"How Can You Have Too Many Children? That's Like Saying You Have Too Many Flowers" ~ Mother Teresa

A Peek Into Our Hectic, Crazy & Loving Family of Eleven


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Reminder

For the people that read my blog, but seem to not like anything that I have to say.....

Please reread this post.
That should clear things up.
This is who I am. I write MY feelings, MY opinions, MY thought, and MY experiences. This is about MY LIFE. It's that simple.
I am, very simply put, a Mama. With 9 very loved, very much wanted and VERY exceptional kids.
I am not forcing my opinions on anyone. It is your choice to read them. I am simply writing them for all to see.
If my blog bothers you to the point that you have to leave rude comments, please stop reading/following me. Or, at the very least, quit commenting. Please.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Back On Track....*Babywearing*


It always cracks me up, as I'm wearing one of my babies, when people say 'Wow! That is so cool! The things they come up with for babies now-a-days. I wish they had those when my babies were little'.

Um, they did. 'Babywearing' has been around for ages. I guess it's just much more mainstreamed now. You see it more and more. From Bjorns to wraps to Ergo's.
I would like to make a note that Bjorns and the like aren't good for a babys' spinal development. I'll post a link at the bottom the explains it better than I can.

It's not only good for your baby's development, it makes life so much easier. Especially if you have other children to care for.

I dabbled briefly into babywearing with my 1st son, Joseph. But, as I said in a previous post, I bought a Moby, didn't get it on quite right and he almost fell out. I never wore him again.

The next baby to be worn was Annabel. She REQUIRED it. Her temperament actually had me out searching for something to put her in besides my arms when she was just days old.

I came across a Kangaroo Korner Adjustable Fleece Pouch. Saved.my.life. Annabel LIVED in that thing. I actually slept with her in it a few times, propped up on my bed. She needed to be worn. My family wasn't too keen on the idea since that meant they didn't get to hold her as much, but it was literally the only thing that kept her happy. Being worn and being nursed. Closeness.

The KKAFP opened up a whole new world for me. I found an awesome website, The BabyWearer. From there I discovered Wraps, Mei Tais, Soft Structured Carriers, Pouches and Ringslings. A whole world of ways to carry your babies. I was addicted. The website has a For Sale Or Trade section. I had carriers coming in the mail DAILY. I had to try them all. I have a bad back so it was hard to find ones that worked well for me. But I did. And my babies were worn. LIFE MADE SIMPLER. No fussy babies and 2 free hands. I even got to the point where I could nurse hands free. AWESOMENESS.
Now, wearing triplets? I tried. I got them all on but it wasn't very comfortable. This is one area where they get one-on-one. :)
**Please be aware that babywearing has been in the news lately due to infants suffocating in certain brands of carriers. Just like carseats, a babys' position is very crucial. Take lots of time to learn about your carrier. Practice it.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hypocrisy, Eating My Words & And Apology

I have debated about this post for days. Half of me says 'write it, it's important'. The other half of me, the ashamed, chicken shit half of me, says 'no way, hide in the closet, do not speak of what you've done'.

It seems that hypocrisy is a word familiar to me. I posted about it here when the triplets were born and I had to leave the hospital to come home to get some rest.

I also posted a few weeks ago about a very controversial subject, CIO.

In that post, I said "I WILL NEVER DO IT".

Well, I did it. I am not proud. I am not happy. Even though, it seems to have 'worked'. I am not relieved. Not yet. I am ashamed, sad and judgemental. Now of myself. I hope that feeling goes away soon.
We have tried EVERYTHING to get these babies to sleep. Noise machine, car rides, wearing them, rocking, pacing, the dryer, binkies. All that worked was me and the boob. But these babies are not only children. They are #7, #8 and #9. They have to make adjustments to our family too. Sounds harsh, but for 7 months we have been literally catering to them, which is NECESSARY for babies, don't get me wrong, but when it's affecting our entire family to the point of complete and total dysfunctionality, it's time to make some changes. Not fun changes, but necessary ones.

