Why I Breastfeed

(Fair warning… if you can’t tell by the title… this is about breastfeeding… if you don’t care to hear anything about it… quit reading! For the rest of you… carry on)

I want to start this post by saying that I love my decision to breastfeed.  But that I believe that it was just that, a decision.  I have friends who have chosen not to do it, friends who weren’t able to (for various reasons) and friends who believe it is the only way.  And like SO MANY THINGS in parenting… there is more than one right way to do things.    But for me, this was the right decision and I wanted to share a little bit of why and what has made it successful for me. Most of this post is what I wrote up for a friend who wanted more information about my breastfeeding decision.

I went into breastfeeding thinking… if it works great, if not, no big deal.  But I also know that having support from my mom and a few friends who had done it successfully was critical to me being able to persevere through the first few weeks (which are HARD).  But it is TOTALLY worth it.  The more I have learned about breastfeeding the more I love it.  And even though those first few weeks were hard and painful, now it isn’t painful at all, its SOOOO easy and its cheap too! So do what you want with this information, but here are my two cents on why it was worth it to me.

  1. It boosts my daughter’s immune system.  I just got a very contagious stomach bug that everyone in my friends group got (I think there were at least 10 of us who got it… kids included) but Taylor escaped despite being in very close contact with me the whole time… so it definitely helped insulate her from the sickness.  I also had a very high fever a few weeks after she was born, and it didn’t seem to bother her at all and she never got a fever.
  2. This article talks about it, but basically she (or he) communicates to your body what is ailing her and your body can create antibodies to fight whatever she has… even if you don’t have it. Y’all… that is some seriously cool stuff!
  3. There are a lot of things that breastfeeding has been linked to healthwise, but some of the important ones for me are a decreased chance of having severe allergies (my husband is very allergic to several things) and a reduced chance of childhood obesity.
  4. When she wakes up hungry in the middle of the night hungry, I don’t have to wait to heat up a bottle… I can just feed her, so she is happier and so am I because in about 10 minutes we are both happily back in bed.
  5. It’s cheap… basically you just eat like normal (a few more calories than normal… I had the major munchies for a while) and she is fed, which to me is much preferable to having to buy formula all the time.
  6. It will melt the pounds off of you! I basically did nothing but breastfeed and most of the weight has come off from pregnancy.  It might be partially good genes, but whatever it is… I’ll take it!

I am not going to lie, the first week was really hard.  My milk didn’t come in until about 5 days after she was born, and apparently she wasn’t getting enough colostrum (the yellow stuff that comes out before your milk really comes in), so I had to supplement in the hospital with some donor milk and one round of formula (which led to a lot of tears and panic in the hospital).  But after my milk came in, she got a LOT better at feeding and it wasn’t as painful.  I used this nipple cream and it made it not QUITE as miserable.  Probably after about the first 3-4 weeks it quit hurting all together.

I have heard some horror stories about people whose hospitals weren’t very supportive of breastfeeding, but mine really was.  They had lactation people I could call all the time while I was there, who were mostly helpful (although I did feel like each one told me a different way to do it and other things they did NOT like and contradicted each other occasionally… so like all things in parenting… take their advice with a grain of salt.) But the other helpful thing they had was a support group to go to after leaving the hospital where we could weigh the baby and ask any questions of the lactation consultant lady.  If your hospital has these… take advantage! I liked going because when you breastfeed it is really hard to tell how much your child is getting at each feeding, so being able to weigh her each week I could ensure that she was growing well.  I could also weigh her before and after a feeding to see how much she was getting.

And obviously she gets plenty of food… She is a nice healthy round baby! And I’m pretty sure that this is the only time in life when fat rolls are this cute!!!

Ballerina Taylor | www.amusingmj.com

My husband wasn’t very gung ho about the breastfeeding thing at first, he wasn’t against it, just not as committed to making it work as I was. And I will say, it IS a little hard for the husband because they basically can’t help in the middle of the night. So he and I  made a deal, if it was time for her to feed (about every 3 hours) then I would get up… if it was anytime in between that… he would get up and take care of her.  But now that he has seen some of the benefits of it, he is a huge supporter. And after the first few weeks when she got the hang of it and my supply was in, he could easily give her a bottle of breastmilk and I would pump instead and he got to be more a part of it (some people say not to do this until your supply is firmly established, but my supply has been great and I never saw any ramifications from her having a bottle of breastmilk on occasion).

