Monday, January 31, 2011

February Giveway - Beautiful Earrings!

Shiny object!! Oooooh! Who wants some??

Kara Creation's - One of a Kind Handmade Jewelry has generously donated two pairs of earrings for this months giveaway, so we'll have two lucky winners sporting some new earrings on Valentines Day!

Pair 1 is on 14k gold plated earwires. Two beautifuly colored fire polished glass beads dangle from gold figure eight links. The glass beads are a periwinkle blue and spring green. They measure approx 2 1/2 inches from the top of the earwire to the bottom bead.

Pair 2
is on sterling silver earwires. There is a black glass bead with a metallic finish which mimics the look of hematite between two grey faceted glass beads. The earrings measure approx 1 3/4in from the top of the earwire to the bottom bead.

All jewelry comes in a giftbox and she only ship within the United States.

The giveaway starts Monday January 31st, 2011 and will end at 11:59 PM on Sunday February 6th, 2011. We will announce the winner on Monday February 7th, 2011.

  • You must be have a United States address.
  • You must be a follower of the blog.
  • Selected winners must provide a valid mailing address. Please do not post your address in the comments section. If you win, we'll ask for your address.
  • We will announce the winners on the blog on Monday February 7th, 2011 and the winner must email us at and claim their prize within 72 hours or a new winner will be selected.
  • Winners will be selected from all eligible entries by the use of the random integer generator.
Entries: You may have up to 5 entries (and remember, you have to be a follower of the blog!). Each entry must have it's own comment.
  • Entry number 1: Comment on this blog post and tell us how long you breastfed each of your children. All entrants must do this and then may do the subsequent entries for the giveaway.
  • Entry number 2: "Like" The Good Letdown on facebook. We'll need to know your name on FB so we can double check! Make a separate comment on this blog post letting us know that you "liked" us on FB.
  • Entry number 3: Share this giveaway on facebook. We'll need to know your name on FB so we can double check! Make a separate comment on this blog post letting us know that you shared it on FB.
  • Entry number 4: Blog about our giveaway on your blog. Make a separate comment on this blog post sharing the link to your blog!
  • Entry number 5: "Like" Kara's Creations on FB.!/pages/Karas-Creations/115996268417919 We'll need to know your name on FB so we can double check! Make a separate comment on this blog post letting us know that you "liked" us on FB.
Be sure to do separate posts for each of your entries as we are using randomizer to pick the winner.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Early Breastfeeding Obstacles Part 5 - Fear

Fear - fear of breastfeeding in front of people, fear of not being perfect, fear of our instincts, fear of the unknown, fear of asking for help, fear of failure... the list could go on and on.

Fear will rear its ugly head at all milestones of our life. Breastfeeding is no exception. Think of other big events; say, a job interview. If you haven't been to a job interview before you may not know what to expect. You could read books, ask for advice from friends/family who have been on interviews before, ask professionals for pointers, etc. OR... you could just show up and wing it.

Sometimes the latter may work, but chances are better if you have tips, tricks, and a support network to get helpful ideas and solutions. Agree?

The more information you have going into this milestone in your life, the better your chances are of being a success. Now, that's not to say you need to somehow obtain your masters degree in breastfeeding, but going into it with some knowledge already in your head and lots of resources already built in at your fingertips for when/if something isn't working right is going to drastically increase your chances.

Breastfeeding is a natural and normal thing, but we've lost touch with our instincts of overcoming common challenges, especially since our little F friend (you know, formula) was invented. If breastfeeding isn't going well, people are very quick to offer up that F word. And it definitely has it's time and place in some situations. I am most certainly glad it is available for moms to truly need it. But more often than not it could have been avoided had mom been given XYZ advice instead.

Those first few days are so important to creating/building your supply and having baby learn how to receive the shipment. Just remember that their stomach is about the size of a marble - it does not take much to make them full. You have time to gather advice from all your resources and try lots of different solutions before your baby falls into that failure to thrive category. And chances are they won't. Rally up your troops and stay strong mama!

Be sure to check out:

Friday, January 28, 2011

Minnesota Working Mothers - Act Now!

Every woman who has breastfed and returned to work has a story.

It is time to tell those stories.

The recent amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to provide reasonable break time and a place for nursing mothers to express breast milk for one year after their child's birth.

It's the law.