You may be asking yourself, what got you to that point? Honestly? Besides exhaustion. My mental well being. I felt thisclose to cracking. I've never in my life experienced a mental breakdown, but I'm pretty sure what I was feeling was close. I cried all the time. I yelled at my other children, alot. I was never happy. I even wrote my husband an email telling him I couldn't handle this anymore and that I was leaving. Yep. I did. Now, a person in their right mind could see how leaving, with the 3 babies and the toddlers, would accomplish nothing. I was not in my right mind. I was literally losing it. Ask any of my Facebook friends. They saw my pleas for help. I'm actually surprised that CPS never showed up at my door. I am not one to ask for help. Ever. So when I am pleading for it, you know something must not be right. My husband saw this, and told me we had to do something fast before our whole family fell apart.

All this because of 3 tiny humans that would not sleep.

We made ourselves a checklist. We found some resources on the internet and used them.

•Am I content with the way things are, or am I becoming resentful, angry, or frustrated? I was becoming angry, resentful AND frustrated. NONE of these things makes for a good mommy. In fact, those 3 things alone are a recipe for disaster when parenting triplets.

•Is my baby’s nighttime routine negatively affecting my marriage, my job, or my relationships with my other children? Yes, yes and yes. Aaron and I were not even talking. My job is my children. When I spent 5-7 hours a day putting babies to sleep, I never saw my kids. Which partners with the relationship question. I need to be a mommy to ALL NINE of my kids, not just the triplets.

•Is my baby happy, healthy, and seemingly well rested? No, yes and no. Grumpy grumpy babies. Almost always. They wanted to take up to 15 naps a day because they weren't getting any sleep. They are all very healthy so that did play a part in this decision.

•Am I happy, healthy, and well rested? No, no and no. I was not happy and enjoying my life or my kids. My mental health was suffering and I haven't slept in months. Not for more than an hour at a time.

•What is a reasonable expectation for my baby at his/her age? At 7 months, these babies SHOULD be able to fall asleep on their own and stay asleep for at least 4 hours.

•What naptime and bedtime situation would I consider “acceptable”? Falling asleep without assistance from the boob. After 3-4 hours, I do feed them/cuddle them/bring them into my bed.

•What naptime and bedtime situation would I consider “pure bliss”? Just what I stated above

•Why do I want to change my baby’s sleep patterns? Is it truly what’s best for me and my baby, or am I doing this to meet someone else’s expectations? This is what is best for our entire family. Including the babies. Babies need SLEEP.

•Am I willing and able to be patient and make a gradual, gentle change for my baby if that means no crying? Willing, yes. Able, no. I am alone during the day with 5 kids under the age of 4.
This is the 'list' we looked at. Our answers to these questions are in red.

So, given all that, we made the decision to CIO. I know, I know. Believe me, I KNOW.
I am fully prepared for the comments that are sure to follow this post. I considered turning off the comments so that I didn't have to face up to what I did, but then decided not to. Post what you must, but believe me, I am my own worst critic. I do know that this solution sucked. It sucked BIG TIME, trust me, I was the one sitting here crying with the baby monitor in my hands. My babies were the ones crying in their cribs. But as a friend said to me 'You've never raised triplets before, your doing your best' and as I keep saying to myself 'Having multiples sure changes the 'rules' of AP'. I do wish that my best felt good enough, just once. I do my best day after day after day, and it feels like I am always letting someone down no matter how hard I try.
It has been 3 days now. The babies still cry when we lay them down. It still breaks my heart. And we are still working on it. I've given myself 5 days. If they are still sad in 5 days, I'm done. But they are getting better. The most they cry for is about 20 minutes right now. And it's not screaming crying. It's some crying with alot of baby bitching in between. And when they wake up, they are smiling. They are still happy. They still love us.
I will say that I would NEVER EVER EVER condone CIO in babies younger than 6 months. NEVER. To be honest, I still don't condone it. I know, hypocrisy at it's best. It seems I am good at talking the talk but not so much at walking the walk.
CIO should never be done out of convenience. It really should be a last resort. If at all.
I stick by my original post that CIO is harmful to babies, and I HATE myself for doing it. But I had to consider the alternative. A mentally healthy mommy is pretty damn important too.
So, to anyone that HAD to use CIO, with no other options, I am sorry. I am sorry that you had to go through that. I am sorry that your babies had to go through that. Now that I have been there done that, I know the stress it causes and I wish that kind of pain and stress on nobody. No baby, no mommy, no daddy, and no family.
Our new routine? Just so nobody thinks I am completely heartless:
Upon waking, from either a nap or nighttime, I nurse them. Then we play. And cuddle. And take walks. When they start to get tired, I nurse them all again. (and whenever they want as they are playing, we still nurse on demand) Since they all have to sleep together, in our room, ( 9 kids and a 4 bedroom house) they do have to get accustomed to sleeping through each others noises.) They will always be sharing a room. Then we turn on the sound machine, their projectors that put a picture on the ceiling and lay them down, in their cribs with their little Carters animal head lovies that they like to suck on, tell them we love them, smother them with kisses and hugs, say Night Night, and walk out.
Right now, they still cry. I'm hoping and praying it gets better. Soon.
As they awaken in the night, I bring them to bed with me and feed them, on demand, as usual.
What has this 'gotten me'?
Time with my family. For the first time in almost a year, I can tuck my toddlers into bed. I can say goodnight to Noah. I can watch a movie with Madeline. I can talk to my husband. I can talk with Joey about soccer. I can hang out with Juliette.
I feel myself slowly getting better mentally. Yes, the process of CIO is a whole new stress, but it's one that will dissipate soon. I hope. I hope to forgive myself. Being able to heal as a family should help that. Again, I hope.
And hopefully, the benefits of rested, happy babies will outweigh the damage of CIO. I can only hope.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Graduation 2010


