Wednesday, September 8, 2010

3 Years Breastfeeding

I just wanted to share with you one of the things I have done in the past few years that I am really proud of. About 2 years ago I found out about this project via Facebook that was asking mums about their breastfeeding story to go into a competition to be published. It was called Just Call Me Daisy. So I got to writing my story. The project wasn't successful at being published but has since been published via other avenues.

So I am very excited to say I am now a published author (sort of) and it is being distributed all over the world. I feel so privileged that I got the opportunity to be apart of this. Below is my story. I am currently still breastfeeding. But have been trying to wean without much success. She is one very obsessed booby monster. I have been telling her that as of her 3rd birthday no more boobie your a big girl now. Well her birthday is on Friday 10th September, so it is coming up quick. Looking forward to the break. I encourage you to buy a copy to read the other stories included in the book. Very inspiring.

I fell pregnant with my first son at 20.
December, 1997 8 months pregnant 
Joshua few weeks old

Joshua born 19th January, 1998.

I always thought that I would breastfeed as my mum had breastfed myself and my sister until we were 18/19 months old. She was also apart of the Nursing Mothers (now known as ABA). So I had a pretty good example. I didn't do much research into breastfeeding more so into the other parts of development, such as massaging the baby to help with brain stimulation. I successfully breastfed Joshua but he seemed to have a big appetite and I also supplement fed him. He was breastfed until he was 12 months.

My daughter Nicola was born 2 years and 2 months later and I don't remember having any problems with breastfeeding. She also was breastfed until she was 12 months.
This was taken just after I gave birth to Nicola. My first attempt at breastfeeding went really well. 

I was so happy to have a little girl. She was 5 pounds 10 ounces. 8 days early.

Nicola about 3 months and Joshua 2 years old.

My 3rd son Matthew was born 2 and 1/2 years later and I fed him until he was 15 months but only weaned due to returning to work.
Matthew born 4th August, 2002, 4 days over due 6 pounds 10 ounces

Matthew 6 months old
 With my 4th son Samuel who arrived 2 and 1/2 years after Matthew I returned to work when he was 5 months old but I was still feeding him in the morning and at night. 

He would have formula for his day feeds. I was determined to continue but developed shooting pains from my nipple to my shoulder and only could put up with this for 3 months. I went and saw doctors about it but was never told what it was. Samuel seemed to have a lot more health issues then the other 3. When he started solids he couldn't eat tinned baby food as he would come out in a rash. He also developed asthma which none of my other children never had. I felt guilty for having given him formula. 

I planned for Samuel to be the last but in January of 2007 fell pregnant with my 5th child. This time I was determined to feed up till 12 months as I had done with the other 3. Around this time I was approached in my local shopping centre to join and advisory group that was looking to start a peer support group for breastfeeding mothers. It was part of a larger project called Caboolture Mums and Little ones that was being funded by QLD Health in colaboration with UQ and the Caboolture hospital as well as a few other community organisations. From the Uni a few different projects were underway by PHD students. Angela was the PHD student involved in the breastfeeding project. So as the weeks involved in the project progressed from advising to becoming part of a peer support program called MOTHERMe, so did my pregnancy. During this process experienced breastfeeding mothers began to join.

We shared our experiences and one of the things I found out was that the shooting pain I experienced with Samuel was Thrush and very easy to treat. I felt had I known this things may have been different in how long I fed Samuel. One of the mothers who joined was Hayley.

She had had a 6 week premie baby. She was very determined to breastfeed contrary to advice from her family.

At 20 weeks I started suffering from depression and was put on Anti depressants - Zoloft, which was the safest anti depressant for pregnancy. One of the side affects was early labour, say 3 weeks early which I thought wasn't too bad as I went 10 days over due with Samuel. This time I also had developed severe IBS. So whether it was either of these factors but at 26 weeks I had a show. After going to the hospital and being examined they said there was a possability that I would go into early labour. So I thought if I was going to have a premie baby I better find out lots of info about breastfeeding as this was a totally new situation for me. I was able to find out lots of information from Hayley. One piece of advice she gave me was that when I first had the baby was to make sure I told the hospital that I did not want the baby given formula at all. If you don't express this they will go ahead and do it with out even informing you.

