Posted in Parenting

Demand Before Supply

In the world of breastfeeding, demand always precedes supply.  I never doubted that truth, but in the past two weeks, I was actually able to observe it.

You see, near the end of June, my mom asked me if I wanted to come with her and a friend to New York for 4 days in July.  Having always wanted to visit the Big Apple, I impulsively said yes.

“Impulsively” being the key word here.

You see, when my mom asked me, seven months into this motherhood thing, I was still exclusively nursing my son.  I had never tried to give him formula and my freezer contained no breast milk.

Does anyone else see a problem with this situation?

I didn’t.  I do now.  But hey, what can I say?

I started out by thinking “hey, I could wean my son.  I mean, I’ve already surpassed my breastfeeding goals.”  But I couldn’t.  I just wasn’t ready to wean.  Not.  At.  All.

It’s crazy how attached I’ve grown to breastfeeding.  I’m even thinking of extended breastfeeding.  Haha, 8 months ago, I would have shuddered at the idea.  I mean *I* was going to nurse for the recommended minimal period of time and then switch to formula.  Easy peasy.  *I* was not going to breastfeed a baby with teeth.  *I* would not nurse past 1 year of age.  I mean, *who* does that, right?

Yeah…back to reality…I’m still at it after 8 months.  And I don’t see why I should stop any time soon. 😀

But I digress.

I had one month to prepare for my time away from my son.  That meant that I needed roughly 96oz of expressed milk to ensure that my son had enough for when I was away from him.

I did decide to buy some formula though (some veryexpensivenondairyandnonsoyformula), just in case I couldn’t express enough because there’s nothing worse than trying to express or nurse when you’re feeling stressed.

Days went by and I was pumping here and there, managing about 4oz every two days on top of nursing.  It quickly became apparent, though, that I would have to pick up the pace if I wanted to have a good stash of milk and so, I embraced one of the breastfeeding “rules”: If you want more supply, you need more demand.

I started by drinking more water.  A LOT of water and would pump for 20 minutes on each side 2 hours after my son had nursed.  This meant that it was as though I was breastfeeding every 2h from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed.  It took about 48h and it WORKED!  It worked so well, in fact that in the last few days, I was pumping 8oz on top of nursing full time!

YEAH!

I still didn’t have quite enough milk though, but hey, I figured that MIL and my partner would just mix formula and breastmilk together and they’d make it.  (Of course, when I was gone MIL decided that she would forsake the expressed milk altogether and just give formula because she is stubborn and had been waiting for this moment from the time she learned that I was pregnant but that’s ok because I still love her, but that is another story altogether).

Then, I left for the trip.  Eight hours in a bus.  Eight.  Hours.  Can anyone guess what happened with my breasts-that-were-used-to-nursing-every-two-hours?

HOLY CRAP!

I thought of offering my fellow travelers some free milk for their coffee, but quickly discarded the idea.

I did bring my pump with me, but I felt much too uncomfortable expressing in the middle of the bus.  It was also rather unsettling to pump in the bus washroom (because, lets face it, everyone always looks at the person who spends 20 minutes locked in a washroom once they come out…).  But I hardly had a choice.

The first 48h were torture.  Thank goodness I was able to pump in the mornings and evenings because it’s kind of hard to do in a city that doesn’t seem to have ANY washrooms or nursing rooms while following your sightseeing group.

But I got through it.

I’m still alive, (despite the fear of mastitis because on day 2 I ended up with a clogged duct urgh…).

And the next time I leave for 4 days, I will either be leaving with my baby if I’m still nursing or leaving without an organized sightseeing group on a tight schedule.

I had a great time though.  And when I came back, I realized how quickly they really do grow up.  Because now my son is babbling quite a bit and is crawling!

 

Posted in Parenting

Little Dude’s First Mugshot!

Hehe.

Actually, it’s not really a mugshot.

The thing is, my partner and I decided that we’d go explore some of the land that is a bit South of where we are.  Namely, Boston (we were actually hesitating between New York and Boston, but since I’m already going to New York in July with my mom and friend, Boston it is).

Of course, we want Little Dude to get in on the fun, thus, he needs a passport.

And of course, if he’s going to get a passport, he’s going to need his picture taken, by a professional passport picture taker someone who is allowed and trained to take passport snapshots.  Namely, a nice little dude or dudette at the photo section of a drugstore.

‘Easy peasy’, I think.

So I get Little Dude in the car and head on out to my local Shopper’s Drug Mart.  I approach the counter, baby in my arms.

“Hi”, I say cheerfully to the seemingly uninterested clerk behind the counter.  “I’m going to need a couple of passport photos”.

She looks at the baby, then at me.  “Is it for you or for the baby?”, she asks.

“For both of us”, I answer.

“Oh, well, we don’t do passport photos for children under 5”, she says and proceeds to explain that they are too hard to take because sometimes the baby is asleep or won’t look at the camera and they waste 20 minutes to try to take one without success.

I look at my very wide awake and alert baby and then look back at her.  “Oh…OK well, I need one for myself so…”

Once my own pictures are out and paid for, I ask the girl where I can find someone who’ll take baby passport pictures. She suggests WalMart.

Well alrighty then, off I go.

I enter the Walmart supercenter and walk towards the photo center where the lady informs me that they don’t take passport pictures.

*Grrrrr*

Of course, by that time, Little Dude is starting to get cranky (which may or may not be a result of the fact that I maybe made a couple of pit stops between the drugstore and Walmart to get some pajama bottoms for myself and some cute onesies for my son) so I decided to head on home to get him down for a nap.  I could take care of the snapshots after lunch.

Of course, I became wiser during my son’s nap and, once he was rested, fed and changed, I decided to put him on the floor beside his box of toys to keep him busy and call a couple of places to make sure they did baby passport photos.

P1030182

After striking out again on my first call, I started to get annoyed.  No one seemed to want to take a picture of a baby for a passport.  I mean, what’s the deal?  I mean, I know that Passport Canada is strict in their requirements of passport photographs, but surely they are intelligent enough to understand that a 7 month old can’t understand to not smile, look straight ahead and stay perfectly still for a picture.

The next place I called was as uninspiring as the others when I mentioned that I wanted a picture of a baby for a passport.

“Oh, a baby, how old is he?”, the lady asks.

“7 months old,”I reply.

“Eesh, yeah…that’s a little young”, she says.

*Breathe in.  Breathe out.  You don’t need to take all of your frustration out on her*

“Look lady, this is the fourth place I try.  No one seems to be able to take a picture for a baby’s passport, but he needs one to get his passport.  No one seems to know where I can go either.  So what am I supposed to do?”.

“Well, um…” clearly not thrilled with the way the conversation is going.

“Listen, right now, he’s awake and in a good mood.  Plus he can sit up on his own”, I try to make my case.

“Oh!  Well, maybe we can give it a try then.  But I can’t guarantee that the picture will be accepted by Passport Canada”, she says.

Better than nothing, I suppose.

I strap Little Dude in his car seat yet again and drive off to the drug store.  The lady brings the chair out and puts a box on top of it for me to sit my son on.  I support my son in his precarious position with my  hands under his shirt (because God forbid the passport dude sees a hand supporting a baby on the photo *gasp*) and about a minute later, a flash is followed by a clicking sound.

Success!

(Maybe)

At worst, I’ll have paid twelve bucks for two wallet sized photos.

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What do you think? Looks good to me – for a passport picture, that is.

Why oh why did this have to be so darned complicated?