Ok, this one was hard for me. Senior? Nah. Prom? Nope. GRADUATING? Yes. Yes. Yes.

I literally almost cried. Me. I never ever cry. Unless I'm mad or frustrated. But this got me. All I could think of was when Aaron and I graduated. I remember it so clearly. And having Madeline graduate brought it all back even more.

She's so beautiful and so smart and we are so so proud of her.

Now, 1 down, only 8 more to go. How old will we be when the triplets graduate? Ugh. I don't even want to think about it. This made me feel old enough.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A New Journey, A New Blog

So, the 'manufactured' dreadlocks are out.

I realized it was not the journey that I wanted nor needed.

I need to find calm. I need to learn patience. I need to 'let go'.

I'm going natural. I need this lesson. I need this experience. I need this journey.

The best part? Madeline and Juliette are joining me.

What an amazing experience this will be.

Follow us. ::becoming::

Friday, June 18, 2010

Stress, Sleeplessness and....Is There An 'And'?

I think I have officially reached my breaking point. I haven't cracked yet, but I'm pretty sure it's not too far off.

Having to nurse all 3 babies down for every nap and bedtime is getting to be a 5-7 hour daily battle. 5-7 hours I spend sitting in the family room or upstairs trying to get them to sleep. 5-7 hours that my toddlers are not getting any mommy time. I thank Gods that they are such good little girls. I don't know many toddlers that would do that without getting into trouble.

Having babies, 3 of them, that do not sleep is causing alot of stress on me and the entire family. Not to mention it makes for some VERY unhappy babies.

I need suggestions. We have 3 portacribs in our room now to help with this. I need everyones best NON-CIO options that are do-able. Realistic for multiples.

We are going to try to just lay them down sleepy and hope that they 'Baby-Bitch' themselves to sleep, but I'm not holding my breath.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Live A Little...Learn A Little...

So, it turns out that those few comments on my 'Dreadlocks' post were correct. :/

Crochet dreads are NOT the best way to go. But, what's done is done. I'm not totally screwed, and my locs will survive so all in all, things are ok. But I sure do wish I had found this website before I did my hair.

Crocheting your hair is damaging. While it does give you instant 'dreadlocks', the hook used to pull the hairs in and around the backcombed hair, damages them. The real problem lies in the maintenance of crocheting. Most people will have their locks done and then continue to have them crocheted to maintain the neat perfect look. This means very unhealthy dreadlocks that will more than likely start to break off within a few years, if not sooner. Luckily for me, I didn't want neat and perfect to begin with. So, I won't be going back. EVER. I just needed major starting help since I'm pretty sure Aaron would not have gone for the wild-cave-woman look. Especially when we have stuff to go to.

The downside to starting with crochet, then going natural is the fuzz. My hair is fuzzy. Really fuzzy. It's a bit damaged, but according to the website that you should totally check out, I should be fine. My hair will start to dread on it own naturally with, hopefully, minimal damage from the crochet hook.

