Still Pumping Away

by HEAB on March 9, 2011

Hello my almond butter loving friends. If you're new to HEAB, you may like to subscribe to my RSS feed or receive my posts via email. Thanks for reading!

I’m so glad you all enjoyed Goddess Leonie’s guest post on Baby Led Weaning. That approach to introducing solids to baby just makes so much sense to me, and again, it’s what we plan to do with Summer. I can’t wait, and thank goodness we have hardwood floors and 2 dogs as I hear both make clean-up much easier. ;)

Some of you have asked me if I’m still breastfeeding. Well, I’m not, but Summer is still getting breast milk. After trying to nurse for 4 months, I have stopped, but I’m still pumping. Nursing sessions were taking up to an hour. I used a Supplemental Nursing System for each feeding as well as a nipple shield, making nursing in public almost impossible. So, we had to always be at home for feedings. One reason I really wanted to nurse was for the whole bonding experience, and I feel like we had that for a few months. For that I will be forever grateful, but it was time for me to stop as it was just getting to be too much.

I am able to bottle feed Summer when we’re out and about, but I still need to be home at least every 3 hours to pump, or else my supply drops. She’s currently getting half breast milk and half formula. I am so grateful she is getting any breast milk at all, and so I’m doing my best to maintain my supply. For any new readers, please don’t email me with advice. Trust me, I’ve TRIED EVERYTHING to increase my supply. We’ve slept skin to skin. I drink a ton of water. I’ve taken/am taking all the herbs. I drink the tea. I eat all the galactagogue foods. I’ve taken domperidone. We have a lactation consultant on call that comes to the house. I’ve had my vitamin D, thyroid, and iron levels checked.  I use a hospital grade pump, and I’ve pumped pumped pumped until I developed blisters and still kept pumping. Turned out my pumping parts didn’t fit correctly, and now that we’ve corrected it, pumping is so much better. I do a pumping power hour every night – pump 10 minutes off an on for an hour to mimic a baby cluster feeding. Many of you wonder how I possibly have time to blog and email. I do it while I pump. I almost gave up this week, and then two things happened that motivated me to keep going.

First I received this package from a very kind soul in New Zealand…

IMG_7482.JPG

Many thanks to Lorne and Minu, her precious little baby boy, for sending me some nursing tea and these sweet bibs for Summer. Honestly, I opened up the package and almost started crying. It was just the sign I needed to keep going. Lorne’s family was affected by the recent earthquake in New Zealand, and so please keep them in your prayers.

The 2nd thing that happened involves some upcoming travel plans. Chris and I are flying out to Arizona to stay with his parents for the week, and I was stressing over how I would pump during our travels. Once we get there, pumping won’t be a problem, but I was worried about skipping a pumping session while in flight. Again, if I skip a session, my milk supply immediately decreases. I almost used the trip as excuse to quit, but after receiving some very helpful advice and getting a battery operated pump to take with me for use on the plane, I know I can make this work.

If you were anything like me, you might think that breastfeeding comes naturally to women, and although a new mom might struggle with getting the baby to latch on at first or have to deal with sore cracked nipples, everything will soon fall into place. Well, that doesn’t always happen. I’ve read that only 1 to 2% of women can’t actually make enough milk to feed their babies. I thought for sure that I was not part of that small percentage and did everything I possibly could to prove it. However, I guess I am, but I know that even a little breast milk is better than none. Honestly, I would love to continue to pump for a year, but it’s so hard and tiring. So, the goal is 6 months, which is less than 8 weeks away. I can do this.

Thanks to everyone for your kindness and support over these past few months. I keep reminding myself that I have a happy healthy baby, and in the end, that’s what matters most…

5.jpg

I’ll leave you with my favorite meal as of late…

IMG_7485.JPG

An oven baked sweet potato topped with canned wild salmon, a drizzle of tahini, and fresh ground pepper. Mmmm, so good!

{ 129 comments }

JenP March 9, 2011 at 9:35 am

Hi – It’s been a few years, but I used the Avent Isis hand pump on flights when I was nursing/pumping. I’m pretty sure they still make it. It worked GREAT! It got just as much milk as my Pump In Style. The only downside is having to do one side at a time, but for travel, I highly recommend it. Good luck!

HEAB March 9, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Thanks JenP. I’m actually going to take the Pump In Style with me since it has a battery pack, but I might look into getting the Avent for future trips or future babies. :)

Ana March 9, 2011 at 9:40 am

Heather, you are doing an amazing job. I am sure CD is the proudest husband around and Summer is the luckiest baby girl to have you as her mommy!
Things are different with each woman, with each baby, with each situation. Sometimes what might work for other people might not be the best for you and/or your family. The one thing to do is to try our best, and for that I think you excelled as much as any new mom could. Take one day at a time, see what works for you and your baby and don’t worry about being judged. The less you stress, the better it is for you, your milk supply, your baby, and all those around you.
Look at that happy little face in the picture you posted, it is clear that you have a happy baby that is being loved more than anything in the world!
You are an awesome mom, Summer is truly lucky to have you!
Ana

HEAB March 9, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Thanks so much Ana. Love you. :)

Sandy March 9, 2011 at 9:51 am

Thank you so much for this post. My kids are now 27, 22 and 20 but I still feel guilty that I didn’t have enough milk and my oldest was hungry and crying so I gave up. Back then I didn’t realize that there were lactation consultants and someone could help me and just blamed myself for perhaps not eating enough. Anyway no support from my mom who was a 1950s mother when breast feeding wasn’t in vogue and there was no internet for great support. I have felt guilty about it for all these years even though I have three fabulous, brilliant, perfectly healthy children with no allergies. And we are pretty well bonded too – I’m on vacation with the 22 and 20 years olds right now.

HEAB March 9, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Sandy,
You tried, and it sounds like your children turned out just fine. No guilt – sometimes it just doesn’t work out as planned. Everyone told me all plans are off when it comes to babies, and I’m quickly learning that is very true. :)

Kelly March 9, 2011 at 9:55 am

I admire your strength, dedication, attitude and will to keep going. I am sorry that things didn’t exactly work out as you would have ideally liked but I think you are doing the absolute best you can with your situation.

