Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Boobs

How can I not dedicate a post to boobs? That's right, boobs. After all, they do dictate my schedule these days. Here are some interesting facts that I have learned about boobs:

1. Boobs know if you have delivered early and make special milk for preemies.

"The human body is amazing, though. It knows when a baby has come early and tries to protect the infant by producing special breast milk to compensate for some of what is missed in the womb. Preterm breast milk differs from full-term milk in that it is higher in calories and contains more protein, calcium phosphorous, magnesium, zinc, sodium, and chloride."

Isn't that amazing?

2. Boobs will change temperature to keep your baby warm or cool him/her down in kangaroo care (holding your unclothed baby against your chest skin to skin). One study even shows that each boob can change temperatures independently of each other depending on the temperature of each infant when kangarooing one twin against each breast.

You can read the whole study at
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1890034/
I find both of those facts so fascinating.


Maybe, I have gone crazy. I thought it would be fun to write an "Ode to Boobs," so here it is:

Ode to Boobs
Oh, Boobs, how you control me.
I wake to your full, engorged glory.
You pain me and demand my attention.
The indulgence known as sleep, you do not allow me.
All hope of timeliness is lost on you.
You dictate a schedule of pumping and will not be ignored.
Oh, how I have tried.
Despite your time-consuming, attention-seeking, all-demanding manner,
I adore thee.
You provide nutrient-rich milk for precious babes,
and create perfect pillows upon which tiny heads rest.
Babes sleep soundly against thee as they listen to the rhythm of a heartbeat
and feel the rise and fall of each breath.
Indeed, you are both - painful and beautiful.
Oh, Boobs, I do despise thee and love thee.
A few more notes about boobs:
Everyone says breastfeeding saves so much money by not having to buy formula. Well, that is not the case for pumping. I spend $70 per month to rent the hospital-grade breast pump which is recommended when you have babies in the NICU. Then, I had to buy the accessory pieces at another $50. I have to buy the storage bags at $10 for 50 bags. I think there is a monopoly on breast milk bags. Each bag is 20 cents. Ziploc bags are practically the same thing but they don't work well for storing breast milk, but you don't pay $10 for Ziploc bags. Then, we have to buy the steam bags at $5-6 for 5 bags - again a rip off. It's a plastic bag for $1 each. We also have to buy baby wash because regular detergent is too harsh. Oh, and don't forget the nipple butter for cracked nipples at $8 a tube.
As if pumping alone was not time-consuming enough, the preparation that is required with having babies in the NICU is extreme. First, we wash our hands, then wash all the bottles and pieces with baby soap since regular soap is too harsh, then we have to steam all the pieces in steam bags. Finally it is time to pump. After pumping, we pour the milk into the storage bag and label each bag, not with just the date and time, but with two separate stickers given to us by the NICU, one for Camdyn and one for Cade. Then it's time to put it in the freezer, but oh wait, there is no room in the freezer. Time to break out the 2.5 gallon freezer bags. Put all the little milk storage freezer bags into the big freezer bag and take it out to the deep freezer in the garage. Next we haul some bags to the hospital for the babies. Whew!
My math skills from school are definitely being used. Here's my daily calculations. Camdyn gets 30 mL and Cade gets 42 mL every 3 hours 8 times a day. Add 2 mL to each to account for the amount that goes into the tubing. That's 76 mL every 3 hours 8 times a day. That's 608 mL per day. There are 30 mL in an ounce, so divide 608 by 30. That comes to 20 oz. per day. Then, I have to figure how much I am making and how much I can bring to the NICU fresh before it expires in a 24 hour period. That calculation can change depending on if the nurses have already taken out frozen milk and if so, how much. Their feed amount also changes so the calculations are constant. There's a math problem for you math teachers out there to give your students.
You know you are pumping all the time when your toddler has created a "boobie pump" dance. Brenna says, "Mommy, this is how boobie pumps go" while pretending to hold a breast pump on her chest. She moves her whole body back and forth while making the sound of the breast pump - "pshhh, pshhh, pshhh". It is quite hilarious.
Some of you have had the pleasure of seeing her "boobie pump" dance. It cracks me up!
Hope you have enjoyed my boob post!

2 comments:

lhsm said...

This is precious, Michelle! You're such a wonderful Mom! And I didn't comment on your Father's Day post, but Jimmy is such a loving husband and dad! And little Miss Brenna is a precious big sister!

God, please continue to bless Cade & Camdyn so they can grow and be well and can come home soon to their loving & caring family! Amen!

Love y'all!

Aunt Joyce

Lindsay said...

But you have to get Jimmy in on the dance or sound effects to get the full effect :) It should be a moving experience for all.

Glad you are able to still pump/breastfeed, that is great!