I'm going to try to do a timeline for the dreadlock website, about going from crochet to natural. I won't bore you all with pics, but I'll occasionally include a link in case you want to go check it out.

Madeline wants to do her hair now too, but we are doing it the healthier way. It's called twist and rip. It's better for your hair. And it's free.

Live a little, learn a little. Or alot, in this case. Thank Gods for people posting on my comments.

Friday, June 11, 2010


June 8th, 2010.

Well, after YEARS of talking about them, wanting them, being insanely jealous everytime I saw someone with them, I finally did it. I went out and got me some dreadlocks. Yes, it is my own hair. These are not 'fake dreads'

I was going to DIY, but I don't really have 'spare time' so I found a salon in Portland that dreads your hair. In under 2 hours! She does it really tight. Basically, when you get salon dreads, the process is almost backwards. Think perm. At first it's really tight then relaxes. Same idea. She puts them in with the ratting/crochet hook method, no wax. They are tight. They do start to loosen, but hopefully not too much. I got them Tuesday. I'm supposed to wait a week to wash them, so they can stay tight as long as possible, but I will probably wash them on Sunday since we have Madeline's Graduation Party that day.

And can I just say, that I have found hair nirvana. Never did I think that I would love my dreadlocks this much. Anyone with dreads will tell you 'Dreadlocks are not so much a hairstyle, but a journey. A deeper look into who you are'.

So true.

I'm only on day 4 of having them and already, I'm more relaxed. I cannot believe that my hair and how it looked/was styled/colored consumed so much of my time and thoughts each day. (I know, stupid, but what can I say?) And if it didn't look 'good' , I didn't feel good about ME. Letting go of my constant hair consuming thoughts has been so helpful in alleviating some of this every day stress that I just can't seem to get ahead of.
Dreadlocks are my Prozac.
I feel beautiful.
Pretty good substitute, I would say.

If I feel this good, just 4 days in, I can't wait to see how I feel next week, or a month from now.

I can't really describe how or why such a simple thing as dreadlocks has made me feel so different. Maybe it's a mental thing, maybe not. All I know is how utterly freeing it is.


freed, free·ing, frees
1. To set at liberty; make free: freed the slaves; free the imagination.
2. To relieve of a burden, obligation, or restraint: a people who were at last freed from fear.

Yep. I'd say that is the word I'm looking for.

I would like to clear up some common myths about dreadlocks. Specifically for my family, that is more than likely to look at me Sunday and say 'Ewwwwwww'. Which, by the way, is not nice. Can I just say this is a good time to implement the phrase that your momma taught you 'If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all'


* All dreadlocks are dirty.

Dreadlocks are only dirty if you don't take care of them and wash them. Not washing dreadlocks is the best way to ruin dreadlocks. You should wash your dreadlocks at least once a week.

* You can't wash dreadlocks.

Not washing dreadlocks is the best way to ruin dreadlocks. You should wash your dreadlocks at least once a week.

* Anyone with dreadlocks is dirty.

Not true!! Dreadlocks need to be washed at least once a week.

* Not combing your hair is the only way/best way to make dreadlocks.

There ARE other ways

* Backcombing is not natural.

Backcombing is just about the most natural way to make dreadlocks. Well, except for the neglect method.

* Only black people can have dreadlocks.

Obviously the person who told you this has never see anyone who is Asian, Indian, or Caucasian with dreadlocks. Dreadlocks actually look very nice on Asian, Indian, and Caucasian. Many people believe that dreadlocks actually were first wore by the Asian Indians that crossed over from Asia and Europe to Alaska and Canada. Dreadlocks were also wore during Biblical times by John the Baptist and Samson. Dreadlocks were also worn in the 1400-1500's by Asian Emperor's.

* Nice dreadlocks are high maintenance.

Most dreadlocks are not high maintenance. The only kinds of dreadlocks that are high maintenance are dreadlocks made from dread perms. Dreadlocks made with the backcombing, twist and rip, twist and pin, neglect, and brush rubbing methods are not high maintenance at all.

* The neglect method is the only way to make natural dreadlocks.

Not true at all. There are many other methods that are natural, such as Backcombing, Twist and Rip, Twist and Pin, Twisting, Dread Braiding, and Brush Rubbing.

* Dreadlocks damage your scalp.