Sylvia @ LifeIsGoodWithFood March 9, 2011 at 9:57 am

You’re doing such a wonderful job of being a great mother, Heather. Even if you can no longer breastfeed Summer, at least you tried your best and that’s all that matters. Summer will definitely understand that :)

Melissa R March 9, 2011 at 9:58 am

There is no doubt that beautiful baby girl is L.O.V.E.D. <3 I love this post Heather because its real and so important for new moms to hear…the less stress the better for everybody! You are a fabulous mommy and it shows in that sweet girls face! xoxoxoxxo
Oh and I LOVE the baby led weaning eating at the table…makes me want to have another baby just to experience that!!

sarah March 9, 2011 at 9:59 am

All I can say is WOW! You are a trooper. I think you’ve made such an amazing effort with breastfeeding, considering everything else there is to do with a newborn. You definitely won’t regret it and trust me, time flies! As a mom of a 10 and 6 year old, I kinda miss all that baby stuff, challenging as it seemed at the time…
It will be much less stressful with the start of solids. We took this same approach as your post yesterday, with our second child. It made it so much more enjoyable and now as a 6 year old, my daughter loves food, and is always ready and willing to try new foods! I think it’s always a good idea to do what feels right for you and your baby–so cheers to you for doing that!

Holly @ Couch Potato Athlete March 9, 2011 at 10:02 am

Heather I admit I was one of those people who thought breastfeeding would be easy and there would be no problems. But more and more of my friends and family with babies are finally telling me about all of their issues with doing so. It doesn’t always work out — and it seems like you are doing the best you absolutely can.

I’m not pregnant and don’t plan to be for a while, but reading your posts really makes me think that I could do it! That I will probably have issues (as many people do) but that I can get through them.

Maria March 9, 2011 at 10:12 am

Hi Heather,

Thank you so much for sharing your story with everyone. I imagine that this has to be a very difficult situation for you and your raw honesty is so empowering. I am sitting at my computer right now crying in awe of your strength. You CAN do this and we will be here to help and support you as much as we can.

From one new mommy another – you are AMAZING!

Maria

HEAB March 9, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Thanks so much Maria. :)

BIOCHEMISTA March 9, 2011 at 10:18 am

Meal looks amazing!! I never knew you could use tahini straight up and not mix it with anything. Will have to try! Sw potato meals are my fav:)

Have a great day,

Laur

Rachel March 9, 2011 at 10:18 am

Totally agree with everything Ana said. CD and Summer are lucky to have you. It is what it is re: your supply. :-)

Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) March 9, 2011 at 10:22 am

You are doing a great job lady! You have such a good attitude towards the whole thing. I am so proud of you for doing all that you can…I think you have gone above and beyond to make it work! I admire your drive!

Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} March 9, 2011 at 10:22 am

My heart goes out to you, Heather. I have never known anyone to put so much time and effort into breastfeeding when their supply was low. Most women I know just give up. I’ve never been in the situation, but I imagine I would want to give up, too. You are my hero for sticking with it as long as you did and still pumping to give your precious daughter as much BM as you can. Seriously, my hero!!

Sunshine March 9, 2011 at 10:25 am

I pumped 4 or 5 times a day, every day, for 6 months to feed my daughter. After that, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I decided (for me) that I’d rather spend those (literal) hours playing with, holding, and interacting with her than pumping. So I was done. And there was guilt (your hormones shift/change again when you stop bfing) and tears, but it was SO much better.
Whatever you decide to do, you are a FANTASTIC mom and it is obvious how much you want to do what is best for Summer. Just make sure you are taking care of you, too.

HEAB March 9, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Thanks Sunshine. :)

Julie March 9, 2011 at 10:26 am

As a fellow nursing mom, I just wanted to say that you are awesome for sticking with pumping for so long! Summer is a lucky girl to have a mama that cares so much about her!

brandi March 9, 2011 at 10:31 am

No matter what, Summer is lucky to have parents that love her and are doing everything they can to take care of her. She looks like SUCH A happy baby :)

Tabitha March 9, 2011 at 10:34 am

I’ve been living on tahini drizzled sweet potatoes thanks to you!

HEAB March 9, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Tabitha,
You’re welcome. ;)

lara March 9, 2011 at 10:34 am

Heather,
i also had trouble breastfeeding and had to pump. i was 37 when my daughter was born and she was 6 weeks early. She was in the hospital for 2 weeks before she weighed enough to come home. I am a firm believer that breastmilk is the best for however long you can do it.
My daughter, Amalia, is about to graduate high school and will be 18 in July. She has been happy and healthy all her life so far. She was dream when it came to teething, took potty training like a champ (had to get the insert for the big potty, though, as she wouldn’t sit on a little one.) and when it was time to get rid of the bottle, i told her the bottle fairy was coming to take them away for a new baby and overnight they were replaced with a brand new doll and baby carriage. Never asked for a bottle again….really!
The only childhood diseases she endured was Chicken pox and you would never have known she was sick except for the spots. Never had earaches, cradle cap, croup, tonsilitis…all the things you hear about and worry about.

She didn’t eat much prepared baby food, we used a little hand held thingee to mush regular food for her. It was great and she has never been a picky eater. Loves veggies. I really believe it is because she had the mushed up food and it tasted the same later! lol

Anyway…didn’t mean to give you a novel…I truly believe that breastfeeding and real food were major contributors to her good health. Best of luck with Summer, she is adorable (looks like CD!)…

lara

HEAB March 9, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Lara,
Thanks for all the encouragement. We hold to fill Summer with as much real food as possible, and I hope and pray she’ll be a veggie lover and a champ potty trainer.

Thanks for the love and support. Oh, and I gotta remember the Bottle Fairy – that’s great. I think we might get a visit from the Pacifier Fairy as well someday. ;)

Robin March 9, 2011 at 10:36 am

Heather, I am with you. I was one of those 1-2% of women who couldn’t produce enough milk for my daughter no matter what I did…Reglan, power pumping, herbs, supplements, water, lactation cookies, oatmeal, hospital grade pump, etc. I know how hard it is to do what you are doing – I did it for 13 1/2 months and I am damn proud of myself for working so hard for so long so KUDOS to you! I also had to pump 7-8 times/day for that entire time just to make 2/3 BM for my daughter. Some BM is better than none, right?? Anyway, I’m not going to try to give you advice on how to increase your supply because I know you have tried it all but one thing I learned about 6/7 months in that made my life much better was pumping while driving. It truly changed my life in terms of going out, the time I did get to spend at home was better spent with my daughter vs pumping. I would use my pump, a handsfree bra and a car adaptor ($10) for my Medela In Style with a hooter hider to cover up and I would pump on my way to and from places (setting up at home and disassembling when I arrived at my location). It really helped a ton! Anyway, Summer is beautiful and motherhood suites you well!

