Eight month old Quinten

Month eight has been good to Quinten so far. He’s basically a professional crawler. Lucky for us, he pounds his hands into the ground as he crawls. If he wasn’t so loud, he’d get into a lot more trouble! His fat hands slam into the ground in a quick pace – slap, pound, slap, stop. That’s when you need to act fast! More than likely he’s trying to pull over a chair or sticking something in his mouth. Thankfully, Maximus doesn’t have a lot of really small toys, yet. For the most part, his toys are safe when they go into Quinten’s mouth. Not that we let him do that…

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He prefers mommy over everyone else. As soon as I get home at night he either cries until I pick him up or crawls over to me and tries to climb up my legs. If we’re around other people and someone else is holding him I try to remove myself from his line of sight. He’s content as long as he doesn’t see me around. If he wasn’t so darn heavy it wouldn’t be such a chore. Sometimes a mama needs a break!

Speaking of weight, he’s 23 1/2 pounds. That’s a lot of baby! He’s a heavy 23 pounds, too. It gives me a good chance to work on my arm strength, but it’s hard for my left arm to hold him up for too long. He’s also a wiggly eight-month-old. (As if there is a non-wiggly eight month old.) His hands slap and grab faces, he bites shoulders, and he pinches and scratches. Month eight is a little rough on the rest of us. 🙂

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His fifth and sixth tooth just popped through. He was a little cranky but mostly spent a couple of weeks biting. As the one on the receiving end of that, I am very glad that he’s feeling better. I tried all kinds of methods for getting him to stop biting, but he always laughed at me. I thought our nursing journey might come to an abrupt end if he didn’t stop.

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Turned my back for five seconds

Besides crawling, he’s started pulling himself up. He uses everything to help him get up: people, couches, end tables, toys, high chair, swing, and the patio door. It’s basically a heart attack every time he moves. I suppose he has some coordination if he’s able to do it, but we don’t feel like he has any.

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10 pm on a weeknight

He’s still on the same sleep cycle. It took me a while, but I finally decided that he doesn’t sleep longer than seven hours. If he wakes up a bunch before 10 or 11, then he’ll sleep through the night. If he goes to bed at 8, he gets up around 3 am. I’ve conceded with his sleep habits. I look to Maximus and realize that nothing is forever. Soon enough I will be doing everything in my power to ensure that he doesn’t get to sleep in. (Paybacks teenage Quinten, paybacks!)

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First (high school) football game (scrimmage) of the season

He’s an eating fool. Not that we’d expect anything different based on the previous seven months. He has three meals a day of solids. Sometimes baby food and sometimes real food. It depends on what the meal is or what we’re doing. I forgot how much fun it was to feed a baby in public. Man, is he messy! It’s like he knows that is the opposite of what I want to happen. He’s very cranky when he’s hungry. He has a set of lungs and will use them to let you know he’s ready for a meal. Him yelling puts me on edge and makes me very anxious when I know he’s hungry. We try not to let that happen too often, can you tell? 😉 His public nursing has impressed me. He is very focused and doesn’t pay attention to everyone else. I’m surprised by this since his head is like a bouncy ball when he isn’t nursing. Not much goes unnoticed when he’s around.

At this point, I can hardly remember life without Quinten. I think Maximus and Wrigley feel the same way because they don’t let him out of their sight too often. Now, if only I could get them to keep him out of Wrigley’s water dish or away from the dining room chairs.

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Our nursing adventure

I’ve had this post written for months. It bounces around a little too much but I feel like I should post it. So here it is …

I can’t pinpoint the thing that made me decide to breastfeed. I can remember that it was a decision, not a want. I had no idea what it would be like and it seemed weird. Fast forward two babies later and it’s a want and need. It hasn’t always been easy, but has changed my life.

Breastfeeding in your home is one thing, breastfeeding in public is another thing. I got over my privacy very quickly when I had Maximus. Breastfeeding wasn’t easy and it didn’t come naturally. We had to work at it. Lots of people helped us, in turn meaning lots of people saw me half-dressed.