Dreadlocks do not damage your scalp. In fact your scalp never even knows you have dreadlocks, because the hair starts to dread about an inch away from the scalp.

* You have to shave your head when you don't want dreadlocks anymore.

False statement. You don't even have to cut your hair when you want to take the dreadlocks out. Here are the ways to take dreadlocks out:

* Dreadlocks are for rastas only.

It is a common misconseption that dreadlocks were started by Rastas and only Rastas should wear them. It is common knowledge that cavemen wore dreadlocks, not for spiritual reasons, not for fashion, just for the fact that the comb wasn't invented yet. It is ok for you to wear dreadlocks if you are wearing them for fashion, and it is ok for you to wear dreadlocks if you are doing it for spiritual reasons.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

PROM 2010

The boy. And the girl.

Cody and Madeline.

Prom 2010

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Thinking Outloud

79 followers! Wow. I never imagined, when I started this blog, that I would get so many people reading about my life. I always thought my life was fairly boring and monotonous.

I also didn't realize when I started my 'series' that I would touch upon so many emotions and feelings, although I suppose I should've thought that when it comes to parenting, the Mama Bear in all of us shines through!

I said in the beginning, that these were all MY thought, MY experiences and MY feelings. And they are just that.

Never do I intend to hurt someones feelings, make them feel bad about a loving choice they made when it comes to their child or make someone feel inferior. NEVER. My apologies if any of you ever felt this way while reading my blog.

I also never intended my blog to be a parenting resource. lol.

I am so happy that so many parents are finding my information helpful and useful and inspiring.

I had thoughts of making my blog private. Or to make it so that I had to 'approve' the comments. But then I thought "What good is that" ? It may shelter my feelings, but then the readers who do read through the comments aren't seeing another point of view, another opinion.

And to be truly educated and informed on the choices you make, you do need as much information as possible. The links I provide is how I, myself came to a certain conclusion. It is your right to find more, better, and perhaps refutable information. Share it!

And while I do only give, perhaps one sided opinions and information, it is because that is how I'm choosing to write.

I don't have a degree in anything that makes me an expert. All I have is the experience of parenting 9 of the most amazing kids I ever could have asked for. And I love sharing my experiences, my thoughts, my successes, my failures and my love for having, what I would consider, to be the best 'job' I ever could have asked for. I also believe how I parent is the best way. Don't we all feel the choices we make are the best?

Parenting is not a black and white issue. I realize that my posts make it seem that way. My posts are about my decisions and the links are about why I choose that decision.

Please take what I say with a grain of salt. Apply it to your life. If you so wish. Use what you want, dismiss what you find crazy. And I am sure that there is some crazy in here. I mean, 9 kids right?

Continue to leave all your awesome comments because those too, are not only helpful to me, but to others who read them. If you disagree with me, tell why. That is so helpful. If you made a choice that you now regret, tell why. We will all learn from it.

But can we all play nice? No name calling and no defensiveness. Please? :) You have a right to your opinion and I to mine. My kids read my blog. So does my family. Speak your mind respectively in your comments. As do I in my posts.

Thank you everyone. I'm having so much fun blogging!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Break In My Series

I'm going to take a break from 'my series'. I have some family stuff I want to get down. Prom, graduation, dreadlocks, you know, personal stuff.

I'll be back soon with Babywearing, vaccinations, cloth diapering, extended rear facing, and a new one to me, home schooling!

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Well, I'm truly hoping that this topic doesn't go and get me called any names. But, if it does, so be it. I thought about why I wasn't bothered by being called such a lovely name on my CIO comments. I suppose it's because there is a ring of truth to the fact that I was called a 'judgemental bitch'. I will take credit for being judgemental. I am. When someone does something that I would consider harmful to their child, I will judge them. If someone is doing something, maybe not wrong, but could be doing it better, especially if there is actual proof that it is better, I will judge them. Sometimes silently, sometimes not. I would never walk up to a mama in public and chastise them for bottle feeding, after all, maybe its breastmilk in that bottle? I would however, very vocally express my feelings for someone who is, for example, careless in carseat safety. With that being said, my blog is about the choices I am making and why. The links I provide are how I have come to that conclusion. I provide them so that you can see where I am getting my information. If you disagree with what I write, no problem. Different strokes for different folks. That's what makes the world go 'round.

