Tag Archives: hospital

Got Milk?!?

or “The Joys of an Abundant Supply”

I got to thinking the other day as I was nursing Robert and he was coughing and sputtering over his meal and I was pressing my hand against the breast he wasn’t nursing on to try and stem the flow that I should list the humorous faux-pas (for lack of a better term) of the over-abundant nursing mother…

#1 – “I’m sorry little one, did I just squirt you in the eye?”
#2 – I swear I either change my shirt 2-4 times a day or more or just walk around smelling like sour milk.
#3 – you get used to that soggy feeling
#4 – The song “Drip, drip, drip little April showers…” runs through your mind constantly
#5 – When someone mentions that your baby is hungry you get in the habit of automatically glancing down at your shirt first to find the wet spots, rather than checking if your baby is actually crying.
#6 – You never quite get over or used to the horrifying moments of inopportune let-down while teaching Relief Society or speaking in Sacrament meeting at church (or any other public speaking engagement, for that matter). And at those moments, you can’t exactly clench your arm to your breast to stop the flow.
#7 – When you say hi to a stranger and their eyebrows raise, they blush, look quickly away, or their eyes widen exponentially, you know you are leaking AGAIN.
#8 – You might as well wash the sheets every day – because you wake up every morning soaked – either from excess after feeding the baby, or because you leaked over night.
#9 – in order not to soil your clothes you stuff entire dishtowels into your bra… but then you forget to take them out when the doorbell rings.
#10 – oh – and nursing pads? Read the one about the dishtowels again.
#11 – the other moms in the nursing lounge look at you a bit oddly when you stuff a towel or washcloth into the bra on one side before beginning to nurse on the other.
#12 – your husband asks upon arriving home from work, “Did you spill something, or are you just happy to see me?” After which you promptly whack him on top of the head with a wooden spoon.
#13 – overproduction can lend to humor and stress relief in difficult situations. Namely when Jacob was in the hospital and I was pumping – the entire mini freezer for breast milk was filled by me! on the day of Jacob’s surgery Paul and I wore our semi matching cow pajama pants – the only difference? Mine said “Got milk?” To which one of the nurses pointed out laughing, “Honey, you need an exclamation point, not a question mark!”

No wonder they said breastfeeding was a form of birth control!

I meant to write this post the other day because I thought it would be rather humorous, but then I got busy – I suppose life as a mom of six tends to get that way from time to time – so they tell me anyway. Well, today as I was researching an issue completely unrelated (Robert has blocked tear ducts right now and his eyes are weepy – we haven’t dealt with blocked tear ducts since Liz was a baby, so I suppose I am entitled to forget a few things after 11 years) and I found, along with ideas on helping Robert’s little eyes, a wealth of information that I wish I had learned 11 years ago!

So, overactive let-down is an actual issue – addressed by the Leche League! I never knew this. I always thought I should be happy that I have plenty of milk, especially because I know some moms who have a hard time producing sufficient milk for their babies, while secretly I’ve felt rather miserable. Engorgement, frequently plugged ducts, never feeling comfortable – it hurts! But, I didn’t want to complain or feel ungrateful. Anyway, as I was researching the clogged tear ducts, I stumbled across a post on the leche league forum that talked about putting a few drops of breast milk in baby’s eyes to help with the clogged tear ducts (which totally works by the way, I remembered doing that with Liz after I read about it) and the one mom said something about doing it unintentionally because she always squirted him in the eye – followed by the comment “I have OALD”. And I got to thinking – what is that, so i did a search and found out about over-active let down.

The thing is, is that it causes gassiness in infants (my babies were always burpy, farty, explosive stinkies, you name it – they were gassy babes), and numerous other things that cause baby (and mom) to be uncomfortable. And the coolest part? There are things I can do to help and decrease the overabundant supply! I never knew. By following the standard nursing instructions I was making the problem worse – never knew that either. So – if you happen to have an over-abundant milk supply check out the following link. I sure wish I had read this before baby number 6!

Am I Making Too Much Milk?

And if you have a baby with clogged tear ducts – here is what I found out: (from the on call nurse and online)

1- wash away the drainage with a clean damp cloth – preferably warm
2- gently massage with your pinky (be sure it is clean, please) in a semi circle from the corner of the eye where the lids meet inward to the nose – 5-10 times 6 times a day
3 – apply mother’s milk – a few drops in the corner of their eye about 6 times a day – mother’s milk has infection-fighting white blood cells and other natural antibacterial substances and it’s gentle on sensitive baby eyes than prescriptions.
4- see your pediatrician if the above isn’t working – it can take some time for the ducts to clear up – signs of larger problems are red irritated eyes or puffy lids, etc.


Filed under Humor


Last Friday I recieved an email that was sent out to all the ladies in our ward (that have email) that Emmanual Children’s Hospital needed baby blankets.  Apparantly they only had one or two left.   I was especially excited for the oportunity to make some blankets to send to the hospital.  As I read the email a thrill of excitement went through me. They were going to be delivered on Halloween – and I had James’ post-op appt on the same day.  When the lady that was going to the the blankets up to the hospital had her baby, I was asked (since I was going anyway) to go. 