I learned a ton of information by going to the breastfeeding group at the hospital, but if you have any questions http://kellymom.com/ is a great place to go, it has a lot of info in one place.

Four Months

Taylor Reese | www.amusingmj.com

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, these four months have FLOWN by.  And I think this is my favorite stage yet! She is smiling and laughing and so fun these days! Plus she can hold her own head up and doesn’t feel quite as fragile as she did a few months ago! We chose her No Coast Creature Timber King shirt for her 4 Month pictures because we are celebrating the Royal’s winning of the World Series!!

Taylor Reese | www.amusingmj.com

Milestones: she is mostly further developing the ones she has learned from last month.  She laughs ALL THE TIME now, smiles regularly, and even squeals in delight! She loves to blow raspberries for long periods of time and she finds herself VERY entertaining.  She is on a regular schedule now, which makes everything SO much easier… she goes to sleep pretty easily, but we are still working on the whole sleeping through the night thing! She can track objects and has even started reaching for objects out of reach… she can’t get to them, but she stretches out to get them anyway.  She is getting close to rolling over from back to front and still really loves to stand up whenever you will let her.  She is also very close to sitting up and has much more body control than she did last month.



This month she was a travelling fool! She went with me on a roadtrip through Oklahoma to Kansas and Nebraska for my work.  We got to stay at my family’s lakehouse in Kansas and so she got to dip her toes in the VERY cold water that I grew up skiing, tubing and swimming in.


She also added the District of Columbia (one of my favorite places to visit… read here about some of my favorite things to do there!) and Virginia to her states visited list! We got to spend a fun weekend away there!

Taylor Reese | www.amusingmj.com

Likes: singing and music! She loves when you sing to her or put music on, and it frequently makes her calm down.  She likes when you make funny noises like clicking your tongue or smacking your lips.  She likes the Rock Chalk Chant (or maybe its just her Uncle Arthur that she likes!) and going outside.  She likes her friends at school… she regularly gets caught trying to hold hands with some of them! She still really loves her play mat… especially putting things in her mouth. She has gotten good at getting things to her mouth to chew on, but she most especially likes to chew on her hands. She also loves her Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit.  When she wasn’t sleeping at school for naps they suggested this and she LOVES it.  It helps her sleep a lot better and I think it keeps her warmer!

Random: This was her first Halloween, and even though I LOVE Halloween, I didn’t have a lot of time or motivation to work on her costume, but I think she turned out pretty cute as Little Red Riding Hood anyway!!



My mom wrote a post on facebook about Halloween that I love.  I think it is important because sometimes Halloween gets a bad reputation in the Christian world, but here is why Halloween is important (in my mom’s words):

“I don’t love Halloween…ghosts, goblins and kids asking for treats! However, when my three children were young, I noticed an odd thing happening with them. It would start about 3 days after Halloween. Completely out of the blue one of them would say, “I want to be a _______ for Halloween next year. This odd behavior would continue with random interjections and many changes throughout the year. Maybe it wasn’t important, just a thought from a small and not so small child throughout the year. And then Halloween would come around and they would have to light on what they were really going to “be” that year and we would work to make their costumes (store bought wasn’t my style) with varying degrees of success. Our mummy constantly tripped over falling pieces of cloth one year. But then, it would begin again. I finally began to realize that Halloween gave them a framework for thinking about what they could “be” for a day. Or maybe it gave them permission to have alternate identities for a moment. But I came to realize it was such a great and important holiday, if only and probably only for that purpose. It allowed their imaginations to see themselves different from their normal “self”. To realize that people can change and be different from what they are. Maybe it even gave them skills in putting on Christ for life. I pray for that. But what I know is that they will not become selfish because they ask for treats one night. They will not eschew God because they wear a witch costume as a child. Their imaginations will be enriched by this yearly ritual in their lives. Blessings on you all. Happy Halloween.”