But I am NOT a bitch.

Main Entry: bitch
Pronunciation: \ˈbich\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English bicche, from Old English bicce
Date: before 12th century
1 : the female of the dog or some other carnivorous mammals
2 a : a lewd or immoral woman b : a malicious, spiteful, or overbearing woman —sometimes used as a generalized term of abuse
3 : something that is extremely difficult, objectionable, or unpleasant
4 : a complaint of or about

Whew, ok, With that off my chest,

Breastfeeding. This will probably skip around alot, as there is so much to say. I'm just going to say what is on my mind right now and again, provide some links. I'm sure there is a ton more to say, but at the risk of making this the worlds longest blog entry, I'll try to keep it simple. I'll try.

I will say that breastfeeding is my biggest passion. I believe that ''Breast Is Best'. I also believe that there are very few instances in which a woman cannot successfully breastfeed, although I hear so many excuses as to why one doesn't. I'm not going to get into why/how/when/what here. I don't think I need to state the obvious, although, who knows. If you didn't breastfeed, please don't take offense to what I've written, again, my blog, my opinion, your choice to read it. Why someone didn't breastfeed is their decision that they live with day to day and if the are ok with that decision, then fabulous.

What I will say, with great pride, is that I spent every waking moment, every ounce of energy that I had, getting my triplets to be exclusively breastfed. IT CAN BE DONE. Whether you have 1 baby, or 3. Breastfeeding is possible.

All of my children have been breastfed. 1 just a few weeks, and a few for a few years. I intend to go as long as possible with the trio. The WHO (World Health Organization) is now recommending a minimum of 2 years of breastmilk. TWO YEARS.

And, since I've done both formula and breastfeeding with my children, I do feel I have a right to voice my opinions on both.

**I'm adding something in, after reading the comments, again :). Please don't think that I feel that someone who doesn't BF is inferior. That is not my itention in this post AT ALL, and if it came across that way, I apologize. My intention was to let everyone know that just TRYING to BF is possible. There are a TON of reasons why someone would choose not to. And if you read down farther, I did say CHOOSE. It IS a choice. CAN'T and CHOOSE NOT TO are two very different things. All these topics are not as black and white as some are taking them. I know that being able to BF triplets is an oddity, at best. lol. And it is NOT EASY. There are days I want to quit, believe me. But it is do-able. So, please, do not take offense. I mean nothing negative. This post is MY THOUGHT, MY EXPERIENCES. I have triplet mommy friends who did not BF and I love them all the same. :)**

Study after study has shown that breastmilk is best. You have a baby human, baby humans need human milk. Baby cows need cows milk, baby goats need goat milk and so on.. Formula is just a powdered version of cows milk. Again, I have baby humans :).

And in our society, yes, again with the society thing, breastfeeding needs to be the norm. Not formula feeding. We need more information and more help for breastfeeding moms. All to often, a mom struggling with breastfeeding is told to "just put him on formula" instead of getting her lactation help. We have formula promotion comercials. Do we have breastfeeding promotion commercials? Why not? Peurto Rico does. In our country, we promote formula. It's no wonder we have a lack of breastfeeding moms and support for them.

My 1st daughter was breastfed just 8 weeks. We had issues. I was young, I didn't get the proper information, so I gave up. I didn't want to, but I did. And put my daughter on Soy Formula (which, is now shown to be worse than regular formula, although at the time, I had figured in my head that soy was better than cows milk). My daughter has struggled with her weight since she was a toddler. I blame formula. None of my other kids have weight issues, and they all breastfed much longer. With each subsequent baby, breastfeeding got longer. My wealth of information grew, and I grew in my ability to know what is best for my baby.

Fast forward to the triplets. When I was pregnant, I had the best plan worked out. Oh, it'll be easy. Baby A and Baby B each on a boob, Baby C with a bottle of breastmilk. I soon found out some things weren't meant to be planned. I couldn't follow the scheule. I always had a baby crying and a baby hungry. Not fun. Now we do feeding on demand. When the babies are hungry. Now, there is less crying. And THAT is always a good thing.

The babies all had donor milk in the hospital. No formula. No bottles, at first, gavaged feedings only. Unfortunately, as well meaning as the NICU is, they don't know everything. I was told that breastfeeding is very hard for a preemie. That it takes a ton of energy for a preemie to nurse.




