Friday, October 25, 2013

Strong Mom Series- Rena

  Today's post comes from Rena, AKA An Ordinary Housewife, a stay-at-home-mom to a 3 1/2 year old "princess" and 20 month old "monkey." She blogs about recipes, crafts and activities, ways to save money and her favorite products! After reading her "Strong Mom" below, be sure to check out An Ordinary Housewife for more great stuff! Also find her on facebook and Google+!

 First of all, thanks to Michelle for letting me guest post and for thinking I'm a strong mom. I feel I am a "strong mom" because I persisted in providing my first baby with mama's milk until she was a year old, when many would have given up. 

When I was pregnant with baby #1, I was all set to breast feed. I went to the class, read up on it, etc. DH was supportive and we were ready to go. Everything seemed to go well with the birth and I was allowed to feed her soon after birth. After about 18 hours, the nurse wanted to take K to the nursery. A couple hours later, they asked if they could feed her a little formula. Though distressed, we agreed, not wanting my baby to starve. K ended up going to the NICU. She had aspirated and contracted pnemonia. When it was time for me to check out (nearly a day after her last feeding) a nurse came in to show me how to use the hospital pump. That would have been useful knowledge to have after she was taken to the nursery. K was only in the NICU for a week, but due to such a bad start I never was able to catch up with her appetite. We also had issues with latching because she was not used to the faster flow of the bottle. 

 So I pumped, tried to breast feed her, took fenugreek and blessed thistle and managed to make sure she had at least 1-3 feedings of breastmilk a day. By the time she was about 6 months old, I was down to one bottle of formula a day. Then I got really sick with a kidney infection. I could scarcely sit up for 2 weeks, couldn't keep my food down, had terrible back and neck pains and the doctor prescribed a painkiller but said not to give K breastmilk produced while on it. I still had to pump to keep my supply, but had to dump it out. Dumping out pumped breastmilk when you struggle with low supply is one of the hardest things to do! By the time I got better, I was back down to one bottle a day and around 8 months old, K wouldn't latch at all, except to bite. I still continued pumping until the day after her first birthday.

Some people might wonder why I would put myself through that. Why not just give up and give her formula? I was determined. I had a goal in mind and would not be dissuaded, no matter the obstacles. It was hard and very discouraging at times and I did consider giving up. But I didn't give up. And I think that makes me a strong mom. :-)

If you would like to share your story and show us how you are a Strong Mom please send me an email at mommyferg02(at)gmail(dot)com!


  1. What an incredible story of perseverance! Your daughter is one blessed girl to have you as her Mama :)

  2. Wow! What an amazing story of your determination!

  3. That's some amazing perseverance! I'm amazed at anyone who manages to keep up pumping that long. (I tried. I did not last that long.)

  4. oh Rena.. you are so strong indeed.. I was in a similar situation.. I wanted to nurse my babies but there were problems to face.. I did not have milk, I was sick and both my kids were not latching. I tired pumping even that didn't earn me any results. So, after 3 months, I just gave up and started formula.. I wish I could have tried more.. you know.. but now the time has passed and I will never get it back. Good for you that you didn't give up!

  5. Yep, I would have to agree that she fits the definition of "Strong Mom" (take that Smiliac - just had to make a jab at their "Strong Mom" campaign)!

    For those who do use formula, this comment was not intended to cut you down, because I truly believe that we make our best choices within our abilities or as we see fit.

    I suffered greatly from PPD and wanted to stop nursing because I was such a crying mess all of the time, which I feel bad for even mentioning. However, I still pumped because deep down, I still wanted to give him the best nutrition that I could.

    I look forward to reading future posts in this series...what an awesome way to lift some mamas up!

  6. Thanks for sharing your story. Your determination is definitely an inspiration for other moms who are struggling!

  7. Congratulations on making it a year despite many obstacles! That's a fantastic accomplishment.

  8. Way to go! Glad your could continue, even with all the struggles.

  9. Wonderful story - good for you, mama. I'm nursing DD1 (19 months) through my pregnancy, and it hasn't been easy but I know that the benefits are so immense that I'm willing to tough it out through the discomfort, inconvenience and sometimes disapproving looks.

  10. What a beautiful story. It is very impressive when a mom beats the odds :) I am currently breastfeeding my 20 month old. And it has benefited me as well.


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