HEAB March 9, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Oh Robin, that is so inspiring that you made it 13 months. I love hearing that, and it gives me hope as yes, some breast milk is better than none! I’ve got a car adapter for my Medela Symphony but haven’t used it yet. I’ve got a Medela in style on the way for our trip, and perhaps that can be my car pump. :) Oh, and I’ve got two hands free pumping bras I made from old sports bras. Those things have saved me. Pumping was SO boring before – just sitting there holding those bottles. Ha, it was awful.

Thanks for the support and advice – very helpful.

judy March 9, 2011 at 10:38 am

heather – my mom always told me that being a mother will be the most selfless thing a woman will ever do. you are the prime example….=)

Bekah March 9, 2011 at 10:45 am

Salmon, sweet potatoes and tahini, a quintessential HEAB meal. I love it.

Summer is adorable!

Melissa Cline March 9, 2011 at 10:54 am

I hope you are proud of the great work you’ve done to feed your baby. Thank you for sharing your story–I have no doubt that you’ve inspired some moms to 1) get help from a lactation consultant and 2) value ANY amount of human milk a baby gets. http://www.breastfeedingresources.net/article.htm

I don’t know if you’re planning another baby, but if you are, the work you’ve done now could pay even bigger dividends with the next kiddo. (according to Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk by West and Marasco http://www.makingmoremilk.com/ )

You rock, mama.

HEAB March 9, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Melissa,
Thanks so much, and I am so sad I haven’t been able to make it to any of the Babywearing Meetings. I always have stuff going on those mornings. However, I did just buy and Ergo and look forward to doing some hiking with the Bambino Brigade soon. :)

We do hope to have more babies, and if it should happen, I’m praying for a better milk supply for our next one. Ya never know, right?

Karol March 14, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Hi Heather – I love to read your blog and Summer is THE cutest baby ever! I also was shocked 20 years ago when milk didn’t just come flowing, dripping or squirting out as my sister-in-law (mother of 5) had described it would! Went through all the tests that you did, the unbelieving and indignant lactation “specialist” pinching, kneading and prodding out mere drops, etc. I “nursed” my baby like you did for 6 months (mostly bonding), alas my 2nd child only tolerated this for weeks and my 3rd was only nursed for a few days. I was tired and busier of course by then and knew my breasts too. My kids are all smart, thriving and have never had any ear infections. Just enjoy motherhood!!!

Em March 9, 2011 at 10:56 am

Heather, you should be so proud of yourself! Not only proud for sticking with pumping, but most of all proud of your healthy attitude about it. I am just so inspired. My milk supply just can’t keep up with my big baby boy, so I’m still supplementing with formula. And what I’ve learned through all of this is that formula is not bad… it’s just that breast milk is better, that’s all. (I know you know that, I’m kind of just reminding myself here, haha…) We’re both doing the best we can for our babies and our babies are both healthy and happy. That is all that matters. You can make it to 6 months!! I know you can!! I’m cheering you on!!!!!!! :) (And even if you don’t, that is OK and I’m STILL proud of you! :) )

HEAB March 9, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Em,
I’ve been thinking about you and keeping meaning to email you. Glad to hear you’re doing well, and you’re so right about the formula vs breast milk. Breast milk is definitely best, but I am grateful for the formula. Know that I’m cheering for you everyday!

Erin March 9, 2011 at 11:20 am

I wanted to write because well i love your blog, as i’ve said before….but also..because i’m going to be telling my sister-in-law about it later today. I wrote a few weeks ago, saying she had given birth to a healthy big 9 1/2 lb baby boy. :) But after the hard two day labor….and eventual C-section…her dream of breastfeeding hasn’t panned out as she wanted. She is pumping, but has the same problem with not producing enough milk….also she says its a lot more painful then she thought it would be….be feeds for an hour or so…but says the pain after 20min is just too much. She pumps a bit..but also formula feeds. After looking at the formula….i wonder what they put in it??!! The ingrediant list looks a bit crazy….. and i am writing to ask what you use as formula? They try to buy organic, and want the baby to drink only breastmilk, but thats not in the cards for them…she doesn’t have the energy….and my brother the dad is already back to work… after 2 weeks off. I was wondering if there is a good formula out there…. THANKS!!! fully support you…and i know you speak to a lot of mothers, and others like me..out there. :) Best wishes… Erin (from WA)

HEAB March 9, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Erin,
Yes, I remember your comment, and I’m so sorry to hear your SIL is struggling with breastfeeding as well. I had no idea how common that was until I started hearing from others with my same issues.

As far as the formula goes, in my opinion, there aren’t any great ones out there. CD and I always joke that we should invent one. Anyway, we use both Similac Advance and the Kirkland brand from Costco which has the same ingredients as the Similac. There are some good recipes for homemade formula from the Weston Price Foundation, but with all the pumping, etc. the thought of making our own formula completely overwhelmed me. That being said, I know two families that do it, and they both said that once you get the recipe down, it’s fairly easy. Hope this info helps and best of luck to your SIL. Just keep reassuring her she is doing the best she can and that she is an amazing mama!

Courtney (greeneyedrunner) March 9, 2011 at 11:54 am

Heather-this was a beautiful post. You’re doing an incredible job and Summer looks beautiful and healthy. I love reading your blog because of the pure honesty, and I hope you know that whatever you do, you have love and support from your readers!

Matt March 9, 2011 at 12:06 pm

That sweet potato looks delicious!

Anne Marie@New Weigh of Life March 9, 2011 at 12:20 pm

I’m also in the “I can’t make enough milk to feed my baby” category. It makes me so sad but at the same time, I’m happy he’s getting some of my breastmilk. Pumping while I’m at work is so annoying but I know that he’s getting the best thing for him while I’m pumping. Keep it up, Heather-you are doing great!

HEAB March 9, 2011 at 2:54 pm

As are you Anne Marie. :)

Natalia - a side of simple March 9, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I think you’re being such a great mother, Heather. I really admire how you’re doing all you can to give Summer the best health you and CD can provide. I know it’s been a struggle and it’s so inspiring to see just how devoted of a parent and woman you are. :) Plus, you and your food combinations rock my life.

Alyssa March 9, 2011 at 12:35 pm

(I also used the Avent hand pump: it’s terrific!)
Do not feel guilty! New moms get SO MUCH unsolicited advice and judgment form other people, and it’s no one else’s business whether you nurse, pump, or bottle feed. You are doing an AMAZING job!!!!!!!

After I gave birth to my second child, the nurse at the hospital gave me some great advice: she said nursing is painful and difficult; that after a few weeks we build up blisters and it becomes a little less painful, but it’s not pain-free, it’s not easy, and some moms just can’t do it, so there’s no need to feel guilty about it. She was the ONLY person who said that to me! Everyone else was all “It’s the most natural thing in the world, you just need to keep at it, if it hurts you’re doing it WRONG,” yadda yadda yadda.

