Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New mom, new worries, new needs (or rather wants), and a new blog

I've been putting off, or rather, slacking off writing an entry regarding my experiences as a new mother, and a breastfeeding mother at that. And oh, add to that mix babywearing mother, too. The experiences I've had this past three and so months have been vast and full of emotional and physical strain that I'm now forgetting the when's of those moments. Besides, how can I remember the frustrations I had when I found myself at home alone with the baby, unable to find the time to really eat (when J's at work) and to primp myself just a bit, when my now 3-month old baby boy graces me with his smiles, coos, and giddy laughs?

As a way to diarize these new moments of motherhood, and to share the joys I've experienced with others, I created this new blog to focus on my journey as a mother. As a mother who loves wearing her baby and is now addicted to carriers. And as a mother who's determined to breastfeed her baby up to at least two years for all the benefits the baby will get.

So, to start this blog rolling, let me share some recent events in my life that led to the conclusion: while I want what's best for my baby, I want it done in a somewhat easy way.

Breastmilk is best for babies up to two years and beyond. Or so the new ads of formula makers say. And the two breastfeeding classes I've attended told of studies that show how breastfeeding a baby for up to two years reduces the risk of genitic diseases to be inherited by the baby by up to (or was it at least?) 50%. And being someone who hasn't experienced going to the hospital for an operation or for any other serious illness before giving birth, I want my baby to experience the same thing and not inherit his dad's heart condition. While J's condition may have been in-born and not necessarily genetic, his family does have a history of heart conditions and I don't want my baby having those. Thus, my determination to breastfeed up to at least two years are now firmer as when before, I only wanted to breastfeed up to at least one year.

And this determination led to buying a pump, a manual pump from Tommee Tippee. It was easy to use when I as at home and started stocking up on my supply in preparation for my return to work. I'd pump once, maybe even twice a day an hour after baby feeds or when I'm engorged and baby is sound asleep. However, pumping with it made my nipples sore, on the same area each time, until sometimes, at some point, would make it bleed. I discontinued using it for a while, thinking I was pumping too hard due to worrying on my milk stock, thus, wounding myself in the process. A few days before I went back to work had me discovering there was a defect in my pump. I was not about to buy another pump since an aunt from Australia was sending us a package, which includes a pump. So, for my first 5 days back to work, I used my defective pump, being extra careful so as to not make me bleed. I was even pumping both breasts, but wasn't emptying them effectively due to the defect plus the time constraint.

Thankfully, after that first week, the package came and I got my new, but still manual, pump. It was Avent Isis. With all the ads and reviews I read on this pump, I was excited, even if I'm a Tommee Tippee fan (all my bottles, sterilizer, and yes, the pump were Tommee Tippee's). However, when I was disassembling the pump to clean it for my first use, I was a bit aggravated. It has a lot of parts for a manual pump and my previous pump only has 3 parts. There's the pump, the handle and a white thing where the milk goes towards the bottle. Now, with the Avent Isis, there's the silicon petal massager, the white valve, the other silicon plug that sits above the white valve, the handle, the cover, and the horn itself. No matter. It's a pump and it's a gift and if I want my baby to continue drinking breastmilk, the little things shouldn't hinder me from pumping at work.

So I used the Avent pump. I was a bit disappointed with the output. I expressed lesser milk than when I was using my other pump (and being really careful at it, too). But I kept at it, not having any other choice as buying another one of the same brand as my previous pump would be a waste and not at all necessary.

However, another drawback on my pumping at work came. It was tiring. Having to pump both breasts during my pumping sessions takes too much time and effort on my part. It was a good thing that transactions at this time of the year were few. But, wanting to take less time pump during my morning and afternoon breaks, I now just pump one breast at a time, mimicking the way I'd feed my baby if I were at home. But still, my hands and fingers grow tired after each session.

So now the hunt for an electric pump. I turned to my e-group for advice. Buying an electric pump is not within our budget right now, especially a double electric pump. So I had to ask just how efficient it'd be if I'd get a double electric. I was ok with buying a single electric, if only to ease the effort it takes when I use a manual one. I'd just buy a pair of breast shells to catch the leaks when I pump/nurse from the non-nursing breast. But since it was really expensive either way, and I was set to buying Medela's Freestyle for all the conviniences it promises, J is really hesitant, bordering to completely rejecting the idea. Our cashflow is not exactly overflowing. We make ends meet just so, with a little bit of savings on the side, especially now that we have a baby. So purchases that are nearing the 5 digit amount, especially more, are taken into consideration. So my need, or rather, really a want needs to be discussed.

I've been wishing and eyeing an electric pump but not really too bent on purchasing one as right now, I don't really need it... yet. But by next year, I'm not sure if I can live off pumping with a manual breastpump. Plus, the fact that my baby boy had just about almost finished the stock I made for him in just a day yesterday. He left two bags and add the two bags I brought home yesterday... Le sigh.

So yes. I want to breastfeed my baby until at least he's two years old. And yes, I'm one of those who want the easy way to doing things. And yes, in the long run, I've saved up for the electric pump I'm dreaming off and more instead of buying formula.