Now, the U.S. Department of Labor wants your story and ideas. You have experience with what works and what doesn't when women combine breastfeeding and returning to work. The Dept of Labor seeks information and comments on various issues addressed in this notice as it considers how best to help employers and employees understand the break time for nursing mothers law.

It's easy!

Go to the U.S. Dept of Labor website to submit your comments (2000 characters or less). Want to read or comment on what others have written? Click here!

Make your story and ideas go further. How? Send a copy of any comments you have, whether or not you submit them to the U.S. Dept of Labor, to the Minnesota Breastfeeding Coalition c/o

Why? The Minnesota Breastfeeding Coalition wants to gather your story and ideas as we advocate to make Minnesota's exemplary state laws related to breastfeeding in the workplace even more effective for you and other breastfeeding women in the state. Thank you, in advance, for your thoughtful input!

Wondering where to start? Be honest, be specific. Click here for some questions to help you get started.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Guest Blog: Life Lesson #2 for 2011

Reposted with Permission from Sasha - The Other Me;

Sometimes breastfeeding isn't easy.

I was one of those women that breastfeeding had always been easy for. The occasional mild case of thrush treated with a simple home remedy over the years but nothing more alarming than that. So when I found out I was pregnant with twins and was asked if I planned on nursing them my answer was "Of course, I breastfed all my other children why wouldn't I my twins?"

On October 13th 2010 my boys, Connor & Seamus, were born and thus began my breastfeeding story from hell.

My sons were born at 35 weeks gestation after being on bed rest and medication to prevent premature labor. During my pregnancy the boys had been diagnosed with Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome so we had anticipated that there would be some complications at birth. The boys would end up spending a total of 3 weeks and 6 days in NICU.

While the twins were in the NICU I pumped around the clock and was very pleased to be making enough milk for both of them. Their latch was weak and it would take sometimes up to an hour each just to get a full bottle down. At the hospital the boys were born in I worked with a lactation consultant and 3 nurses trained in newborn breastfeeding assessment. The boys were transferred after two weeks to a teaching hospital to treat a rare endocrine condition they had inherited,
Pseudohypoaldosteronism. While at that hospital I worked with 2 more lactation consultants. During that time I was only successful once at getting a full nursing session with Connor and was never successful with Seamus.

Connor blissed out on mommy milk.

During the boys NICU stay a stomach virus ravaged our house. All 5 of the older children and my husband were ill for days. Somehow I didn't get sick, I dont think it is possible to wash your hands more than I did during that time. On the morning of November the 9th my boys finally came home. I should have been overcome with joy, and I was for the most part, but I was also afraid. I was afraid because all throughout the process of signing out my boys my stomach kept knotting up on me. I foolishly convinced myself that it was just my nerves and finished the paperwork to bring Connor and Seamus home. That night was hell and I blissfully remember very few details about it.

The schedule worked like this:
Feed baby small amount of breastmilk mixed with prescribed sodium chloride.
Attempt to nurse baby.
Feed baby bottle of expressed breastmilk.
Repeat above steps for my other baby.
Pump for next feeding.
Try desperately not to throw up.
Drink as much water as possible.
Sleep 15 minutes.
Start all over again.

Throughout the next day I noticed I was pumping less and less milk at each sitting. The second night the boys were home I broke down and had my best friend take me to the hospital. I was promptly given IV fluids for dehydration. I came home to pump and there was nothing. I believe this is when I finally let myself cry. I knew I had no choice but to have my husband go out and buy formula and that thought destroyed me.

You see, I am a lactivist. I read about breastfeeding, I talk about it, I belong to forums devoted to it, I buy art focused on it. I am one of those annoying moms that are constantly linking to articles and news stories about breastfeeding on facebook. Although I have only been to virtual nurse ins online I would go to one in person if there ever was one in my area, even if I myself was not lactating at the time. I have an entire section of my photo shoebox devoted to nursing pictures. One of the first pictures I took of my new nephew was of his mother nursing him. I am committed to breastfeeding if at all possible; prior to the boys being born I didn't even own a bottle.

I started power pumping, determined to get my supply back up. Meanwhile I was supplementing heavily with formula. I had an irrational rage at that powdered "stuff" in a can. I found myself wanting to pitch it against the wall in a fit of fury but somehow resisted the urge. Within a few days my supply was back, but now I faced a very real problem that I did not want to address. I had to sleep at some point. I still was not making enough milk to be able to skip a pumping session and the boys still were not able to suck well enough to feed from the breast. I made the painful decision to supplement a few feedings with formula that their dad would give them while I slept.