The fact is, it comes easily for some, and others struggle. If you do the best you can, no one can ask any more of you. Like I said, you are doing an amazing job.

Alyssa March 9, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Sorry, I meant to say calluses, not blisters.
And by “no one else’s business,” I meant strangers who give you unsolicited advice, not anyone here!
Just wanted to clarify.

HEAB March 9, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Alyssa,
I know, right? Thankfully, I have found an amazing lactation consultant after NOT having a good experience with the ones at the hospital. In fact, I had to stop by there the other day to pick up some pumping supplies, and they gave me a hard time about exclusively pumping. I wanted to cry as I feel like I’ve tried so hard, and no, breastfeeding is definitely not the most natural thing in the world for all women. I wish it was, but it’s not. Thanks for your support. :)

Courtney March 9, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Heather, you are a rock star mommy, to be sure!

dana @ my little celebration March 9, 2011 at 12:55 pm

CUTE baby photos. Your little Summer is a doll.

And your sweet potato looks amazing! What a creative combination.

Angela March 9, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Heather, you are doing a fantastic job and should be proud of how well you are doing. I wanted to let you know that one of my best friends had similar issues to what you are having with your supply. She too tried everything and was pumping, nursing and supplimenting non-stop. Our boys are the same age and sometimes seeing me nurse my son so easily would make her cry but she hung in there and after six months things miraculously changed for her. She didn’t try anything new but suddenly something clicked and her body started making plenty of milk. She was able to stop pumping and even stop the added suppliments and she and her son happily nursed until his second birthday. Sometimes things just click and it’s just a matter of waiting it out. But as I said, you’re doing a fantastic job already and doing what works for your family is all that anyone can ask.

HEAB March 9, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Angela,
Thanks for your comment – it was very encouraging to read. I guess you never know what the human body will do – such a mysterious and amazing creation, no?

Kara March 9, 2011 at 1:18 pm

I pumped for my baby for 3 months and while I didn’t have any supply issues (actually I had an oversupply issue by the end), I know how HARD it is. I don’t think anyone knows how hard it is to sacrifice your limited free to time to pump (and wash all the pumping stuff!) and deal with the dietary restrictions of nursing.

You are rockstar for still doing it!

michelle (@ Housewife in the Raw) March 9, 2011 at 1:23 pm

You are doing good Mama! I’m humbled by the effort you’ve put into breastfeeding. If you attack all of motherhood with such gusto, Summer is going to be the luckiest kid I know! I was one of those who breastfeeding did come pretty easily, but I watched some of my friends struggle. I think you give it your all and then make a decision, just like you have.

As for pumping while traveling – I worked while nursing my first and I pumped all over the place. In airports, rental cars (I had a car attachment), airplanes, restaurant stalls (yuck), hotels, offices and factory bathrooms (for my job). While stopping nursing was bittersweet, I had to stop myself from burning the pump with joy. :)

HEAB March 9, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Michelle,
As grateful as I am for it, there are many days when I’d like to chuck my Medela Symphony out the window. Hehe. Thanks for understanding and for the support. :)

Danielle March 9, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Heather, you are an incredible mom for how hard you have worked to give Summer your breastmilk. I’m currently nursing my 3 week old nd it seems like around every corner there is a new nursing challenge. Advice-givers are always good-intentioned, but it IS very hard to escape judgement when we make a nursing decision that is not what is widely accepted. Its clear that you know whats best for you and Summer and your personal circumstances, bravo to you!!!
Mind if i ask which formula you are using? We’re not supplementing yet but if we need to I am curious what your choice is.

HEAB March 9, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Danielle,
We use both Similac Advance and the Kirkland brand from Costco which has the same ingredients as the Similac. Honestly, I’m not happy with any of the formulas out there, but I’m grateful for them b/c without them Summer would not be thriving. There are some good recipes for homemade formula from the Weston Price Foundation, but with all the pumping, etc. the thought of making our own formula completely overwhelmed me. That being said, I know two families that do it, and they both said that once you get the recipe down, it’s fairly easy.

Corey @ the runners cookie March 9, 2011 at 1:32 pm

It is so obvious from reading your posts that you are an amazing mother, Heather. You have clearly done everything you possibly could to do what’s best for Summer. Hang in there, you are so strong and can totally do this for 8 more weeks!

Sarah R March 9, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Your dedication is amazing. So many women would have just given up by now. You obviously done everything you can for the little girl of yours and it shows in her smile, just how much she is loved :)

chelsey @ clean eating chelsey March 9, 2011 at 1:56 pm

I’m so glad you’re not going to give up! From what I hear, breastfeeding is not a walk in the park. You’ve done so great! Summer i shappy and healthy, so that’s all that matters!

Julie March 9, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Just be so proud of yourself at what you have done for Summer. She will be fine whether breastfed, formula fed, or a little of both. Accept your limitations (which it seems like you are doing) and enjoy that little girl of yours!! My son is three weeks younger than Summer, so it has been so fun to follow your journey. I have a daughter who is three and I feel like it was just yesterday she was a four month old little squirt and we were beginning to think about solid food. We did traditional baby food/spoon feeding at first, but by about 8 months she decided eating with her hands was the way to go. She ate actual Thanksgiving dinner at 9 months old: turkey, mashed potatoes, pie, etc. I guess we sort of did baby lead weaning.

Sara March 9, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Thanks for sharing this, its nice to know you aren’t the only one that struggled with this. I had similar problems with nursing, I used the supplemental nursing system, nipple shield and a prescription drug also, I was never able to pump enough and at 5 months I didn’t have anymore milk left, though I wasn’t as diligent with the pumping as you are, I was able to wean her from the nipple shield and that made it a bit easier, but she wasn’t a good eater. Now she’s 9 months and a champ at table food, but still not great with the bottle. She’s happy and healthy and that is really all that matters.

Kiran March 9, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Heather, so proud of you! You are a great Mama and I know where I would be reading when I am a Mama in the future :)

Shae March 9, 2011 at 2:46 pm

I think you are doing amazing (reading your posts makes me want to have a little one right freakin now!). My mom never was able to breastfeed me, and I turned out totally fine! :-)

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) March 9, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Heather, based on our many, many emails, I know what you have gone through in order to keep up your milk supply and to provide Summer with your milk. Nursing is wonderful when it works out but it’s not always easy, “natural”, or just one of those no-brainer things for some women. You and I (for different reasons) both fell into that category but we are both very determined women who made nursing work for us.

