avocado, mango, fresh basil leaves, unsweetened almond milk - all go into mommy's blender and VOILA! Healthy baby food that Shepherd loves!
You can tell by the title that this may be a little bit of a strange post and there is some personal stuff in here that might be more than you want to know, but hang with me here for a moment.
After four babies, I feel like I could almost qualify to be a lactation consultant. I can tell you about positioning the baby, correct and incorrect latching, nipple care, how to tell if the baby is really eating or just using you as a pacifier, avoiding the engorgement discomfort, etc...
And still, I spent a good portion of the first week in excruciating pain (at least every time Shep latched on). Apparently sometimes it doesn't matter what you do, tender skin is no match for a voracious little eater.
I can see why some moms quit breastfeeding. Really. It is so hard to do something when you know it is going to physically hurt you. Knowing that it is good for the baby and having the experience to know that it is very temporary does help. But I confess that in the moments that Shepherd was drawing tears from my eyes while drawing out his dinner, that didn't feel like enough.
I'm beyond that point for the most part now and enjoying those times with Shepherd. I made it through the tough moments by meditating on something amazing.
From Phillipians 2 - Rather, He made himself nothing, by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness and being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.
Jesus suffered for my sins and for the sins of everyone - and he suffered pain unimaginable, both physically and emotionally. Because of what He did, I will never have to know that kind of suffering.
But the thing is, He didn't have to. He obeyed the Father's will. He made himself nothing. He submitted himself to pain and suffering and death. He chose this path because of his unfailing love for me. And for you.
And so I spent those moments focusing on this truth. While I allowed myself to experience a little pain for the sake of the child I love, I pondered the great love which sent Jesus obediently to suffering more gravely and more undoing than I can ever know. And I found solace there - in the knowledge that any bit of suffering I do here now is immensely slight in comparison to that which I have been saved from and that the truly overwhelming love I feel for the child in my arms is far less than the love God has shown for me.
In that light, my pain was so small. And placing myself there for the sake of a child I love became a joyful act and an unexpected special reminder.
Speaking of baby gear that I love, but don't really want to dish out the moolah for - I totally dig this highchair - darn you Babygadget for turning me onto such things! Anyway, the highchair we have is fully functional, easy to clean - though a well-used hand-me-down. It does need some kind of new seat cover, but it's hard for me to think of spending money on making the place my baby will make some of her biggest messes into a luxurious item. I could possibly be persuaded that I really need this because, for example, it is after all made of sustainable wood - but reusing our old one is probably the greener choice after all. How about that lead-free paint and removable phalate and bisphenol-A free tray? Or the adjustable seat, tray, and footrest? Could I be converted by the fact that this thing folds up nicely and itself is a convertable turning into a booster for up to 50lbs and 5 years old? and stylish (5 different cushion colors too). Ah well...I covet, I drool.
There really isn't very much that I need or want for this next baby. Actually, we've been giving baby gear and stuff away in preparation for the new arrival. However, my sister-in-law got this nifty contraption for Christmas and it is something I may actually aspire to add to our collection of baby stuff this round.
I couldn't decide whether I thought these were creepy or not. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for breastfeeding and helping younger children to understand....but, even though it may not be as politically correct or teach the benefits of mother's milk to little girls - I still might rather that my daughters feed their own baby dolls from a bottle. It seems to me that the "natural way to role play" might be by placing the baby doll under their own shirt (Hope used to do this), but it seems a little strange to roll play with someone else's bosom, including a busty mama doll. Maybe not. Am I alone in feeling this way?
We were at a large park the other day and in one little playground area, a couple of moms were sitting on the wooden edge nursing their babies. (I'd like to interject here and say that l am all for a woman's comfort and right to nurse in public) However, neither of them were wearing any kind of cover, not that they were really exposed or anything. Still, as my girls wanted to play there, I accompanied them while my husband sort of looked on from the neighboring other play area. I can't blame him....both clearly uncomfortable and a very respectful person, he simply chose to keep a little distance. And I agreed with him that in a populated public area, nursing moms at least should use a blanket or something. Anyway...all this to say two things - I might have recommended this nursing cover simply because I love the name Hooter Hider (hee hee). And, I remember that a friend gave me a simple pashmina when Maddie was born, and I declared it the best thing ever! It was large enough to wrap clear around me so that Maddie could neither pull nor kick it off, but it was light-weight so it didn't smother either of us. Plus, it came in handy as a cover over the stroller when it was sunny or when Maddie was napping or as a blanket when it was a little chilly or something for the shopping cart seat. It was cotton and washable and I took it everywhere!
I confess that when I saw these, I felt a little funny about the idea of carrying around (or asking my sitter to use) a bottle that resembles a breast in the way these do. Nevertheless, I was really curious when I saw these and think they are a really impressive design over the typical bottle. The Adiri Natural Nurser bottles are made of soft, safe poly-carbonate free and bisphenol-A free material, provides the closest mimic of actual breast-feeding, and has a unique venting system to prevent the nipple from collapsing and the baby from swallowing air. They are available in three flow stages/speeds, and the entire thing is easy to clean since it has a larger opening. I think I'd consider these should we ever have another baby - and as a bonus, one of the only two stores listed in Virginia for carrying these in stock is actually located right here in Reston - Right Start at Plaza America.
While the issue of what exactly causes food allergies is still largely unknown, after 7 years of study the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued some new guidelines which at least may relieve the angst of parents who blame themselves for their child's food allergies. Here are just a few highlights from the study:
The evidence for earlier recommendations regarding avoiding certain foods during pregnancy and breast-feeding and the delay of introducing certain solid foods was weak to begin with and has not been strengthened by new research within the past 7 years.
Dr. Peter Vadas (Unv. of Toronto) had previously conducted research which found peanut proteins in breast-milk - and as such has been sited as reason for breast-feeding mothers to avoid peanuts. He still advises mothers to avoid peanuts only if there is a family history of peanut allergies and says that the advice is arguable. He says, " there's really no reason to engage in a lot of dietary manipulation except in very specific instances. "
You can read the entire AAP revised policy statement here.
I love this little guy! Squirt by Boon is a baby food dispensing spoon, it comes with a protective cover to seal in food and keep spoon clean between feedings. Fill it with 3 oz of baby food and squeeze the bulb to dispense just the right amount for easy one-handed feeding.