My first public nursing experience was a follow-up appointment from my c-section. Granted, there were only two people in the room. But, it helped ease me into my new way of life. It showed me that it was natural and ok. It helped tremendously that my practice is pro-breastfeeding and the nurse told me that no one had any issues if I breastfed during my exam. I wonder if that woman knew exactly what she was telling me. In a way, it wasn’t just that I could feed my crying newborn that very minute, it was the acceptance that when he’s hungry he gets to eat. Regardless of where I am.

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I nursed Maximus for 12 months. I was able to nurse him in public until he turned into a wiggly baby who was easily distracted. Then, we had to keep nursing to quiet places. When we were out in public, I used a nursing cover. It’s basically an apron with baby feet sticking out.

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With Quinten, I use a swaddling blanket. It’s big enough and doesn’t quite shout, “I’m nursing!” So far, Quinten doesn’t love it. He’s a naturally sweaty baby so getting covered makes him get really hot. That means he can’t focus.

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My experiences are pretty much the same, just easier. Easier because there wasn’t the learning curve. When things didn’t seem to be going well, I knew to try new things. The football hold worked on both of my boys when they were little. I think I used it on Maximus until he was too big and was trying to kick off the back of the couch. With Quinten, around a month old he started wiggling and not nursing very well. Instead of stressing about it, I changed him to rest across my body. Crisis averted with no tears from either of us. Lately, Quinten gets carried away cooing at the ceiling fan and basically has baby ADD. He forgets he was nursing and talks to the fan instead. This usually happens when I’m sitting on a certain part of the couch and he has a great line of vision to the fan. If it’s dark, I can turn off the light. If that doesn’t work, I switch him back to the football hold and refocus him. Or, I lay him down and let him have a good chat with the fan. Usually he gets fussy and realizes that he’s hungry. Other times he moves around a lot and can’t focus, if I give him my finger it usually calms him down.

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Nursing a newborn can be a lot like wrestling a wiggly … newborn. Sometimes they go at it nicely and other times they act like a newborn. My advice? Treat each experience separately. Just like life with a toddler, some moments are precious. And, others are not.

Breastfeeding Blog Hop Week 5: NIP

NIP.
Nurse.In.Public.

Do you know the phrase or the acronym? Have you ever seen someone nurse in public? To some it’s a controversial issue. To others it’s a natural way of life.

Before I had a baby, I had never see anyone nurse in public. Either I’d never noticed it or I’d never been in the situation. I didn’t have any opinions on the matter because I didn’t have any experiences to shape my opinions. In fact, I don’t think it was an idea that really even crossed my mind. I guess I didn’t think about what would happen if a baby who was breastfed was hungry out in public.

In the months leading up to Maximus, I knew I was going to breastfeed but I had no idea what it would be like. I had minimal experience being around other’s who were breastfeeding. Again, I didn’t think about doing it in public. I tried to imagine what the experience would be like in a logistical sense. I was worried about the ins and outs of doing it and not the whens and wheres. I knew I wanted to register for a cover-up but I never thought about using it. 

 After I had Maximus I spent the first few weeks getting the hang of nursing. If you’ve been through the experience, then you know what those first few weeks are like. Words don’t do the experience justice. It’s an out-of-body experience. It’s an emotional and physical roller-coaster.

In the beginning, Maximus ate every 2-3 hours. We limited our public outings because of his eating schedule. When Maximus was about a week old, we went to a bigger town to buy some last-minute baby items. My first experience nursing in public was in our car at an abandoned gas station. We were on our way home and Maximus started crying. We knew he was hungry so we pulled over and I nursed him. I suppose I eased myself into nursing in public by doing it in the car. I can’t even remember the number of times I had to do it in the car the first few weeks. When a baby eats every 2-3 hours, you’re either forced to stay home or you figure it out. I don’t feel like we left the house a lot those first few months, but I do feel like I quickly got the hang of nursing in public. I never thought twice about it. I was more worried about my baby and keeping him happy. I put my own uneasiness out of mind. Motherhood is about being selfless and being outside your comfort zone.