I pumped for…years! And I also pumped IN airplane bathrooms. One time a flight attendant went up to Scott who was still sitting in our seats and was like, is your wife sick…she’s been in the bathroom for 20 mins. He said no, she’s pumping. The flight attendant was totally baffled but whatever, I was doing what I needed to do. And I have pumped on dozens and dozens of airport floors and bathrooms. So nursing would have been wayyyyy easier, but it wasn’t always going to happen for us, so I pumped.

I am so thrilled for you that you’re 6 weeks away from your goal!! I used to drink that Weleda tea, too. And take Dom. And power pump. Yep, you are doing a fabulous job!!

xoxo

Eimear Rose March 9, 2011 at 3:00 pm

I am definitely trying out the salmon+sweet potato+tahini combo! May I say, I have a lot of respect for your untiring dedication to how you want to raise Summer, I can’t imagine how tired you must be!

Shauna March 9, 2011 at 3:10 pm

That took real courage to write. I am sure you gave it all you had. You have displayed such determination in achieving health for yourself, that I can’t imagine that you haven’t pursued every avenue for your baby girl. Just looking at that adorable picture, though, it doesn’t look like she’s lacking for anything, and your love, care and keeping your sanity doing so is the most important.

I finally got the ingredients together for my first batch of coconut cream today, and I just have to say Thank you! Yum!

anne March 9, 2011 at 3:40 pm

You are an amazing mother! Most people give up when adversity strikes. Good for you for sticking it out!

Allison March 9, 2011 at 4:06 pm

If it makes you feel any better, I nursed all three of my kids until they were about 2 and honestly I can’t see any difference health wise between my kids who are now 12, 9 and 4 and the majority of my friends children who were all formula babies from day one. In fact, one of my kids, like her dad, is allergic to everything under the sun!

HEAB March 9, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Allison,
Thanks, that does make me feel better. :)
I think it’s awesome you breastfed all three of your kids until they were 2!

Julie March 9, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Hi Heather,
Since you asked for advice on how to get more milk…I had to respond! I fed my baby mostly breastmilk and also supplemented with formula and am so grateful that I had the option of using it. I wanted to suggest that maybe if you eat a little bit more, you might have more milk!? I remember feeling like I was eatling SO much while I was breastfeeding but it is truly because your body needs the food to make more milk for your baby! Also…it seemed like when I started really listenting to my body and eating more….the last 5-10 lbs came off too! It almost seemed too good to be true. I was eating more, the baby was getting more, and I lost the rest of the weight! Maybe try for a few days and see what happens? I love your blog and love hearing your updates!

HEAB March 9, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Julie,
Thanks for the advice. Trust me, I’m eating plenty. I’ve actually GAINED 10 pounds since coming home from the hospital. It’s been hard and totally freaks me out at times, but like I’ve said before, I can live with the love handles if it means more milk for Summer. :)

meagan March 9, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Hey Heather–just wanted to say that I have a similar story to yours, except I can’t stand to pump so I gave up BF-ing completely at 5 months. It took me a week or so to get over the guilt–all my friends had such an easy time, why not me? Honestly, after I stopped BF-ing and switched to formula C’s health improved (she was at the 5th percentile and falling off) and our relationship improved. We both slept better. Finally I made the choice my own (“I choose to give up BF-ing; I’m choosing better health for my daughter; My mothering capabilities are not contained in my breasts). That step helped the most. There were lots of tears involved though.

It’s a hard decision. I respect your courage to write so honestly. I think you opened up a lot of people’s eyes to how HARD BF-ing can be. You’re a great mom, and Summer is lucky to have a mother who is so dedicated to her health and well-being.

HEAB March 9, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Meagan,
Thanks for you comment. It is such a hard decision, and every time I think of returning our rented pump to the hospital, I just want to cry. So true what you said – our mothering capabilities are not contained in our breasts. Needed to read that today. :)

Lisa March 9, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Not a normal blogger here, but read your post about breastfeeding. You are better than me with your efforts, with all 3 of children I attempted nursing to only have mastitis all three times; 6 wks with Garrett, 4 wks with Josey, and after 2 wks with Jake. I was not a big producer w/ a bad boob, very stressful. Don’t feel guilty! Trust me when you make the decision to stop (even pumping….you are stressing about traveling, pumping schedule) you will feel this huge weight off your shoulders; happened to me all 3 times…..I felt like I was a better, more relaxed mom. I had the same feelings though…why is this so hard, when all my friends made it look so easy….again don’t feel guilty. Not trying to direct your decision making….you barely know me, think last time we saw each other was at Pigeon Forge reunion, just letting you know the stress will soon be gone. All, three of my kids are healthy, with no medical or allergy problems and I have no guilt for not trying longer or harder to nurse them…Thank the Lord, He gave me healthy children. Hope I haven’t offended the breastfeeding pros :)

HEAB March 9, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Lisa,
Thanks so much for you comment. Have I really not see you since Pigeon Forge? Oh my gosh, that was forever ago!

I am so sorry you had to deal with mastitis as I’ve heard that is just miserable, but yes, what is most important is that we are blessed with healthy children. For that, I am very grateful.

It is so hard to see some of my friends just whip out their boob, feed their baby for 5 minutes, and be done with it. I’m like, really? That’s it? Doesn’t seem fair, but you’re right, I’ve done my best, and I can’t feel guilty when it comes time to quit. Thanks for the support and hope to see you guys after you get all settled in DC!

Sagan March 9, 2011 at 5:02 pm

I never thought of adding a can of salmon to a baked potato! I like that idea.

Sorry to hear about the milk/pumping issues… that’s gotta be rough. Hang in there! You have a beautiful, darling little girl :)

Amelia March 9, 2011 at 5:25 pm

So glad to be finally catching up on all of my blog reading after a long vacation. The sweet potato looks delicious. I have every single ingredient in my house so that may be what’s in store for dinner….over a bed of kale.

Summer is such a cutie! I love the photo. :)

I am sure your trip will be wonderful!

