Saturday, July 4, 2009

Feeding the Ladybug

My Little Ladybug is almost ten months old and I can't believe how big she is getting. In the beginning, I couldn't imagine getting to this point because she was such a difficult newborn. My little hurricane baby was born three days before Hurricane Ike blew through our part of Texas. Though it could have been so much worse (and was for countless others), it was challenging to have a brand new baby during the storm and in the days after when we had no power. Nursing and changing a newborn by flashlight was quite nerve-wracking. At least we were only without power for three and a half days. Plenty of people had no power for three and a half weeks!

Then, a few days later, I was told that my Little Ladybug was not gaining weight properly due to weak sucking and the lactation consultant suggested that I might want to try a speech pathologist in order to help her get stronger. So, of course, I went that very day and started a regimen of exercises intended to help her eat better. I also was pumping every time I nursed her to keep my supply high and giving her syringes of breast milk in order to give her a burst of energy to use to suck hard. I was obsessed with feeding her and how much weight she was gaining and it was pretty stressful. But, I stuck with it and in a couple of weeks she was eating like a champ and nursing started to get easier.

And then the colic hit! Nursing was the only way to keep my Little Ladybug calm and quiet and I was doing it all the time and starting to resent the fact that I was the only one who could keep her calm. So, MrRuckus made it his mission to be able to give her a bottle of pumped milk a few times a week and this made a huge difference. We both firmly believe that it is important for him to be able to feed and calm the baby and made sure he was able to do this. In fact, when she got an ear infection at 3.5 months and would not take a bottle, we were all distraught at the idea that she would never take a bottle again and made sure we stuck with it.

Then, all of a sudden, at about 5 months, she got easy. She started sleeping through the night and being quite placid most of the time. Now she is a doll, smiling, laughing, crawling around after her brother, pulling up on everything and just being a total sweetheart, my princess baby. And, all this time, I have stuck with nursing. For the Ladybug and me, it is our time to just be quiet and relaxed and we both enjoy it. At first, I had no expectations of how long I would stick with it, but here we are at 10 months and still it works so well for us. I was even able to go away from her for multiple days twice in the past few months, having MrRuckus or her grandparents give her bottles and spoon feeding while I brought my pump with me.

After 10 months of nursing, many months of losing weight and exercising, my nursing bras were just not working for me any longer. The ones I had just did not fit and did not give me the shape I was looking for. So, the other day I decided to take myself bra shopping. I went to Dolce Bella Lingerie at Market Street. They do a great job measuring and suggesting bras and found a number to meet all of my needs. I decided that I was tired of wearing nursing bras but wanted something that allowed me to nurse but also have nice shape and support. So, they suggested the Spanx Bra-llelujah underwire front closure bra. Now, I already knew that Spanx produced magical products like the thigh and butt slimming shorts, but this thing is a revelation! It is so comfortable, so light, seamless, and allows easy access for nursing either by folding away the flexible cups or opening it up in the front. I got it in two colors and will be buying more in the future. (I got a few other useful bras, but this one is tops!) - Bra-llelujah! Underwire Contour Front-Closure Bra

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