Hindsight is 20/20

Posted by  | Sunday, June 8, 2008  at 8:51 PM  
Don't you just love that little phrase? It's so true and especially true for the first-time Mother. You learn SO much that first year and really learn who you are as a Mother. What would I do differently in round two? Since Laney is only 18 months old, a good majority of her life has been breastfeeding. If you're new to POH, I breastfeed Laney for 3 months and pumped full-time until she was 13.5 months because she simply would not nurse (due to a dairy allergy/sensitivity that caused her to pull off.) I didn't know it was a dairy allergy until later, ...until it was too late and Laney loved the breast milk bottle more than the breast. I have a few re-dos that are connected to each other, so forgive me for not just choosing one thing that I'd do differently.

Here's what I'd change:

1.) Read books beyond birth. Read! Read! Read! I know, you're tired, breathless, probably working full-time until the very end, hardly see Hubby, but I can't stress this enough. I casually read Baby Wise, the Bradley Natural Birth book, and a monthly pregnancy book at night before bedding down. Since I had a c-section, what I learned in the Bradley book was never used(although I learned a ton about birthing babies naturally). I didn't agree with everything Baby Wise taught, so what other options did I have? Post-birth, I was so sleep-deprived to read ANYTHING. I know you can't prepare for everything and there's nothing like experiencing things first-hand, but I could have eased into Motherhood with just a little bit more understanding than I had just by reading a few good books in preparation. And start early...don't wait until you're 6-7 months plus.

2.) I would not eat as much dairy in the beginning knowing the sensitivity Laney had to it. She outgrew it between 9-12 months.

3.) I will be very persistent in asking for a hospital-grade pump while in the hospital if my milk has not come in (took mine 5-6 days to come in) instead of succumbing to supplementing with formula. Laney lost a ton of weight - well over a pound- and was starving in the hospital. Mama had no milk. Next time 'round, while the baby is sleeping, I'll stimulate the breasts more with a hospital-grade pump so as to get milk faster. I did request this, and actually sent my husband to ask for it. The nurse looked at him like he had two heads and told to go on his merry way. Being a first-time mom, I didn't push the envelope. I had NO CLUE what I was doing. I was as lost as one could be. Hugh and I were the blind leading the blind when I came to discussing what to do: avoid formula and see our baby whither to nothing or use formula. We knew from taking the Bradley birthing class that formula should be avoided at all costs, but I was so emotional, stressed, and worried about my baby and my ability to breastfeed that I had no clue was to what to do.


I included this picture because most of the changes I'd make are in this "new-mother" time period.
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4.) I'd bring ANOTHER gown to wear. Having a gown that functions well with nursing frequently is one thing, and ANOTHER thing to wear something so unattractive and ugly as the one above. Blah! Who wants visitors in THAT thing? Once we got home, my husband and I had continual laughing jokes about this one nursing gown that someone handed down to me. It was plum awful. It was way over sized for me, but I thought, "C-o-m-f-o-r-t. I'll have my c-section incision, and I need something free-flowing." Never again. LOL. It had blue and pink hand prints all over it and two HUGE gaping holes which with to breastfeed. Remember, it was way over sized for me. We nicknamed it "booby-slots" and made fun of it continually. C'mon Motherhood and Liz Lange, can't you sew up something a bit more attractive for us new mothers and gracious alive for our sweet husbands? Something with a little more femininity would do us well. We already feel insecure upon looking at the new-found defined rolls and crater-dimples that seemed to have been hidden or disguised by our bellies pre-birth. Just something a little bit more attractive than good 'ol booby-slots. I so wish I had a picture of that thing. Horrible. I can't believe I actually wore it for longer than a night.
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5.) I'd not be so bashful about breastfeeding in the hospital around male-family members. My poor dad and fathers-in-law. They LIVED in that hallway, roaming about every time I breastfeed, which was VERY frequent. I think it's important to have that one-on-one time with the lactation consultant every chance you can, so yes, send 'em out then, but once you get the hang of it, put on a nursing cover and hang out with the crew. Trust me, nobody is starring at you. .
6.) I'd take herbal breastfeeding supplements early on, that is, if I'm having trouble getting the milk to come in again. Once it came in, IT CAME IN PEOPLE! What are those supplements? Fenugreek, Alfalfa, and I've heard of Blessed Thistle too, although I only used the first two. Check out: Kelly Mom for how much you should take. I'd also stop supplementing after about two weeks once the milk is flowing.
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7.) I'd not force my baby into a feeding schedule until well down the road. The more I read parenting books, the more I agree with a natural approach to breastfeeding: on demand, that is until he/she establishes his/her own routine.

I hope these have helped!

17 comments:

terra said...

Thank you for #7!!! I was all about on demand and caught so much flack from people. I knew it's what we both needed. Once I finally said, "fine, I'll do your silly schedule" Keaton started to loose weight...and then we got into a bad, bad cycle. Next time, I'll do what *I* want, lol ;-)

Hollie said...