Although we were still having a hard time nursing we were making progress and cruising along. Then thrush hit. Not normal thrush. This was insane sent from hell itself thrush. I knew I had a major problem when I went to pump and the pain didn't go away so I looked down and I had been pumping pure blood.

Became hygiene obsessed even using boiling water to wash my bras.
Radically altered my diet.
Tried multiple home remedies
Administered several rounds of Nystatin
Took Diflucan

During all of this I noticed that the boys still had a very weak latch so I took them in to see their pediatrician. Despite being seen by countless dr's in the NICU, 3 lactation consultants and multiple nurses trained in newborn nursing assessment the fact that my boys were tongue tied was somehow overlooked.

Believing the thrush was finally gone I started power pumping again to try and bring my supply back up again.

So what have I recently discovered? Yes, you guessed it the thrush is back. But this time as I face yet another hurdle I do not feel the discouragement and the defeat I once felt. Why? Because I realize now that breastfeeding isn't always easy. I know that sometimes breastfeeding isn't always possible and that is ok. I know now that although formula is over used it is not only a necessary product but a wonderful blessing to those of us that can not provide milk for our babies and do not have access to affordable donor milk. I now understand that I can end up not being able to breastfeed my babies and the world is not going to end. Most importantly I have allowed myself to acknowledge that I can be a good mom and not breastfeed. I have ate not only a slice of humble pie, but the whole pie itself and survived. Personally I think I have became a better more understanding person because of it.

Does this mean I am going to give up?

No, not yet.

You see I still have a few tricks up my sleeve and things to try. I haven't tried probiotics yet. I also am going to start using a
SNS that my wonderful and generous friend Liz sent me in the mail for Christmas. The boys have an appointment to get their tongues clipped and most importantly I still believe we have a chance.

So why keep trying? Why is this so important to me?
American Academy of Pediatrics
World Health Organization
Also because of things you can not find in peer reviewed research papers.
Things like the contended look of peace on a breastfeeding baby's face after filling their little bellies.
The improvement of diaper odor.
No running out in the middle of the night because you realize you are out of formula.
No more panic when you are out and about with your little one and suddenly realize you are feeding them the last bottle you brought with you.
The ease and natural rhythm that breastfeeding brings to a nursing mother and her baby.

Why wouldn't I want to give it everything I had in me to try?

Below are some links that I have found helpful in my breastfeeding journey. If you are also struggling you are not alone. Look for help and know that no matter what the outcome at the end of the day breastfeeding is not the sole determining factor of how much you love your baby. Love, like breastmilk, is far more complex than that.

and of course Dr. Jack Newman linked above

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Post Partum Depression

I debated about whether or not to write this post because this is a very difficult thing to talk or write about. You would think that it would be easier because this is a faceless thing, blogging, but for one, many people I know read my blog (I think?) and it's still this deeply personal thing to be experiencing and to talk about. For the first several weeks after Ella was born, everyone, including myself, was waiting with bated breath for post partum depression symptoms to show up in me. Being on bedrest, having a premature baby who was as sick as she was and the fact that I'm prone to anxiety and stress made me exceptionally high risk for PPD (PPD risk factors). I had a 4 week appointment and by then, I was so cheerful it was sick. I had an attitude that since Ella hadn't died those first 2 weeks when she was SO sick and on the ventilator that I could take anything that was sent my way. In fact, I was so disgustingly cheerful, it should have worried me. I went to the doctor for a check up since I had had such severe pre-e and they were shocked by my positive attitude. It seemed that I was in the clear.

It was about two weeks later when I started feeling different, give or take. I started getting crankier then usual. And not just, I'm tired and my baby is in the hospital cranky. Cranky like I was screaming at and spanking my 2 year old for the stupidest little things. Yes, spanking. I've been the occasional hand slapper and the very rare spanker but all of a sudden everything she did was setting me off. Somedays, I'd get up and just think that I was so sick of the same old shi* happening at the NICU, I didn't even want to go to the stupid place. I thought it didn't make any difference and I just didn't want to go. I was sick of it. I was stressed the heck out. I talked to my friends about it and I started retaking my placenta pills (yes, placenta pills. And yes, they are what you think they are) and I started evening out. I was still stressed and got irritated even more easily then usual but I calmed down a little.