I got to 31 weeks and went into early labour. They gave me steroids and blood pressure medication to stop the labour. It stop but my waters broke. Never knowing any one that had had their waters break and not go into labour in 24 hours or be induced I thought that this was it. But the doctors try and keep the baby in there as long as possible to give them the best chance. I was given antibiotics to stop any infection from having my waters broken. I went into labour again at 32 weeks and this time they stopped it with pethidine. Then at 33 weeks the baby was determined to come, I started to hemorrhage. This time they had let me go into labour. They induced me and Jessica Lee McKenzie was born on the 10 September 2007 after a 2 hour labour at 9:11 pm. She was 5 pounds or 2270grams which was a good weight for a 7 weeks preemie. 
Jessica just born.

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The boys love her. She looks like a doll.

They are such big helpers.

Joshua giving Jessica expressed milk.
I didn't get to hold her or even feed her until the next morning. I started to express that night to try and bring my milk in. I was also told that every drop of colostrum was precious and counted. I expressed my wish that she not be given any formula only my milk. I expressed every 2 hours which was more like every hour when you think about how long it takes from when you start to when you finish and then have to start again. When I tried to put Jessica on the breast the next morning I was told that because she was that early she probably wouldn't feed. But I was positive that she would and she did. Although most of her feeds to start off with were through a tube in her nose to her stomach. By the time I left hospital I had such a good supply of milk that they told me to stop bringing it up to the hospital. So I started storing in the freezer for later on, as this was one tip one of the mothers in the group had suggested. Every drop is precious and can help in the first few weeks when everything is up and down and if you need a break because you have sore nipples or thrush.

She stayed in hospital for 2 weeks. We developed a great breastfeeding relationship although I think due to her being preemie she had a lot of pain from colic/ reflux because a stomach was immature. My mother suggested I stop drinking milk and other dairy which I did and things settled down. I also developed thrush which I think was due to the antibiotics and I think this also caused her to be unsettled. 

She is now 14 months old and still going strong. For the first time out of all 5 children I feel like I will continue to at least 2 years. I think this is due to the fact that the Breastfeeding group that I am involved in most of the mothers are now feeding toddlers and I feel that I should have this experience too. I think that having the group has been extremely useful to help with all the problems I have encountered. I have learnt so much from these mothers and their experience then I had learnt from having 4 other babies.

The best piece of advice that I could give to a new mother is to research as much as you can and be informed so you can make the best decision for your self so that you don't have regrets later. Also it is important to be around other mothers who are positive about feeding if this is what you want to achieve. This support really helps when you go through difficult time which you usually do have a few in the first few months.

A few other things I have learnt this time that having your baby sleep in your bed to save your sanity rather than getting up and down actually has a name co sleeping. I have done this with all my children and never known that it was actually called something. I have also found out that you don't have to introduce solids at 6 months, it is only a suggestion. It is actually recommended that babies starts solids between 6 to 12 months. It should depend on each individual baby as to when they are ready. I tried to feed my daughter a 6 months because she seemed like she was interested but her tummy couldn't handle it. When she got to 8 months and I mentioned to the health nurse that she still wasn't eating solids she said I should try her soon other wise it can effect her speech later on. This made me feel really bad. But in the end I thought no I need to listen to my baby. She has perfectly fine development with speach. After reading an article about delaying solids I found out that if you don't introduce any solids till 12 months your breast milk has enough iron to sustain your baby. But saying
that you still have to be careful that your baby is doing fine. I think that it should be pushed more that mothers listen to their own instinct and that when it comes down to it a mother knows her baby better then any one else can. To many times doctors and other health professionals have failed to do this and things have turned out to be not so great.