Dawn Skorczewski, Brandeis U March 9, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Hi Heather!! I think Summer looks amazingly healthy and beautiful and I give you permission to stop breastfeeding as soon as you are ready and willing. Lots of love, and admiration!!! Dawn

HEAB March 9, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Awww, thanks Dawn. You are so cute, and your sweet comment brought a big smile to my face. :)

Jayme March 9, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Heather
Thank you for continuing to be so honest about your breastfeeding journey. I commented one other time as well, but I wanted to reiterate to you how I felt like I could have written your post! With BOTH of my sons, (now ages 5 and 7) I used the dreaded SNS to nurse, the nipple shield, a medical grade pump, domperidone, lactation consultants and a breast feeding support group. Both times, my sons were very slow to gain weight (and were small at birth at 5 lbs., 7 in. and 6 lbs), and it was due to my low supply and their reflux issues. I was truly heartbroken and guilt ridden, but after about 5-6 weeks, I gave up. I admire you for keeping the pumping going–if I had ever produced much while pumping, I may have kept that up for longer. It took me a LONG time to get over the fact that after having natural child births, and doing everything I believed was healthy for my sons, ultimately I could not give them what is supposed to be the most natural and healthy thing for them. But I will say this: They are very healthy boys–they eat right, don’t take any meds, get lots of exercise and are in a family that truly values natural health. I know Summer will be the same way, judging from your posts. So give yourself a pat on the back, and know that you are a great mom!!!! :)

HEAB March 9, 2011 at 8:59 pm

Jayme,
Thanks so much. Your comment was so encouraging to read. It is so frustrating to try and do everything right, but I’m quickly learning that things don’t always go as planned when it comes to babies. :) Thanks again, and I’m so happy to hear your boys are doing well!

Courtney March 9, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Heather, don’t feel down- you are such a strong person! Heather is lucky to have such a wonderful mommy! :)

Courtney March 9, 2011 at 6:22 pm

****Summer

Your names both end in “er” :)

Hannah March 9, 2011 at 6:22 pm

I think it’s so wonderful that you’re being open about the difficulties of breast-feeding. What I find interesting is that, in recent years, I haven’t heard any women talk about breast-feeding as being easy! It seems to really be a complete myth that “most” women don’t face difficulties with it. Thank heavens people like you are out there being honest, so that others struggling can find strength from you.

Jen March 9, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Heather, you seem like you’re doing an amazing job mothering Summer. She looks so happy and healthy in every picture I’ve seen of her!

On the food front, I haven’t had a sweet potato with tahini in so long, and it looks so good! I used to eat that combination all the time. I think you’re the one who originally gave me the idea, as well as the idea of miso paste on a sweet potato…which is also great!

HEAB March 9, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Jen,
Hmm, now I want miso paste AND tahini on a baked sweet potato. Now that sounds good – perhaps with a pinch of honey or stevia added to the mix. Yum! :)

sarah March 9, 2011 at 6:58 pm

I cannot tell you how comforting it is to read your stories. I started reading your blog when I was 3/4 of the way through pregnancy b/c you ate such similar foods to what I was looking for in recipes.I have dealt w/ very similar issues w/ bf-ing, and bawled my tired eyes out when I recently gave up. Pumping every 2-3 hours around the clock and getting less than oz at times made me finally quit.
It hurts so bad to give up, much worse than the trouble of pumping, I swear. Just keep going you will not regret it, and kudos to you for all your work!!

HEAB March 9, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Sarah,
I’m so sorry to hear about your struggles. It is so hard, and if I was getting less than an ounce, I would still not be doing this. Trust me. You gave it your best. You really did, and I hope you’re now able to enjoy a lot more time with that precious baby of yours. You are an awesome mom – never doubt that!

Baking 'n' Books March 9, 2011 at 7:48 pm

I was going to say HEAB that you are putting way too much emphasis and focus on it!

Just enjoy your beautiful daughter and family! You aren’t the first person who has struggled with this and you certainly won’t be the last. Cuddle and rock and walk – and dress her up cute (if she can get any cuter!) and just live :)

kate@ahealthypassion March 9, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Summer’s pictures are precious she is beautiful!

Vanessa March 9, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Heather – ANY amount of breast milk is beneficial to your baby! I struggled with nursing my son, and this post made me tear up. Summer is SO LUCKY to have such a dedicated mommy. I don’t usually dole out “mommy” advice, but I often remind myself that in order to take care of my family, I need to take care of myself. You have to do what’s good for you and your adorable baby!!

HEAB March 9, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Vanessa,
Yes, such an important lesson – thanks for the reminder. :)

nicole March 9, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Heather,
You are awesome. Seriously. Many women would’ve given up months ago. You’ve given her a great start, and 6 months is longer than a lot of babies get. You can do it!!

Debra March 9, 2011 at 10:06 pm

You write with such honesty. I’m so happy that I read your blog. I tell lots of people that they would enjoy your writing too. Summmer is a darling little lady and she is just fine. Take care of yourself for her.

Erin March 9, 2011 at 10:20 pm

You are doing wonderfully!

Teresa@vivaciousrunninggirl March 9, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Heather I think you might be up to something! I have been doing some research on nutrition and also my cousin who is an RD with a alternative nutrition background recommends your way of eating. I posted about it today. I am gonna try it and see how it goes!

robyn jones clark March 9, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Heather,

I admire your dedication and love for summer that you would want to give her the best of what you have been given. A lot of people would have given up by now. It’s been a joy for me to come to my computer and read your blog everyday b/c I feel like I can relate on so many levels with you. Your journey into motherhood is something I hope to be on the verge of… God willing. Your recipes, your insight, and you just being yourself have been an inspiration to me. I hope one day we can meet on one of my trips to Nashville :) I sure miss it! I will be praying for many traveling mercies for your sweet little family. Hope you have a wonderful trip.

HEAB March 10, 2011 at 5:48 am

Robyn,
Yes, we will meet someday when you make a trip to Nashville. I’m looking forward to it as well as hearing about stories of you and your own little one. It will happen. :)

Alexandra March 9, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Heather, that sweet potato, salmon, tahini combo looks delicious! How in the world do you get your tahini butter so soft and gooey like? I buy Artisan raw tahini but I can never get that “drizzle” effect.

HEAB March 10, 2011 at 5:41 am

Alexandra,
My advice: buy a different brand. ;) I love Artisana, but when it comes to tahini, my favorite is the Joyva brand: http://www.amazon.com/Joyva-Tahini-15-Ounce-Packages-Pack/dp/B001FA1L6Q. We buy it in bulk on Amazon.

Alexandra March 10, 2011 at 9:17 am

That’s the secret! I’ll definitely check out that brand.
By the way, I’ve been reading your blog for sometime but rarely comment ( I think the only other time I posted was when lil Heab was born). I love your blog – the food creations, daily musings and especially the genuine personal warmth that comes across your pages.

Sincerely,
Alexandra

Marcia @Frugal Healthy Simple March 9, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Yes, a lot of people like to say “statistically, only about 1% of women actually can’t breastfeed, the rest give up too soon”. Whatever.