One day after her due date, on December 17, Ella came home. I was SO happy. That first day was magical. We had big family cuddles and Olivia was so thrilled that Ella was home. Our family was finally complete and under one roof. My husband's work found a loop hole around FMLA (I don't even want to get into that) so he only had that one day off. It was the next day that the crying began. The hours...and hours...and hours of crying. Did I mention that she cried? And then...she cried some more. She would scream and cry and NOTHING I did would make her stop. For the first day or two, I rocked her and sang to her and loved her and it just didn't really bother me because I was so happy my baby was home. After mind got to the point where the screaming was like nails on my brain. Sometimes she would nurse, sometimes she wouldn't. By the time Shane came home, I'd be sobbing that this baby was horrible and nothing I did made her happy. I felt like a rotten mother. I was failing. And then I started thinking things like, why didn't she act like this in the NICU? Why is she doing this to me at home? Why does she want to make me crazy? I hate this baby. I wish she'd stayed at the NICU. I would cry as I thought these things because I was a rotten mother for thinking it. It just got worse and worse. After about 2 weeks, I figured out how to stop the crying from lasting hours and hours but I had exhausted myself and was to the point where the smallest cry would immediately bring the stress from 0-100% in 1.5 seconds. I was a mess. I was yelling at Olivia and spanking her for no good reason again. Time out was like every 10 minutes at times. I would cry as I did it, knowing I was a mess but feeling like I was spinning out of control. I hated myself for how I was acting towards my girls, especially towards Ella who had spent 74 days in the NICU, fighting for her life and here I was acting like the crappiest mother ever.

The things I've thought and said to my girls during my episodes...I told them both that I hated them, that I wished I'd never had children. I fantasized about getting in the car and leaving my family behind. I didn't want to be around them. I can't even say everything I thought. It was putting a strain on my marriage too because I was uber sensitive to my husband as well. One time, I went to put Olivia (2 year old) in the car and went to the wrong side and my husband asked me why I did that. I LOST it. I screamed at him that I must be a loser and a horrible mother because I didn't know which side of the car Olivia sat on. It was at this point, after a horrible morning of me losing it and being on edge all morning, that I knew it was time to get some help. I wanted to leave my kids and go away. I constantly thought my kids didn't deserve this and they'd be better without me. A few days later, I called the doctor and made an appointment to be seen.

When I went and saw the doctor, I completely broke down. It was obvious to her that I was suffering from pretty bad depression. She prescribed me Zoloft and set me up with a psychologist. I've started the Zoloft and it wasn't long after that I started feeling better. It was like someone flipped a switch in my head. I could deal with my children easier, every word that came out of my husbands mouth didn't make me feel like I wanted to shoot him...and I just feel better overall. I have always had some issues with handling stress and anxiety so throw the fact that I had a traumatic pregnancy as well as a baby in the NICU and it was pretty much a guarantee that I'd have this happen. I could never have imagined that it would get as severe as it did and once it WAS that bad, I never thought I could come out of it. I went to the doctor and when they prescribed me Zoloft, I didn't actually think it would work because I didn't feel like I could ever feel better. I thought I would feel this psycho for the rest of my life and eventually I'd totally lose my mind.

Why am I sharing something so incredibly personal? Because I never, ever thought that PPD could be this bad. I never realized how deeply this can affect women. I was humiliated by my actions and my feelings. Absolutely humiliated. I didn't want to go to the doctor because I was afraid of what they would think, say or do. I wondered if having these kinds of thoughts could get my kids taken away from me. I had asked my husband to make a huge change in our lifestyle so that I could quit my job and stay home with our kids. I had asked for both my children to be conceived so how dare I feel anything but love and appreciation towards them? It seemed like a failure to ask for help from a doctor and even worse, to try medications. But I finally had to and now I realize that there was truly something going on that needed to be fixed. My patience has multiplied. When Ella cries, I don't automatically feel like screaming at her. When Olivia acts up, I don't feel like spanking her and when my husband drives his car into a median, I don't feel like stabbing him in the eye.

I wanted to share my struggles through post partum depression because if another woman experiences this I want her to get help. I want her to know she's not alone. So while it's incredibly hard to write this all, and share it, especially with strangers, I hope that other women know they aren't alone.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Off Topic Tuesday - Evolution of Sleep

Introducing... Off Topic Tuesday... :) We can't talk about boobs all the time, can we? Well, we probably could... but other stuff is important too.