Breastfeeding is natural to a baby. Bottlefeeding is not. Bottle feeding, in fact, takes more energy than nursing, nursing just takes more TIME. (Unless your my 6 month old Rosalie who can nurse down an entire feeding in about 7 minutes)

It takes TIME. And time is something that the NICU needs more of. Or, less schedule, but that just can't happen so....

Truth is, babies, preemies, do better when they can nurse on-demand. They learn hunger cues.

But that is hard to do in a scheduled setting. Especially in a NICU and especially with multiples.

This is an instance where bottles were a stepping stone.

But this is not about bottle vs. breast. This is about breastmilk vs. formula. I kind of got off track there for a bit. Sorry.

Babies are born to breastfeed. They come out knowing where they need to be. Have you ever seen a just born baby do the breastcrawl? It's amazing.

Formula is 'man-made'. Who knows what is actually in it? Or ,here you go. This looks healthy. Chocolate formula. Yummy.

Breastmilk? Natural. Doesn't get much more natural than this. Breastmilk is perfect for every baby. The milk that a mom makes is designed for her babies. Allergies are rare, although babies can be sensitive to a particular food that a Mom eats.

Babies are born with a specific 'gut-flora'. If babies are exclusively breastfed and maintain a virgin gut, they develop natural healthy gut flora which are full of good bacteria which aids in digestion, which serves as a natural immunity.

Great explanation of Virgin gut and gut flora

Breastmilk provides fabulous immunities against illnesses.
Breastmilk is easier to digest.
Breastmilk prevents obesity.
Breastfed babies have healthier teeth and better jaw alignment.
Breastfed babies have a higher IQ.

So, with all this information, why would a mother CHOOSE to feed her baby with an artificial man-made formula if she didn't absolutely have to?

I have no idea.

Even The Occasional Bottle Has It's Risks

Breastfeeding Boots IQ's

Breastfeeding Builds Brighter Brains

Risks of Formula Feeding

Risks of Formula Feeding

Formula and Obesity

Diabetes and Formula

Breastfeeding Multiples

Kellymom. Great info on everything!

So, with all this information on the benefits of breastfeeding, why would you NOT, if you have the choice?

I have no idea.

*I would like to clarify something that I said in my CIO post. "Those people who say "Oh, my baby slept through the night at 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 6 months, I say "Lie". Not possible. And especially not for a breastfed baby".

I would never want to discourage a new mama from breastfeeding. You never have to choose breastfeeding over sleep. Studies actually show that breastfeeding mamas get, on average, 1-1.5 hours MORE sleep per night than formula feeding mamas. Probably due to the fact that you can just hook a baby to the boob and go back to sleep.

It's just MY babies that won't sleep. Well, Gwendolen does. She only nurses 1 or 2 times per night, whereas Emilia nurses all night long. Alot of that is just the babies personality, and with 3 at the same time, well, you get 3 different personalities.

My thoughts?

Lazy? Breastfeed! No formula to fix or bottles to wash.
Tired? Breastfeed! No need to even get out of bed at night.
Stressed? Breastfeed! There is nothing more relaxing than nursing your baby. Nothing.

Now, please keep in mind these are directed at ME. I am, in no way, saying that breastfeeding mamas are lazy, tired or stressed. Just I am. Or maybe it has to do with the fact that I have 9 children. And triplets. Possibly.

It's not rocket science. It's natural. It's what we, as women, were designed to do.
If I can successfully exclusively breastfeed triplets, anyone can breastfeed their baby/babies. Or at least give it a really good try. Do it for your baby!

Again, an apology on the jumpiness of the post. It's hard for me to write as fast as my brain is thinking. Especially when it's something I'm so passionate about. I may even add stuff later as I think of more.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

CIO (Crying It Out)

This is a hard one for me. I know all the literature about it. I've read all the studies. I KNOW the damage it does. So we don't do it. But this is one that is so.damn.hard. Especially with triplets. None of my kids have ever been good sleepers. I truly don't think any baby ever is. Those people who say "Oh, my baby slept through the night at 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 6 months, I say "Lie". Not possible. And especially not for a breastfed baby. Ok, maybe a few times here and there, but not consistently. They get so accustomed to the closeness that it's hard for them to be layed down. And why wouldn't it be? They've been close to Mama for 10 months.