Terra,
There IS so much pressure in so many areas of mothering, and being a first-time mom, we feel obligated to do what everyone else is doing, for what do we know? But the Lord has given you incredible discernment as a mother and I'm glad you're not afraid to embrace that despite what seems popular nowadays.

Curt, Mariah, & Carli Badura said...

This is off of the subject, but I have some pregnancy and parenting questions:

1) Did any of you have headaches while pregnant? I had them starting the 2nd trimester with my pregnancy with Carli and have started having them again this pregnancy (now 15 weeks along!) This pregnancy is going soooo much faster than the 1st one!

2) When did you feel your baby move?

3) How do you know when to stop the pureed baby food? Carli is 20 months and still eating a lot of baby food, and starting to gain more interest in table food. She didn't cut her 1st tooth til she was 17 months, so I couldn't really do much table food til then. Now, at 20 months, she has 5 teeth, so I think she can eat more table food, but am paranoid she will not eat enough of just table food. How do I transition? (Note- I was born 8 weeks early and didn't cut my 1st tooth til 18 months, Carli is following in my footsteps developmentally... she was born 6 weeks early and cut her 1st tooth at 17 months!)

4) Do you have a checklist for your diaper bag? I do b/c I'm afraid I'll forget something. I have a large backpack for Carli's diaper bag. I love it b/c it frees up my hands to take care of her. I put it on over my backpack purse and get lots of comments about packing so much. Curt calls me the bag lady, but I have tried to narrow down my packing and can't. I'm afraid as soon as I leave something at home, I'll need it. (I just took out the container of oatmeas cereal and needed it on Friday night). Any suggestions? I also just took out the pjs and decided I would only put them in if definitely planning on being out at bed time! (Yes, I kept them in there all the time).

5) I just bought the kddopotamus placemat and we LOVE it!!! It does contribute to my problem #4 above, of filling up the diaper bag, but Curt and I like Carli eating off of it MUCH better than her eating off of a wiped table!

6) I also need advice about milk supply. I have just printed out the breastfeeding posts and think they will help me a lot! I am praying for my milk supply this time, I don't want to supplement again this time around!

Thanks so much for all that each of you gals do!!!

PLEASE post any tips you have to my blog: www.cmbadura.blogspot.com or email me swan5475@hotmail.com.

Mariah

travisandstephanie said...

I have a breastfeeding/giving birth reality question. My husband and I watched this video we were given last week in childbirth class and it stressed how important it is for a breastfeeding mom to have skin-to-skin contact for the first hour after birth. It even recommended just wiping off the baby and holding off on the bath and eye treatment and such until after the baby had been with mom for 1 hour. Given that I have never been birth, but am ADAMENT about desiring to breastfeed, I want to do EVERYTHING I can to help that process along. Is this a feasible thing to ask for or does it not work in reality? What have some of you ladies done or would try to do the next time around that I could try with my first?

Hollie, I really appreciated your post because I am currently reading Babywise and it seems kind of overwhelming but then there are parts that make complete sense and I know that, as the mom, as I must decide what is best for my baby.

Hollie said...

Stephanie,
If I had had a vagina birth instead of a c-section, I would have DEFINITELY chosen the route of my baby nuring immediately before bath and I would have delayed the eye ointment for about an hour. I know that before Krista moved out of the States, we talked about this since we both were interested in the all-natural way. Also, I would request that the doctors not cut the umbilical cord until it quits pulsating. I'm excited for you and hope that your birth experience is everything you've always dreamed of and hoped for.

Hollie said...

excuse me, I meant to say vaginal birth. Hahaha

Curt, Mariah, & Carli Badura said...

Stephanie,

Curt and I had an all natural birth with Carli (you can see her birth story on our blog www.cmbadura.blogspot.com) You can search for Carli's Birth Story

She was born at 1:20am and we were with her til 2am, which was awesome. She was taken to the NICU where she spent 5 full days.... She had to be fed thru a tube to start with, so the breastfeeding didn't go so well, but I would definitely recommend as much cuddle time as possible!

9/27/06 1:30am: Curt and Mariah have some bonding time with Carli. She is awake and alert. Her eyes are wide open. Mariah is able to put her skin to skin to cuddle.

9/27/06 2:00am: It is time for Carli to go to the nursery. Curt goes with her!

Hope that helps!

Mariah

Melissa said...

Hollie,

This may sound selfsih, but this week I decided to give up all dairy for a little while to see if my skin improves. I have been reading a lot on dairy lately and figured it might be good if I am already off of it incase my child has an aversion.

Have you or did you notice feeling different, any differences in your skin, or even cravings for dairy? I could stand to stay away from cheese for a little while :)

I know not to believe everything I read so I am trying to scour the internet and some more reputable sources to see what I can find abou tthis whole dairy thing...

weezj said...