With Chicken Little (CL) we initially started off with him in a bassinet next to the bed. This was the same bassinet that my husband slept in as an infant. It had been through six children and had seen better days, but we still used it. Rooster took two weeks off of work and stayed in the room with us.

When Rooster returned to work it was painfully obvious that he needed to sleep in another room as CL was waking hourly for feeding, and even during his sleep he made gremlin gurgle noises all the time. We asked around for advice, and only received responses of putting him in another room and closing the door. THAT wasn't going to happen, so Rooster set up the spare bedroom for himself and came in to help me around two times a night by doing a diaper change so I could go get a snack or use the bathroom. Team work!

When CL was a few weeks old I booked myself a massage. I had been getting monthly massages for a few years, and knew I was overdue after having baby. While CL slept in the car seat he continued to make his gremlin noises. At the end of the massage Katy asked me if I knew that his noises were timed every 3-4 minutes on the dot and she thought that CL might be having some flashbacks to his traumatic delivery. She suggested I take him to see a chiropractor. Longing for better sleep I figured it was worth a shot! I booked an appointment with a trusted chiropractor I had seen years earlier for a back injury. Long story short, three visits later and he never made the gremlin noise again AND he slept much better. I cannot tell you how happy we were!

CL still seemed a little restless overnights, and I officially decided that he did not like the bassinet. The mattress for it was very noisy and crinkly from the waterproof features, and I felt like he was just too low and far away from me. I purchased the First Years Close and Secure sleeper. It is essentially a travel bed. I kept it on the mattress right next to me and loved it!

When he outgrew that little bed I was super sad. I tried having him just sleep in the bed with me, but he did not appear to like that and I was dangerously close to getting some chipped teeth from his leg braces as he moved about in the night. If you think co-sleeping with a baby is dangerous in it of itself for regular kicks in the face... try adding the feature of hard plastic molded shoes and a crossbar!! The next option on my horizon was putting him in a pack n' play next to the bed using the lofted function. This worked, but I was not a fan of the added stress on my back from lifting and reaching down to comfort him.

Then I had the idea to put our bed on the ground and sandwich the crib mattress between it and the wall. This worked wonderfully... until CL started to get more mobile and slide out the bottom which had no wall to trap him in. We tried several things to block him in, but he always found a way to end up on the floor.

I'm not sure how, but I stumbled upon a video explaining how to side-car a crib. Basically you take a regular crib and only install three of the sides, leaving the front open. The open end should match up with your own mattress. It was like having a separate wing to our bed! Everyone loved it - and Rooster even moved back into the room! We slept this way until CL became mobile at 11 months old, and then put the front on the crib. He was never much of a cuddler for co-sleeping, he just wanted to hold my hand occasionally. I would slip in through the slats of the crib whenever he needed it.

At 18 months we finally gave him a room of his own. He had actually had our room all to himself for about a month. I sustained a serious leg injury and was sleeping in the spare room alone, and my husband was a hermit just sleeping where ever. We reclaimed our room with vengeance. But we set it up "family bed" style by taking a queen mattress and double mattress and putting them together. We have a giant bed all ready for with the kids want to snuggle.

For my newborn Chicklett I'll probably go straight into the side-car crib once she is old enough to need some corralling. For now she is a cuddle bug and enjoys being right in bed with me.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Penny Pincher - Convert-a-tank

SO! If you are like Mama Christa and I and are a little paranoid about people seeing your flab when you lift your shirt to nurse your baby, this tutorial is for you! Yea yea yea, you can buy shelf-bra style tank tops, but that actually gets to being a lot of hardware if you want to wear an ACTUAL bra under it. Besides, if you are sporting big ta-tas like Mama Christa and I...a shelf bra simply doesn't cut it for public consumption most days. Usually I am stuck wearing the shelf-bra tank top AND a nursing when I nurse my baby I have to un-clasp TWO layers and get them reclasped to the right clips and not eachother. It's a big fuddle. Additionally, I find all that pressure on my boobs to be very uncomfortable, and I get hot easily, so I don't really dig it!

So I decided to destroy a couple of my stretchy, ribbed, maternity tank tops to create NON-SHELF-BRA nursing tanks. It's simple, straightforward, and cheap, which I like.