It was so wonderful to watch the mound of blankets grow  and to deliver them to the community laison at the hospital.  She was so grateful. They hadn’t recieved a blanket donation in two months.  Usually they get donations all the time, but they are particularly low right now.  I’m hoping to get some other wards to start blanket projects and maybe we can inundate them. 🙂  It was wonderful to help and give back something that had meant so much to us when Jacob had heart surgery.

For those who are new to my blog and want to know the history behind this post check out these links:

Jacob’s Story (short version)

Jacob’s Sotry (long Version)

Not Just a Blanket

James’ appointment also went very well. There are no problems whatsoever.  He just has to have his ped check his testical once a year and once he gets to teen years he learns how to do a self exam and has to do it once a month.  Actually, and I didn’t know this, just like women are supposed to give themselves a self exam monthly, men are supposed to as well.  Anyway, I just mention it in case others are clueless like I, and my husband, are. 🙂  It will be especially important for James because his risk will be higher.

On the sickies front:

Elizabeth’s temp is normal, except for those moments when it is not.  I was an irresponsible parent and sent her to school today, even though her temp last night (after being normal for the ENTIRE day) jumped to 100.5.  It was 99 this morning, so I didn’t feel too bad. She was in tears of devestation last night when she learned she might not be able to go to school today.  She loves school so much, and today is Halloween, I couldn’t be THAT mean to her when she was feeling so good.  It was normal when she got home from school today – and then 99.3 a couple hours after that. So who knows what it is doing.  Her glands still feel swollen.  I figure we’ll get through the weekend and then see what things look like on Monday.

James has a bad cold and is very congested, but at least he isn’t croupy any more.

And, I caught it.  The cold that is. But at least we are headed into the weekend, which means I’ll have a hubby around to watch kids so I can NAP.  WOOHOO! 🙂


Filed under CHD, Children, Heart, TGA


Weekly Anamnesis #5
(This one was harder, I hope I am not overusing this topic it is what holds the most poignant and recent memories for me . . .)

Dance, Birthday, Open House, Party, Wedding Shower, Wedding, Baby Shower Invitations, Reunion: I have received them all; I have even sent many of them. Sometimes spoken, most often written, each comes in a different style, often reflecting the personality of the hostess and presenting the event with its own special flair. Each is received in a different style as well, excitement, dread, wonder, curiosity, and sometimes (I think this one is a bit more rare) overwhelming gratitude.

Out of the countless invitations to various events that have slipped through my fingers there is one (other than my wedding invitations) that stands out in my mind. Perhaps it is because it’s one of the most recent, but more likely it is because of the impact it had.

I don’t remember when I first saw it; the Invitation. At some point shortly after we arrived at the ICU with Jacob they appeared on the walls. It didn’t catch my attention at first. Simply a piece of paper, blue, yellow, hung on a wall. My brain was numb, my body tired, my heart aching. It must have been during a moment when he was doing rather well that I was alive enough to read it, “You are invited to a home cooked Easter Dinner! Who: Pediatric floor, PICU, and NICU patients, families, and staff. When: Easter Sunday 12:00-2:30” I didn’t notice who was hosting the dinner, but I did think it was a very nice thought and tucked it away in my brain to talk over with my hubby.

Paul was the first one who brought it up. “Did you see the flyers?” I answered in the affirmative. “Did you notice who is providing the dinner?” I shook my head no and he handed me an invitation. And read “Dinner hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.” I smiled, an act rare at the time. I found it rather providential that it just happened to be hosted by members of our faith. A different congregation of course and none of them knew us, but providential just the same. Of course it would have meant just as much being a different faith but it created that small seed of warmth of something familiar.

Originally we planned to bring the children to the hospital with Paul’s parents and enjoy the dinner all together. Jacob wasn’t to have heart surgery until the following Tuesday. Plans are never meant to be set in stone. Saturday Jacob’s oxygen levels started to drop dangerously low, even though they had him stabilized as best they could, and there was no other option: They had to the surgery the next day. Easter Sunday. We decided not to bring the kids up to the hospital of course, but Paul’s parents came. How does one describe the feelings one has while they wait for their infant to emerge for surgery. Anxious for a good report, terrified of a bad one.

We accepted that invitation, the one hanging on the wall, hoping it might help the time pass better. What a strength talking with people of our faith and other patients of all faiths, words of encouragement received as they found out our son was in surgery at that very moment. I don’t ever recall being filled with overwhelming gratitude at such a simple invitation before, but it is truly one that changed our lives. People who didn’t know us or anyone at the hospital, willing to give up their precious holiday to serve us and others. Now I hope to carry on that legacy and issue my own invitation.


Filed under Anamnesis, Heart, Jacob, Religion, Writing


Weekly Anamnesis #3

I sit surrounded by glass walls.
Pain and fear exposed
Agony bared for all to see.

I cling desperately to hope,
Fearing my world shattered
And my son ripped from me.

Optimism besieged by thorns
Pricking and piercing the tender flesh.
Trust and reliance put in God and Miracles.

Faith and prayer is not in vain
My arms enfold him in walls of love
Joy bursts forth, gratitude proclaimed.

-J.H. Schmidt

Some background might be insightful or appreciated and can be found here.


Filed under Anamnesis, Children, Heart, Parenting, Poetry, Writing