I sat in new baby group meetings with moms who sobbed uncontrollably because they tried everything to breastfeed and couldn’t. They felt so guilty. Then I had the one or two moms who said “tried it, no supply, nothing worked, I’m moving on”, and they were MUCH happier.

My best friend’s son refused to latch. She pumped for 9 months, and he got half breastmilk and half formula. He’s a bright 5 year old. I was exclusively formula fed, and look how I turned out. :)

I never had supply issues, but the first 5.5 weeks were so painful I sobbed daily.

HEAB March 10, 2011 at 5:15 am

Marcia – I concur…WHATEVER. That statistic has got to be wrong as I’ve heard from so many women with my same issues. Thanks for the support, and yes, you turned out great. Very encouraging. :)

Another Heather March 9, 2011 at 11:50 pm

I love your blog, I recently stumbled across it looking for recipes for my son who has a rare food protein allergy. I just wanted to chime in and say kudos for doing all that you’ve done for your little girl to give her the best start possible. She is a lucky girl. My first baby, a girl (now 8!) was so hard to nurse. I only kept pumping for a little over a month and switched to formula. I wish I had your pumping stamina! My two sons that followed (now 5 and 1) were so easy to nurse, my supply was more than plentiful. Who knows why it worked out so easily for the boys. I will add that my daughter is healthy, brilliant and fantastic in every way. She makes it very easy for me to be her Mommy. I’m still nursing the youngest and probably will be for a while due to his food allergies. This is only the beginning of your journey as a Mom. You’re doing great. ~Heather

HEAB March 10, 2011 at 5:12 am

Thanks for the encouragement Heather. I’m hoping breastfeeding will work if we have more babies – I guess you just never know. Good to know your daughter is healthy and happy. :)

Christin@purplebirdblog March 10, 2011 at 12:16 am

Oh Heabie, I love you and your forthrightness and honesty about these things. Doing all you’re able is more than a lot of people do, and I commend you, respect you, and admire you for who you are and all you do! <3

Dea March 10, 2011 at 12:38 am

Heather you rock. You’re an inspiration on so many levels. Summer is a lucky girl.

Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn March 10, 2011 at 6:38 am

I cannot get over how darn tootin’ cute Summer is! Makes my heart meltttttt

Kristin (Cook, Bake, Nibble) March 10, 2011 at 8:02 am

Heather, you are doing SO well giving your baby what she needs. I applaud you for trying so very hard and doing the very best you can. You are such an amazing mommy! Keep it up, you’re doing awesome :)

xo

Iris March 10, 2011 at 8:07 am

Heather, I admire your honesty! Please remember that a mother has so much more to offer than her breastmilk and you have so much to give! The mother-to-child-bond is created by so much more than the feeding experience.
Plus, I know about so many mothers who praise themselves for exclusively breastfeeding for xy months just to wean their kids to junk food. It is good to have the opportunity to give your kid the best start into life but much, much more depends on how you are going to continue!

Kellie March 10, 2011 at 8:36 am

Heather, I read daily (blogs are my “morning paper” but so much more fun!), but seldom comment.
I don’t know how that sweet sweet face could make you think you could’ve done anything better/different/more.
Apparently you (and Chris!) have done / are doing a great job. I see a happy healthy baby in that picture :o )

HEAB March 10, 2011 at 9:13 am

Thanks Kellie. Such a nice comment to read this morning, and yes, Chris has been more than supportive. Definitely could not have gotten this far without him!
Hope you have a good day. :)

kathleen March 10, 2011 at 9:33 am

i think that historically, there were probably “wet” nurses for a reason. women who make enough milk for a gazillion babies &/or they enjoyed it or it came easily to them.

not only do they (at least my) lactation consultant seem to downplay the pain involved those first few weeks (seriously every phone call started out with “it’s not supposed to hurt”. i wanted to reach through the phone and ask, “what about someone molesting your nipples for hours a day will not hurt?”) i digress. but they also downplay the sheer amount of time consumption it takes to breastfeed a newborn. that you are solely responsible for their food every 2-3 hours (every 30min-1 hour at night time). anyway, solids start soon and from my friend who’s baby just turned 5 month and started on solids… the newborn stage is short and once they hit solids and only need to eat every 5 hours, life gets so much better.

you’re almost there!

Lora March 10, 2011 at 10:41 am

Heather,

I’ve never commented on your blog before but read it every day…You are doing an amazing job..and the best you can do! Your little Summer is thriving and that is what matters. I was only able to breastfeed for 4 months and did supplement with formula during that time, and my little guy is as healthy and happy as can be. :)

Michelle March 10, 2011 at 11:29 am

Heather, you are amazing! Like you said, be thankful that you have a healthy & beautiful baby girl, that’s all that truly matters. You have so much to offer Summer.

chelsea March 10, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Hey Heather
I have enjoyed so much going back through your pregnancy posts :)
Just out of curiosity how long did you wait before you announced on your blog that you were pregnant?
I am 12 weeks and wonderding when I should talk about it on my blog.
I looked through your posts and it looks like you waited till four months? is that right?
I am so happy for you that nursing is going better, dont blink they grow so fast, mine is is turning two on saturday!
Glad you are doing well!
Chelsea

HEAB March 10, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Hey Chelsea,
Congrats on baby #2. So exciting! Let’s see, I shared my pregnancy on the blog last Mother’s Day, and I was think I was right at 13 weeks. I just waited until the first trimester was over. It was so hard – I was so eager to share with everyone as well as explain why I was eating so much mustard! ;)

Leanne {The Bugs' Mama} March 10, 2011 at 1:59 pm

HEAB,

I have to give you HUGE props for continuing to pump for the Heablet. My sister and I have baby boys 7 weeks apart. While nursing worked out for me, she struggled with getting her son to latch on and was trying to use a nipple shield, and because of his very small size was also supplementing with formula after each feeding, AND was pumping after each feeding. She decided to exclusively pump.

I have to say that watching all of the work that goes into pumping around the clock, and making/washing bottles, washing pump parts, etc., I don’t know if I could do it. I think that it is huge that you are putting forth the effort to do what is best for you and your little one!

HEAB March 10, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Thanks Leanne,
It’s not always easy, and those first few weeks were SO hard. Honestly, I’m surprised I made it as I was ready to give up so many times, but we’ve gotten into a routine and things are much easier now. :)

Sarah Condon March 10, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Heather, thanks so much for sharing your nursing story. I had my little Neil a few weeks after your Summer came and we have had a very similar experience. Your honesty and advice has been reassuring and so helpful. We’re shooting for the 6 month mark as well. Keep up the good mama work, sister!