Select a tank top.I like these motherhood maternity ribbed tank tops because they are LONG...not to mention, they fall apart easily (pieces of crap) so if I mess it up, it's no skin off my neck since it was unraveling to begin with.OH, and they were handy when I got this bug up my butt. My tank top is pictured with an optional accessory: The Toddler, please use at your own risk.

Make any alterations, these tanks were a little too loose on me because they are maternity and because I lost 40lbs during this last pregnancy, so I simply did a stretch stitch down the sides
using the old surged seam as a guide, I took this tank
 in about an inch or so.
The altered tank top laid out for ya. Shown with The Toddler

For the alteration you'll then trim the excess off with a good pair of scissors. Don't worry about being right up agains the edge, if it frays, it will stop at the stitching and you can trim it later to keep strings from being everywhere.

 go ahead and give those strips to the toddler if you are using one for this project. 

Once you get the seams trimmed, try it on to see if it fits you the way you want it to. You'll wear this under other clothes so it should be comfortable but close-fitting. No need to add extra fluff. When doing a blog tutorial...edit out the old glory arms too...cuz it just doesn't look as good on you as it does on me! *facepalm*

Then, have optional accessory toddler help you to draw a line with chalk or fabric pencil to the SIDE of your breast. When I finished this tank I decided I should have done it more to the side than is depicted here. The idea is so that you can't see the goofy seems under a t-shirt...that would just look trashy like panty lines ok? So more towards your armpit, and probably 8 - 12" long, just eyeball what looks right to you. If you take a picture for a blog tutorial...make sur eyou actually crop your messy kitchen, bad hair, and self-picture scowl out ok? Not everyone pulls this off as well as I do...

For the slits I sewed the opening BEFORE I cut it. I sewed down one side of my line, then set the needle into the fabric, lifted the foot, and turned the tank top 180 degrees to go down the opposite side, leaving a very narrow gap between the two lines of stitching. I'm still using my stretch stitch here. 

Cut down between the stitch-lines, careful not to cut any of your thread!

Check's a nursing opening! Again...edit your old glory arms out for this kind of stuff...cuz yours are NOT as hot as mine ok?
Then you do the same on the other side. Like I said, go more towards the armpit seam than I did (this was the first one, gimme a break)

Now you can wear the tank under any ol' shirt, you can have any color (ribbed tanks are inexpensive, as are plain ol' jersey knit tanks. When you are nursing in public, your tummy is covered for your own comfort, you aren't sweating like a pig because you're wearing too many layers on your chest, you're not fuddling with all the clasps, and you can wear a nursing bra that actually supports your boobs.

I know this isn't revolutionary...but it seriously only took me 30 minutes, and I like this better than the shelf-tanks A LOT!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Boobs for BooBoo's

One of my favorite reasons for nursing a toddler is for the inevitable injuries they sustain while just doing day to day tasks.

This week has been a record for Chicken Little... I'm not even sure I remember all the injuries. Pinching finger in the bi-fold closet door, pinching fingers in door hinge, pinching fingers in drawer, head on collision with cousin (resulting in under eye wound seen in photo above), wrestling with Rooster and getting a chin to the eye, and last but not least getting smacked in the mouth with baby sister Chicklett's leg braces.

But they all have one thing on common... the booby mind eraser works amazingly well at making everything okay in 5 minutes flat. It is an awesome tool to have at my disposal and I'm honestly not sure what I'd do without it! He comes running to me crying... and a few seconds later skips off a happy lad without a care in the world. He remembers being hurt - so the lesson that whatever he did which wasn't a good idea is still there, but the tears and upset are all gone. Hip Hip Hurray! I love being able to provide him boobs for his booboos!

And the winner of the January giveaway is.......

We're super excited to announce that the winner of our January giveaway is Augusta Arwood!!

Augusta, please email us at with your address and we'll ship your nursing pillow cover and matching burp cloths out!

If you didn't win this month, we're having another giveaway right away in the beginning of February so keep an eye out. And of course, because we are kind of dorky and LOVE the rush of flash giveaways, we'll have more of those on facebook!! :)

Winner picked through

PS. In the original random generator, that DID say 1 and 38 but for some reason, it won't post that way on this blog posting.