I have been reading this blog for a while, but haven't ever commented before. I just wanted to respond to the question about having time (at least an hour) with your baby right after she/he is born. . . at my hospital (in Virginia) this was encouraged. My son had a slight breathing problem when he was born, but it was taken care of within 10-15 minutes, and from that time on he was with me while I help him and tried to nurse. He wasn't bathed or taken to the nursery until he was almost 5 hours old. I would recommend you tell your dr., nurse, and the nurse assigned to you when you get to your post-delivery room that you want to delay your baby being taken to the nursery if they don't encourage you to have that important one on one time.

Melynda

Hollie said...

Melynda,
Thanks for sharing your experience. That's great advice! What an awesome time you had with your son!

Melissa,
No, I didn't feel any different myself when I went off of dairy for a while, besides the incredible urge to eat dairy b/c that was all I was eating: cheese sticks, yogurt, milk, etc.... Let us know what you find about it. I think you're smart to cut back on your dairy.

Shannon said...

Hollie, about that cute hospital gown, I KNOW you can design one of your own; you don't need Motherhood to do it for you. C'mon, I double-dog dare you. Let's see it. :)

Since I had my girls so close together (15 months), I really DID get a do-over. All my mistakes with the first were so fresh that I was able to correct most of them the second time around. I'd encourage you all to write down what you'd do differently, so next time around you'll remember what you want to change.

The one thing I did NOT get to change was getting MORE SLEEP before baby was born. Since I was chasing around my firstborn during my 2nd pregnancy, I just never got another chance to get that blissful rest I needed. So all you first-time moms to be - I say SLEEP!! :)

Krista said...

I would definately ask to have your baby placed on you as soon as she is born. Let her try to nurse and just enjoy that time as a family. I would also encourage you to research why babies are given the "eye treatment" (antibiotics) and decide if this is something you really want to do at all. However, if you decide not to do them, you will need to talk that over with your doctor in advance (I had to sign a simple form at the hospital beforehand and we didn't have any problems when Lydia was born). Good luck with everything - let us know how it turns out!!

Melissa,
I quit eating dairy about 8 months ago now. At first it was HARD and I CRAVED it - especially milk. But once I got it all out of my system, I felt great (I ate healthy before and felt good) but I did immediately drop 10 pounds (that I couldn't seem to get off before that) and have effortlessly kept it off. I no longer crave it or even miss it. Try googling or researching macrobiotic diets and you'll find some information there about dairy.

I definitely don't believe all dairy is bad, I just don't like the dairy choices we have where we live overseas. But, after stopping it and seeing how I felt (even little things like breating easier), I have no urge to add dairy back into my diet anytime soon. Also, if you're concerned with calcium intake there are things you can do. Hope this helps!

Kama said...

Thanks for your great blog today! I am giving birth to our first child in September and am looking for any advice. I am planning to breastfeed and don't want it to be awkward for the friends and family that come. Thanks for your post!

mom0ktdid said...

viuWow, I just found this blog and LOVE IT! I love that you included the comment about the baby being on a schedule thing. Newborns are just not capable of being manipulative....so I fed my babies every time they were hungry! Develop that trust! Yeah, I don't want an 18 month old that gets up in the night to eat....and I DIDNT, even though I fed on demand when they were newborns. I gotta read that Babywise book bc I have heard lots of stuff from it from people that I just think is crazy. JMHO! :) I just think there is a right time for schedule and discipline, and before 6 months at the earliest is not that time. love the blog and I will be keeping up with it now!

NotesbyNewsome said...

I will say that my son was put directly on me after birth and tried to nurse...he was the most awful breatfeeder ever, and I gave up after 3 months. However, with my 2nd I forgot all about trying to breastfeed right after birth, and I actually did not "bring her to the breast" until almost 2 hours after birth...and she's the BEST breatfeeder ever (9 1/2 months and still going strong). These probably have no correlation to each other...I just thought it was kinda funny it happened that way! :o)

NotesbyNewsome said...

Mariah,

In regards to question #4 (about packing a lot), I had to finally come to the point at around 2 1/2 where I convinced myself that if I happened to be out and without something that it would not be the end of the world. I also had to teach myself that if we left the house without a sippy cup and food that my son would not starve or become dehydrated. It took me 2 1/2 yrs to learn that with my first. Now with my second (she's 9 1/2 mon) I only pack a nursing cover, an outfit, 3 diapers, wipes, two jars of food and a spoon...and that's for trips where I know I'll be out for a while. If I'm just going to the grocery store, then I just make sure I have a diaper and my nursing cover. Knowing how much to carry is definitely a lesson learned with time...don't let others knock you about it! (and hey, I'm always the mom at church with an extra diaper for someone to borrow :o))

~Michelle

Curt, Mariah, & Carli Badura said...

Michelle,

Thank you for your advice and encouragement! This blog is awesome for both of those!

Mariah

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