Monday, August 26, 2013

Growing up

I read so many of my mom friends say how sad they are that their baby is growing up or getting bigger.  Honestly, I haven't had many of those moments yet.  I enjoy each day as he gets more and more interactive.  And he's still wearing 3 month clothes and will *sometimes* fall asleep on my shoulder.  But we've got some upcoming changes that are really giving me pause.

Last school year, I only went back for the last 6 weeks...and he was just 4 months adjusted at the time so he was still asleep often and not nearly on a schedule.

Now I go back on Wednesday and he's 7 months adjusted (nearly 11 months actual!!).  He's slept in our room since the day he got home and I love having him there.  But he wakes up around 6:30 and that's basically when I need to leave in the morning.  I don't want to worry about waking him up earlier, so he needs to start sleeping in his room. And I am sad about it.  His nursery is downstairs on the other side of the house.  I'd probably still be able to hear him and we have a great monitor, but it's a big step!  He already goes to sleep in his crib at night (I move him after the dreamfeed) and takes all naps in his crib, so I'm pretty positive he'll be fine.  But it's definitely a step away from baby-hood.

The second issue is pumping...or weaning I guess.  Dylan had 100% breast milk for the first 4 months of his life.  But he really liked the thickness of Enfamil AR and it got us out of the NICU, so he's been eating 50% BM, 50% formula since then.  I say this just to show that I have no issue with formula (except the cost...geesh!).  But despite that, I wanted to be able to give Dylan breastmilk through a year adjusted which will come in January.  I have a healthy freezer stash, so I figured I could stop pumping when I went back to school and make it until January.  And I can. number one concern right now is flu season.  We hired a nanny for Dylan so that he would be away from other kids and their germs since his lungs are much more vulnerable to infection.  But I'm terrified that I will be the one to bring sickness into our household from one of the 150 dirty teenagers whom I spend my day with.  I almost never get sick.  And I've always felt that it's because of the immunity I've built up from my students.  I hand sanitize occasionally, but also realize that some exposure is good.  But not this year!

I'm seriously considering having all students sanitize before entering the classroom (like they do at the hospital) and having all desks wiped down with Lysol at the end of the day.  Then when I get home I'll change my clothes and shower.  It feels a little crazy, but I don't think I could sleep if I don't do it.

So back to the breastmilk...I wonder how much protection I could give Dylan by continuing to give him fresh milk?  Does it really work that fast?  How much milk would he need?  Is four ounces enough?

Because I do not want to pump at work.  I would actually be totally happy to still pump twice a day.  But it's not feasible to pump for a half an hour and have a half an hour commute in the morning.  School starts at 7:30.  (And car pumping just does not cut it.  I get almost nothing and then have to "unhook" and such near a school with teenagers walking by.  Two times of that was enough to want to die.)  I could pump during my prep period, but honestly I just really don't want to.  I need to use that time to really get things done so that I can get home to spend time with Dylan.  (I can't really get things done while pumping since I need to do compressions for most of the time and need to hand express after.)

So I dropped to just one pump a day last Friday and I'm hoping that my milk will not dry up before January, but I've taken a severe hit with each dropped session since 4 and I'm only making 4-5 ounces now.  If I can sustain that amount, I'll keep at it.  But if it drops below 4 (with about 40 minutes of pumping, then hand-expressing), then I'll throw in the towel.

I think weaning is hard for every mom, whether you make the the decision immediately, after 6 months, or even at two years.  And I'm mourning it before it's even happened, even though he's only been getting 5 or so fresh ounces a day.  (And I know that I'm lucky that I've had a supply both fresh and frozen that has gotten us this far.)  When do parenting decisions become easier?  When they're 20?

He can hold the bottle now!


  1. I'm a mixture of missing the babyhood days and loving every minute of it now, except for the fact that he's started daycare and it's a huge change. I've tried to be in the moment and enjoy everyday as it is, but looking back, there were some insanely cute moments. But, seeing how the boy is now and knowing how much more interactive he's getting, it's just exciting!

    Good luck with pumping until January. I'm still BFing 2-3 times a day (upon waking, before bed and before nap or after daycare). I have no idea when we'll stop. I'm just waiting for the boy to let me know he's done (or if he starts biting too much).

  2. I can't say enough how adorable he is. And again with the parallel lives thing...I have this internal debate every day, even now as I'm sitting here pumping. at work. UGH. I'm definitely jealous of your freezer supply. I have about 100 ounces frozen, if that, but D gets 12+ fresh ounces a day at daycare. I'm not pumping extra, just enough to feed him the next day when I'm not there. It sucks but I guess my body produces just what he needs.

    My goal is to make it to December EBF, but I have two weekend trips I know I'll have to supplement with formula. After December I plan to just BF morning and night and see how that goes.

    I don't know about the benefits of fresh milk v. frozen milk in regards to the flu...but I wouldn't think there's too much difference.

  3. I am excited to watch my kids grow and learn new things, but for my own sake I'm sad about not having a little baby anymore. I wish I had enough milk frozen to stop pumping early - I think I'm going to keep going until we hit a year (4 months to go). And as far as the flu - is Dylan's immune system still compromised from having been born so early, or is he the same as a full-term baby now? I would think that as long as you wash your hands extra often and maybe sanitize your own desk at work, you'd be okay.

    1. His immune system is not suppressed, but his lungs are weaker. So if he gets sick, it's more serious.

  4. I'm starting to figure out about weaning too. The older my son gets, the more distracted he is when nursing (he does better with a bottle) so I'm currently nursing first thing in the morning and then pumping for his 4 remaining bottles each day. I'm SO over pumping though. And with his recent increase in appetite and desire for solid food, he's started dropping to just 3 bottles a day (plus the morning nursing). Pumping 3x a day at work (and once at night before bed) is exhausting, so I'd like to drop to just 2x at work. I do worry about supply though. I have some in the freezer, but not enough to make it to January! I guess we'll just see how it goes... Good luck to you as you start your school year!

  5. Aww he is so adorable!!!

    I hope the 1 pump a day goes well!

  6. My freezer stash is almost out (down to 45-50 oz) so I've been trying to add another session to keep up! Like you, I want to get N through flu season. My stash took a hit once he started drinking bigger bottles, but the year mark is so close so I want to make it. Plus, the longer I pump, the longer I get to justify keeping my own mini fridge in my office and don't ever have to put my food in our firm's smelly communal fridge where they keep the fish food . . .

  7. Your milk would gain antibodies against anything you are exposed to and are fighting off within 24 hours so it might be worth it to try to keep up fresh milk as long as you can. That said, with my older daughter I noticed that at about 8-9 months she stopped being sick less time than me when we had the same thing so I think there's a dose relationship too. She was eating lots of solids by then and having less milk (EBF up to 13 months, she was term and healthy), but it was also the height of the winter ick season too, so my data are highly anecdotal. Do what works for you!