True Random Number Generator  21Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Guest Blog: Why I Am Okay With Being A Failure

Not long ago, I wanted to quit. I was done forever. I was ashamed of myself and decided that I didn’t know what I was talking about, so I planned to “retire”. Then, with the birth of a baby….perfection! I was back in the game!

I’m not talking about my job, or my relationship, or even breastfeeding my kids. I’m talking about giving breastfeeding advice. I am known in the circles I travel in as the Breastfeeding Guru. Okay, usually I hear “Nazi” but I calmly explain that that term has such negative connotations and breastfeeding or helping another mother to breastfeed should never be seen as negative. Then I get an eye roll. Whatev, can’t win them all I guess.

I was ready to quit was because it seemed that every mother who asked for my advice or help with breastfeeding quit nursing. Even though I wasn’t pushy (at least I didn’t think I was pushy) and I gathered all the knowledge I could possibly find for these mothers, it still didn’t work for them. I figured it was my fault, they didn’t ask anyone else for help and I feel I’m knowledgeable about nursing. I’m not an IBCLC or anything, but hell I have experience with it and frequent breastfeeding boards like they are crack. Yet I just couldn’t seem to help my friends and family members to succeed. What was I doing wrong?

It all began back in July of 2003, when my son was born 8 weeks early. I had pre-ecclampsia and he was in the NICU right off the bat. He was healthy but little. I started pumping right away because he didn’t know how to suck-swallow-breathe yet. I knew I wanted to breastfeed when I was pregnant and we took the class the hospital gave on it. So, when the nurse wheeled in that pump, I was ready. I made milk. A lot of milk. Luke grew stronger and stronger. However, we were so excited to get him out of the hospital, we didn’t really think to ask if the bottle was the best way about it. It got him out of the hospital, but not attached to my breast. He did latch on a few times, but it was harder than a bottle and he was a preemie (with a later diagnosed motor planning disability) so he got tired and cried. I cried. It was miserable. After a few days of him losing (much needed) weight, I resigned myself to pumping for him. Day and night, for 13 months. He did need a little bit of supplementing with preemie formula around 7-9 months, before he was ready for solids.

I was proud of myself, but didn’t realize what the big deal was when people would tell me how wonderful it was for me to sacrifice for him. Well, first off, I wasn’t sacrificing anything-my body was meant to make his food and that’s what I was doing. If pumping was the only way I could do it, that’s what I had to do. It didn’t help that no one in my family breastfed. I have 3 half sisters and 3 step sisters and only one nursed her babies. In fact, until her first baby was born (when I was 13), I never knew that breasts made milk. Not joking-no clue. So my family thought I was a nut ball for nursing him (that and the fact that I didn’t allow my BABY to have candy and pop and….yeah that’s a whole different post).

Anyhoo, when we found out we were pregnant with my daughter, I knew it would be different. And it was. We hired doulas, I had a full term, naturally birthed baby and she nursed like a champ from the start. The only issue I had was after a week, my nipples were bleeding and I had to pump and use nipples shells for them to heal for two weeks. I instantly knew she would never return to the breast and I cried all the time. But after the two weeks, we went to see an IBCLC and she latched right back on! She didn’t leave the breast until she self-weaned at 27 months.

That brings me to my failure of family and friends. I had so many ask for my advice. They knew how hard core I was and I was more than happy to help out. I’m the one who makes a breastfeeding basket for showers, for goodness sakes! But all these relationships failed. I failed these women and their babies.

Then six weeks ago, my cousin had a gorgeous baby boy. She had to have a c-section and asked me how to make sure they had a good start at breastfeeding. I sent her so many links on facebook, I thought I would break her computer! But, within an hour after he was born, she sent me a text that he was nursing and it was perfect! She and I have talked a lot the past weeks and they are still doing great-I am pretty jealous that she never even had sore nipples! There have been ups and downs (like every new mom with a newborn has) but they are still going strong!

Now, I don’t credit myself. I credit a mama who was prepared and knew she wanted to make it work. I credit a wonderful staff of nurses at the hospital she delivered at. I credit a partner who is very supportive of her. Now, I will pat myself on the back, not because their breastfeeding relationship was my success, that is her’s and her baby’s beautiful success and theirs alone. I will pat myself on the back because I realized those relationships weren’t mine to save. They weren’t mine at all. I knew that I did what I could for them and that’s all I could do. And that’s good enough for me.


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