Jenny March 10, 2011 at 11:13 pm

I just wanted to tell you that I think you are amazing! I think breastfeeding is so hard to give up. I was devastated when my former pediatrician told me for the health of my first daughter we had to stop breastfeeding completely. I cried and cried but at the time I had trusted this man who had cared for me since I was in 6th grade. I was able to breastfeed her for two weeks and felt grateful for that. I worried and worried about ear infections (shes never had one), getting sick often (rarely sick) and would she not be as smart as she could of been? Shes now seven and in the talanted and gifted program at her school!! ((brag))
Shortly after that Pedi had me discontinue the feedings I went to a new office and was able to successfully breastfeed the two daughters that followed. To shorten this up a bit I did have issues with the 2nd daughter but was determined to keep going. Now with baby #3 its probably getting about time to wean but she’s a diehard:) While I think I’m ready to quit, its definitely bittersweet.
Enjoy that baby, as they all say, they do grow quick!!

Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner March 11, 2011 at 12:08 am

You are doing your best Heather! That’s all Summer would ever ask out of you. :) She is so lucky to have you as her Mommy. :)

xoxo
Kathleen

amy March 11, 2011 at 4:49 am

don’t be too hard on yourself about the breastfeeding… it definitely does not come easily for everyone!!! i was of the deluded opinion that breastfeeding would be easy and i would be one of those mums who just took to it…

well i had so many issues trying to breastfeed… and it came as such a shock… my little boy couldn’t suck when he was born and i had to teach him… breastfeeds took 1.5-2 hours at first and then i would express whatever was left after each feed and give him a bottle of whatever i could express to make sure he’d had enough (so it really took 2.5hrs) and then not long after i finished, we would start the whole thing again… i was exhausted (my bub was exhausted as well) and my poor boobs were so traumatised… i had bleeding and cracked nipples, nipple thrush, mastitis… i tried absolutely everything… a hired hospital grade pump machine… nipple guards, but honestly that much trauma on my boobs was agony…. i cried through so many feeds… i persevered for 8 months (my husband couldn’t believe i did it for that long and begged me to stop) when my son- much to my joy- decided to wean himself… he just refused to touch my boobs anymore (seems i wasn’t the only one a bit traumatised!) and it always made me SO angry when i read all the publicity about breastfeeding about it being “easy, natural and doesn’t hurt if you’re doing it the right way”…. well that might be right for some women, but it certainly isn’t for all women and all it does is make women feel bad about themselves when they are trying their very best!

just remember you are doing your best and be proud of yourself for what you have done!
xox

amy March 11, 2011 at 4:57 am

i just wanted to add that i also saw all the appropriate medical professionals… i saw paediatricians, numerous lactation consultants, speech pathologists (to look at why my bub couldn’t suck properly), not to mention my sister is a paediatrician- so i had constant advice… but none of it helped :( it really just doesn’t come easy for some… i’m really hoping it goes better next time around (we’re currently expecting number 2)!

Hayley March 11, 2011 at 7:50 am

I’m sorry I don’t comment as often as I used to – I’m trying to limit my blogging/commenting/reading time but I still follow yours regularly.

I just want you to know that you deserve an award for all the effort you’ve put into nursing and ensuring Summer gets breast milk. I will admit that I gave it a good go but I definitely didn’t try that hard, so anyone who says breast feeding is easy or that you didn’t do all that you could is totally wrong!! You should feel very proud of yourself, Heather. You’re an absolutely beautiful (inside and out) and amazing mom. I admire you.. :)

Katie March 11, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Heather, you are SO inspiring. Your sheer will to give Summer the best AND your peace with your body when it didn’t cooperate the way you hoped are both amazing. I hope when I have kids I have half your fortitude.

And I LOVE that picture of Summer! She’s adorable!

Kristin March 11, 2011 at 10:43 pm

You are an inspiration and your love for your daughter warms my heart! I know very few parents who are this dedicated and loving. Thank you for sharing!

Anne March 11, 2011 at 11:29 pm

Heather- you have done an awesome job so far. I am sure I would’ve thrown in the towel long before you did with all those obstacles. I think in all the (well intended) push recently to increase breastfeeding support, there is a tendency to make breastfeeding seem easier than it is for many women. There is also often the underlying message that “if you don’t do this, you aren’t doing what’s best for your baby”. I think nursing is great but baby probably does best when mom is happy and relaxed, whether that’s from BF or FF or a combo.

I actually had an easy time BF and had good supply but my breasts got so large on my relatively small frame (34H!) that I got horrible neck and back pain and rashes and blistering on my shoulders when running or working out. At 10 months, I decided I was done, and my son did just fine.

You are doing great with Summer and milk is a small thing in compared to all the other gifts you give.

Lissa March 17, 2011 at 3:47 pm

My next post is talking about this and what’s funny is I’d been planning a pumping-at-work-challenges post and came across yours about pumping challenges and lord, lord, I could have written this!! Go you for doing all you can for Summer–she’s going to be so much better off for it and as I like to say, ANY milk we can give them is better than NO milk. Hugs to you and your sweetie pie Summer. She looks ADORABLE in those pics. Enjoy your va-k!

L March 18, 2011 at 7:59 am

Heather – I am totally in the same boat as you… Since my daughter Emily was small in the NICU after birth, her mouth was too tiny to latch on and then she got too used to bottles from being in the hospital (despite the fact that I did try to nurse her 3 times a day until she came home)… I had lactaction consultant appts, etc… same thing with no success… I decided to exclusively pump so that Emily could get breastmilk and it was a lot less frustrating… I too was very upset that we couldn’t share that special bond like I had planned, but I am glad that she got my breastmilk in some form… Plus any breastmilk is better than none at all (I too don’t make enough)… If only there was a way to skip the night-time pumping and not have a drop in supply, I would be a happy girl! Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I am in the same boat and thank you for writing this post, it made me feel better that I am not alone!

Oh by the way, I have a Medela Pump In Style and found that their hands-free bustier was a life-saver for me :)

Alison March 18, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Heather, I exclusively pumped for my oldest daughter for 14 months. It was a labor of love to be sure, and I mourned the loss of our nursing experience, but was still grateful I could give her human milk exclusively for so long. A pumping band saved my sanity!

http://www.pumpingband.com/

EPing sounds so hard, but eventually it all becomes part of the routine.

I went on to successfully nurse my second for well over two years. Way to go for sticking with it despite all your challenges!

Alison March 18, 2011 at 7:47 pm

NOW that I’ve posted my own comment I’m reading through the others and see you’ve fashioned your own hands free bra! Glad to hear it!

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: