Life Updates, with Sweet Brown Commentary

First, to preface… if you’ve never seen the video of Sweet Brown describing an apartment fire, you are missing out! She was so animated and the viral video outcome of her interview provides so many wonderful statements.

“I woke up to get me a cold pop”

It’s been hot… I know you’re thinking, “Jill, you live in Las Vegas. It’s always hot there, right?” Well, first of all… no, it’s not ALWAYS hot. And second, we had EIGHT (8!) consecutive days over 110. We usually have about that many in one entire summer. We tied our record highest heat a couple of times. That kind of heat just makes me want to sit around and drink cold pop while eating frozen yogurt.

“I thought somebody was barbecuing.”

My husband has started a tradition of making ribs each year at Christmas. Well, this year it expanded to include the 4th of July. I love when he cooks (because it happens so rarely!) We gave the baby a little bit of the ribs. She ate two tiny bits of the meat. It’s the only meat she’s voluntarily picked up and eaten herself. Granted, she stopped after the second piece and threw the rest on the floor. I keep thinking I need to find more things she’ll eat since the doctor says she’s too small… but applesauce pouches probably aren’t the answer. Although, I think she’d probably slurp down multiples of those each day if I let her. Did your baby eat meat?

“I said oh lord Jesus it’s a fire.”

The mountain near Las Vegas is on fire. And since I live in the part of the valley closer to the mountain, we’re getting a good dose of smoke and ash in our air. I don’t want to run outside in that, so… the treadmill has had to suffice.

Mt Charleston Fire
Fire on the mountain, view from my backyard.

“Then I ran out, I didn’t grab no shoes or nothin’ Jesus, I ran for my life.”

Alright… this part of her interview doesn’t fit into my life right now. The heat and the fire have diminished how much I’ve run lately. Also…

“And then the smoke got me, I got bronchitis”

I got a cold which then turned into a sinus infection or something. It didn’t make its normal transition into bronchitis, which I usually experience. Or maybe it’s just a very mild form of bronchitis, but I’ve had a little bit of a cough for about 3 weeks now.

“ain’t nobody got time for that.”

On the 4th of July, the baby stopped nursing. She just refused it. She takes bottles of pumped milk with glee. In fact, she sees one on the counter and she gets so excited and angry if you don’t give it to her right away. It was through this that I learned that she likes cold milk. I was swirling the bottle to make sure it was mixed, about to try getting it heated. She was yelling and reaching for it, so I handed it to her and she downed the whole thing. So now… no heating required!

However… I’m not in love with this exclusively pumping stuff. I used to feel like breastfeeding as kind of isolating. But at least that was time spent with my daughter. Pumping for all of her bottles is REALLY isolating. While I never felt comfortable feeding her anywhere in public, the pump adds a whole new hurdle if we wanted to go anywhere. For example, we took a day trip to Utah last week. If I were to do that right now, I’d have to pack my pump and that seems like an inconvenience.

So I’m contemplating this for the next month and a half.

Formula
The hospital sent me home with 3 cans of this stuff… if they didn’t give it to everyone, I’d think they were foreshadowing!

Honestly, I have so many mixed emotions about this. So let’s try breaking them down.

  • “Breast is best” I do believe that breastmilk is wonderful and provides so many healthy benefits. And I’m still making the milk. It’s just that… well, I don’t like being tethered to the pump so much. And I hate all the bottles that I have to store in my fridge now to have so much breastmilk at ready. So I feel guilty that I would be choosing to not give her breastmilk for my own convenience. (And for hers, in some ways.)
  • No more closeness! I knew there would be a day when we didn’t nurse. I didn’t want to be one of those people who has a 4-year-old at the breast, I was planning on weaning when she was one, which is just 1.5 months away. I didn’t think I would like to nurse, that I would just do it for her sake. But I loved that close, cuddling time. And if I had know that night one week ago would have been the last time, I would have stared at her little face instead of answering emails on my phone.
  • How?! I am not even sure how to make this transition from breastmilk to formula.
  • Should I? Is it wrong to introduce formula to her for such a short streak? Kids don’t normally drink formula behind one, do they? So I’d just have to introduce cow’s milk to her. (Which concerns me too, but that’s another subject.)

I have a lump in my throat, I’m having such a hard time with this. If you have any experience with a baby that stops nursing, switching a baby from breastmilk to formula or just any advice for me… I’d love to hear it!

 

15 comments

  1. So, you know I don’t have experience with a baby who just stopped nursing. I think you are amazing that you have done exclusively breast milk for 10.5 months. I didn’t make it that long with either child. I think it’s perfectly fine for you to make a transition to something that’s more convenient for you now. I would probably make the transition somewhat slowly, like doing half and half while you let your milk supply dwindle.

    On another note, this isn’t a decision that is right or wrong. It is merely a decision, and either outcome is perfectly acceptable, therefore right.

    • “It is merely a decision, and either outcome is perfectly acceptable, therefore right.”

      The genius that is my mother! That really is true.

  2. I don’t have a baby myself, but my mom tells me stories about how I weaned myself around 7 or 8 months. Never liked milk in a bottle, and pretty much just started eating everything. I can’t give any other advice as far as formula and stuff like that, but just know- there are now grownups out there in the world who were early weaners who are just fine! 🙂

    On the flip side, my sister was formula only (my mom had a terrible complication and had to be in the hospital so couldn’t breastfeed due to antibiotics), and of all of us, she is the closest to my mom. So formula only also resulted in a normal, happy, productive adult. It’s all good!

  3. I think Henry drastically declined in nursing around the same time. It was very frustrating being so close to being able to introduce cow’s milk yet not being allowed to. I would transition to formula over a few days. Do a 25/75 mix for a few days, then 50/50, etc…see how she reacts. She might be fine. Otherwise, hang in there wit the pumping. It’s a pain but you’ve made it this far, what’s 1.5 months (FOREVER, I know!). Good luck.

    • I know that 1.5 months seems short, but it also seems so long. Especially since we were hoping to go on vacation next month and potentially make a couple of other day trips this month. The exclusively pumping would just make that such a hassle!

  4. I agree with your mom and the other comments. I was never a great breastfeeding mom and was only successful on my last attempt. I was heartbroken when I had to quit at 4 months. I understand the sad side of it. My 3 others, I pumped exclusively for 3 months and then switched to formula. Falana is right… start off slow. Be prepared for her to be gassy and the way her stools are going to change will knock your socks off.

    I know it seems strange to switch to formula and then cow’s milk, but I think that’s the route I’d go. I think of she is going to show signs of lactose intolerance, she’s going to have already done it or she’ll do it on formula. When you switch to cows milk, do it the same way as formula. There is nothing I’ve heard that says you have to quit formula right at one… but, with my last three children they all lost the bottle itself cold turkey on their birthday.

    Like your mom said, there is no right or wrong decision here. Do what YOU feel is best for you and Alex.

    P.S. Kate is going through this right now with a 6 week old. Give her a call. Sorry for the lengthy post.

    • I appreciate lengthy responses, especially in regard to these types of things.

      And now you’ve scared me with the threat about her stools changing!

      • Just to ease your mind a bit … You even reacted to breast milk quite different than Alex. You always “spit up” lots more than she ever has, and your digestion always seemed more out of whack than hers. I am optimistically thinking that she might not have the same intolerance as you.

  5. first off – great post!

    If you do not feel comfortable with cows milk, ask your Dr. about weaning her on to soy milk instead. I understand where you are coming from with the cuddle time but there are other things that you can replace it with (bedtime or daytime stories for example). Good luck!

  6. I like this post too. I had seen references to that video, but never actually watched it before. Ha ha. 🙂

    Well, Robyn knows I could talk your ear off about my stresses about breastfeeding. I started a longer version, but the short story is that there has been a lot of crying involved as we were advised to quickly change from nursing, to exclusively bottle feeding pumped milk, to concentraing the pumped milk with formula for extra calories, to switching entirely to formula, while I continue to pump and store my breastmilk. All this because my baby is not gaining weight, so I already feel like a bit of a failure. It’s a lot of work to pump, and hard to manage while I have two older kids that need my attention as well. Yet I can’t quite put my finger on why I’m so determined to do it, and so upset about not being able to nurse. There’s lots of reasons, like the closeness and health benefits. But at what other costs??

    A label on one of our cans of formula reads “The formula you choose MAY make a difference”, followed by a statement that all formulas provide complete nutrition, but theirs offered some POSSIBLE additional protective benefits. I wonder if that’s what’s at the root of a lot of our struggles with breast vs bottle feeding, is that whatever decision we make, we fear we are depriving our child of unknown important benefits. It’s almost like the medical professionals, pregancy books and websites have gone to such effort to promote “breast is best” that regardless of the timing or the reasons, it is really hard for some of us to not feel horribly guiltywhen we make the decision to no longer breastfeed. It even says “breast is best” on the cans of formula, just to give me a little painful reminder of my “failure” as I shake up the bottle.

    It’s hard to wean when you aren’t quite emotionally ready for it. Maybe it’s a nursing strike and she’ll start back up again? But if not, cut yourself some slack (being hypocritical here). It is awesome that you exclusively fed this long. She has received tons of benefits from that. And it sounds like she eats well otherwise. Dude, you make your own baby food, that amazes me! (by the way, my kids liked deli-style turkey, only meat they ate for ages). When you’re ready, it’s probably wise to transition gradually like others suggested. (We noticed changes in stool just adding 1/2 teaspoon of formula into a bottle of breastmilk, but after a few days it wasn’t as bad as I expected). Cultivate other traditions to continue the closeness. Trust yourself to make the best decision for both of you.

    This really was the short version. 😉

  7. Sorry, that kind of came across as all about me. Just give some thought about why you’re so reluctant to use formula. If it has anything to do with fear or failure, try not to let it control your decision.

    • It didn’t come across to me as being all about you. I actually appreciated it.

      Anyway… the reasons I’m reluctant to use formula:
      – Yes, it is partly the “failure” stigma.
      – She’s so close to being old enough for regular milk, it seems weird to introduce something new to only introduce something new once more.
      – I tried giving her a little mixed with breastmilk last night; she gagged, threw the bottle and cried. Broke my heart a little!

      Reasons to use formula:
      – So I don’t have to spend so much time isolated and hooked up to the pump.
      – It will make it a lot easier to travel later this month/next month

      It’s such a pain to think about this. I wish I had given her some formula and she just loved it, at least that would make me feel a little better!

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