<end side note>

Dislikes… SHOTS! she gets so so angry when she gets shots, she also dislikes having a stuffy nose, and she HATES her vitamin medicine (and seriously… that stuff is nasty! They can make chewy gummies for adults to take their vitamins, but baby vitamins smell and look … and probably taste… disgusting??? Someone should really work on that!)

Things I Know as a New(ish) Mom

Y’all… can you believe that it is NOVEMBER already?!! I can’t believe it! Oh and Miss Taylor turns four months old today (but I won’t have the recap until tomorrow!!)! I mean seriously, the older I get the faster the years go by! And this year has been filled with huge life changing things (ahem… parenthood). I have more big life changing news to share with you guys later that I can’t quite get my mind around how to write about right now.  But lets just suffice it to say that this will go down as one of the craziest years of my life.  But today I’m focusing on the things that four months in I know as a new mom.

  1. My daughter smiling and laughing is the greatest thing in the world. It doesn’t matter how many times she does it or what makes it happen, but when that smile lights up her face, everything in my world melts away.
  2. I don’t need as much sleep to operate as a previously believed.  Over the last four months the most I have slept at one time is 6 consecutive hours… and frequently it is less than 4 uninterrupted hours. But the world hasn’t come to an end and honestly… I feel great. I’m not tired all the time… and sure, I would love more than anything to sleep in until 10 on a Saturday morning, but really… I’m doing okay.
  3. My fridge looks packed full… until I throw out the expired food.  Maybe real grown-ups have mastered the art of not letting food/leftovers expire, but this is not something I’ve mastered… I’m pretty sure I’m not even in the intern stage of learning this skill, but I’ll keep trying.
  4. Breastfeeding was the best decision I’ve made.  I want to post more about this later, but after the first (REALLY ROUGH) month, its been fantastic. I am definitely in the camp of to each their own in how to feed their child, but for me this was an excellent choice and I am grateful for the support from friends, family and my hospital to make this possible.
  5. Body fluids are easier to deal with than I thought… I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be very good at dealing with these since I have a super sensitive gag reflex, but I find myself easily wiping snot away from my daughter’s nose and I only change my shirt if she spit up A LOT.  And that’s what we call very disgusting Badges of Honor.  (or rather… I don’t have enough clothes for that or patience to do that much laundry…)
  6. The whole pregnancy process, birth and the first year of a child’s life is truly incredible. It is unbelievable to watch a child go from nonexistence to coming into this world and then watching her learn and grow and change on  daily basis. I am frequently amazed at how much she changes and learns as her dexterity increases, she is more alert, she is more personable and she gains new skills.
  7.  Time is FLYING. It honestly feels like yesterday that we brought her home from the hospital and even though I am amazed at how much she has changed, I cannot believe that this much time has gone by!
  8. Little babies=lots of laundry… for me and her! (see number 5 about body fluids) Just because they are little does not mean they have smaller amounts of laundry… between burp cloths, a few outfits a day, and the spit up on my clothes, I do a LOT of laundry.
  9. You think your child is the cutest thing. Ever. I now understand why first children receive so much attention. There are tons of people who are FASCINATED by everything she does…”oh she cooed!”, “look at her chewing on her hands… that’s precious!!” etc.  I actually sent my husband a picture the first time she accidentally grasped a toy.   And honestly? I’m not likely to stop any time soon. I’m so fascinated by the learning process and watching her gain new skills and I’m going to enjoy this phase of life where I have nothing to do but watch her grow.
  10. I wouldn’t change any of these things for the world.  I wouldn’t give back the sleep… or the early evenings… or the massive mountains of laundry due to all.the.bodily.fluids.  I don’t even want time to speed up or for her to move to the next stage. I am trying so so hard to enjoy every phase and spending quality time with my daughter.  It is so tempting to keep looking forward to the next milestone… when will she roll over, crawl, walk, have teeth, etc.  But I know that she will never be in these stages again and I’m so grateful to get to experience each one with her.

So here’s to taking the moments to enjoy all the ups and downs of parenthood… and hoping time will slow down just a bit so I can enjoy each moment.