I should remember this better, but I don’t. I think the first time I nursed outside in public was literally, outside. Maximus was about four weeks old and I was at a softball tournament. I sat on the bleachers watching my husband play softball with a bunch of co-workers. I felt a little outside of my comfort zone because I wasn’t sure how to be around others. I wasn’t sure how to act. Should I go about my business? Should I act as if I wasn’t doing it? Was I making others uncomfortable? I realized that my insecurities came from knowing the people I was around. I felt like I was doing something very personal because I had only done it in the comfort of my own home. Now, I was doing it out in public and they knew what I was doing. I quickly decided that I was going to act normally. I continued talking to my friends in hopes that they would feel comfortable with what I was doing. I decided that if I acted normal, this would be a normal experience for them. I decided then and there that I would help others be aware of the amazing thing that breastfeeding is. I decided I wouldn’t hide the fact that I was providing nutrients for my baby.

I have all kinds of public “badges” for nursing. I’ve nursed in restaurants, at football games, in the baby section of Target, in other people’s homes, sitting on the exam table at the doctor’s office (twice!), in the bathroom of a department store, in the car, and of course at that softball game. I’ve figured out my opinion by doing. I’m not afraid of nursing in public. I’m not afraid to be the one nursing and I’m not afraid to see others do it. I still haven’t seen others nurse in public. I’m not sure if that means it’s not common around my area or if that just means I’m not in the right place at the right time. I don’t have any qualms about being the minority or even only person to do it around here. I’m not afraid to stand up for myself and my son’s right to eat. It’s a natural thing and my body was made to do it. I hope that people can get past the specifics and think about the amazing miracle that is going on. My body is producing milk to keep my baby alive. How amazing is that? Can you fathom it? I know I still can’t. How is my body doing this?! I surely won’t let societies insecurities prevent me from doing this amazing thing for my son (and myself). 

Again, I’ve either never noticed or never had the experience of someone not approving of what I’m doing. I always use my cover-up and make sure that nothing is shown. I am conscious of my surroundings and pick the best place to sit or stand that doesn’t make me face the majority of the people. I do take other’s into consideration, but that’s so they aren’t in my direct line of sight. I would never not feed my child because of others. I believe that I’m pretty discrete when I nurse in public. Maybe that’s why I’ve never gotten any weird looks or bad comments. I’m not sure how I would handle the situation if I found myself face-to-face with someone against it. It makes me sad to think that some may be disgusted by the act. Again, I think if they can get past visualizing what’s going on they can appreciate the miracle for what it is. I hate that society could make people think that breastfeeding is not ok. It is ok. It’s normal. It’s beautiful. It’s natural. So, if you see me out in public and my baby is hungry, don’t be surprised when I pull out my cover-up and continue to carry on a conversation with you. After all, you eat when you’re hungry, right?

Blog Hop

Here are the guidelines:

  1. Follow the 4 blog hosts for the week (spots #1-4). Spot #4 will always feature a blogger randomly selected from the previous weeks blog hop.
  2. Link up your post related to this week’s topic (see above) so others can find it. Please link directly to your post, not your blog’s homepage.
  3. Check out some of the other blogs from the Linky. Be sure to leave a comment on each blog that you found them through the Breastfeeding Blog Hop so they can follow you back!
  4. Repost the linky (link for the code is in the lower right-hand corner of the linky below) on your blog to help promote the blog hop. Be sure to add some info about YOU so others have a place to say “hi” and let you know they’re following.
  5. Grab the button below if you’d like and display it in your linky post or on your sidebar.
  6. This blog hop will be active from Thursday, 02/03/11 to Sunday 02/06/11.
  7. Be sure to include these guidelines when you add the Blog Hop Linky Code to your blog.

About KYLEY LEGER

I’m Kyley, mom to Maximus who is six and a half months old. I have surpassed my original goal of breastfeeding for six months! I am a career mom who pumps during the day so my baby can have what’s best for him while we are a part.