGidget said...

Way to go Erica! And yes, that cloak does get heavy - even when they're 10.

We used regular plain old Enfamil with both DD's and they had no problems with it. We tried using a couple of the other types (with the extra stuff) but they just didn't like it as much.

Good luck introducing the brown rice.

1:22 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

Hi Erica,
I think you have done a wonderful job breastfeeding. Be very proud! I didn't even last two days. As for formula I always preferred Similac. No difference than
Enfamil. I just thought the Enfamil stained more on clothes. I work postpartum and newborn nursery and all my fellow nurses hate Good Start.

2:58 PM  
Blogger Erica said...

Thanks, everyone. I really appreciate it! We have a bunch of Lipil from Enfamil in the pantry, so I guess we'll use that up first.

6:10 PM  
Blogger Stasha said...

We just used whatever was cheapest. But we learned to check the quantities needed to mix in order to determine price. My youngest is 10 so it's been awhile but there is one brand that was quite a lot less than the others until we realized it required 2x as much as the others to mix it so it didn't last as long.
At 6 months, none of my kids stayed full without a little bit of rice cereal.

3:58 PM  

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