I feel that breastfeeding is the first relationship you establish with your baby. Like any relationship it has its ups and downs but if you work hard to get through the tough times, you have a real sense of achievement which is an amazing feeling as a mother. It is very empowering. Good luck and happy breastfeeding.
Jessica 2 years old.
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  1. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story. Thanks for following me, I am following you back.

    I hope you will come to join me in the new Thoughful Wednesday blog hop.

    Please stop by and add your address.

  2. Xenia @ Thanks, Mail CarrierSeptember 8, 2010 at 5:29 AM

    What a story! Thank you so much for sharing it, you should be really proud that you have followed your instincts with your daughter and have had such a wonderful breastfeeding experience.

  3. I am following you now thanks to Welcome Wednesday! It would be nice if you could share the love back on my blog ;)
    And don't forget today is your last chance to sign up for our amazing giveaway: two custom blog banners! Also for more easy HTML tutorials or help increasing your blog's traffic, you know where to come!
    Plus today we talk about other amazing blog tips so make sure you don't miss any of it! Happy Wednesday!

  4. Thanks for stopping by Green Momma's.  I linked in with your blog hop.  Have a great week. :)

  5. What a wonderful story!
    Following you back from the blog hop!

  6. Jamarah Crafty CreationsSeptember 8, 2010 at 6:44 AM

    Thank you for comments.

  7. Good for you! Thanks for sharing your story! What a happy, good looking family :)   Also, thank you for visiting my blog earlier, I'm glad cos it got me to visit yours as well and hear your great story. Will keep on checking in :)

  8. Beautiful family!

  9. I think it's awesome to see a mom breastfeeding for that long!  3 years is great! :-)  Congrats on the great work!

    Thanks for following my blog.  Following back now! :-)

  10. Thanks for stopping by my blog!! Following you back!
    From PDX with Love

  11. Great story! Thanks for stopping my! I am not following =)

  12. Sara Povich/8aplentySeptember 8, 2010 at 10:18 AM

    I loved your story!  I am already a follower!  I breastfed all eight of my babies.  It was a precious gift!  My eighth, Lily, decided all on her own to ween!  I miss it so much!

  13. You did great with breastfeeding! I bf all three of mine and sometimes, it was a challenge! Cosleeping saved my sanity!

    Thanks for linking up to Pour Your Heart Out!

  14. I congratulate you on breastfeeding all of your kids for such a long time.  It's the best thing for children.  Unfortunately, I only breastfed my son for 6 months.  I was in a car accident that caused me to have an operation and I had to take pain pills and injections for several weeks.

    If it hadn't been for that I would have kept it up. I loved breastfeeding my son!

    I'm your newest follower from Catch a Wave Wednesday!

    Can't wait to start catching up on your posts.

  15. New Blog follower from Welcome Wednesday!

  16. Thank you for joining me at Create With Joy. I am following you back!


  17.  Thanks for the follow. Follwing you back. Very cute blog design. Take care!

    ~ Tiffany

  18. Thanks so much for sharing your story!  I had a horrible time with breastfeeding, but I was determined.  I did it for 2 months, until I physically couldn't take it any more.  I was screaming in pain and my son was crying all the time.  I gave up, but I'm hoping I will have a successful experience next time around.  Congratulations on your story being published!

  19. Wow! I would have never managed to breastfeed for three years, my daughters, barely even breast fed when they had their kids. They said that it was painful. 

    Feel free to drop by our blog anytime, we would love to have you! :)

  20. I had those shooting pains!  Nobody knew what I was talking about.  I remember putting cabbage leaves on my boobs to help ease it.  I always thought it was engorgement!  Breastfeeding is SPECIAL and it is also HARD WORK!

  21. Thanks for sharing.  I nursed my first for 9 months ( I was already pregnant with #2 and my milk decided to dry up - I planned on nursing 1 year. I nursed my second for 2 years too.  He would not stop :)   Congrats for being published.  You deserve it for sure and your family is adorable!!



Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. I really appreciate it. Looking forward to reading what you think. God Bless