Our evening schedule sucks. That pretty much sums it up. I dread the evening. HATE it. I am still nursing all 3 babies down every night. That in itself isn't bad. I like that part. I get closeness with each of them and some (semi) me time upstairs. The part that sucks is that they don't STAY asleep because they don't know how. And it's my fault. They are too used to getting nursed back to sleep everytime they wake up. So I spend all evening in my bedroom. Nurse two, lay them down, go get the third from Aaron, nurse her, lay her down. At this point, sometimes I get back downstairs for maybe 5 minutes before one wakes up. And, if Im lucky, I can tear back up there before she wakes them all up. If she does, we are back to square 1. This goes on until about midnight when I just give up the fight and go to bed. Then, we do the same thing only since they are so tired, they do stay asleep after nursing which is good, since I need sleep too. This is where it is so.damn.hard for me not to CIO. I don't want to, but somethings gotta give.

Tonight, my son Noah, says to me:

Noah: "Mom, I probably won't see you until Saturday (it's Thursday at 4pm)
Me: "What? Why not? It's only Thursday"
Noah: "I know, but I'm going to soccer practice in an hour and by the time I get back, you'll be upstairs with the babies. I'll go to bed before your done. Then tomorrow , your still asleep in the morning and I have school and then I'm going to a friends house to sleep over. So I won't see you until Saturday"
Me: "Oh buddy, yes you will. I won't go upstairs until you and Dad get home"
Noah: "Ok"

Aaron and Noah get home, Noah takes a shower and get something to eat (So I SEE him but I don't SEE him) and I go upstairs to put babies to bed. Noah comes in and whispers " Goodnight Mom, I'll see you Saturday"
I'm still in denial about that and I say (again)" Oh buddy, no, I'm almost done here, I'll be in to kiss you goodnight and talk with you in just a few minutes".
Nope. Babies didn't have a good night. By the time I got into Noah's room, he was already asleep. Pass down that 'Mom Of The Year' Award now please. Oh, wait, I've already gotten like 235 of them since the babies were born. Fabulous. Now, not only are the babies growing up before I can blink, so are my other kids.

So, that story does have relevancy here. If I didn't have to spend 4+ hours fighting babies to sleep every night, I would be able to kiss my older kids goodnight. Yes, I KNOW that they understand. Doesn't matter to me right now. Understand or not, I want to kiss ALL my kids goodnight Dammit!

So, CIO is very tempting to me right now. But we semi tried. We lasted exactly 8 and a half minutes. And I know that it was 8 and a half minutes because I watched the clock as I looked up every study on the dangers of CIO that I could find. When we got back upstairs, Gwendolen had given up and was staring to the side of the bed. Her look was haunting to me. She had given up any hope of Mama and Daddy coming back. Rosalie and Emilia, even though they were swaddled, had managed to wiggle next to each other and were desperately trying to console each other by Rosalie sucking on Mia's head and Mia grabbing desperately for Rosalie's hand. In EIGHT AND ONE HALF MINUTES.

And there are ALOT of dangers to CIO. It is NOT good for babies. Not good for their brains. Not good for their emotional well being. And it is NOT effective. Not for the long term anyways. They don't learn to fall asleep (contrary to what supporters of CIO want to believe). They do fall asleep, but it's from utter exhaustion from crying. They learn that their cries aren't answered. That their needs aren't met. That they aren't worthy of the ones they love meeting their needs. So, in a sense, if you want to think that they "learn", Ok. But really, they just give up. Give up hoping that someone will come to hold them, feed them, cuddle them.

Studies have shown that they stress levels in a babys' brain that have been left to CIO are equivalent to an adult suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

  • CIO can lead to a baby being Failure To Thrive (Dr. Ezzo anyone?, For the record, Dr. Ezzo wrote a book, Babywise. In it he condone CIO for tiny babies. Babies have DIED, thanks to his methods)

  • CIO teaches a baby to not trust his caretakers.

  • CIO leaves a baby to feel hopeless and insecure.

Is that what we want for our babies? I don't. But at what expense to my older children?

I'm pretty sure this is a dilemma that I will continue to struggle with until it's a moot point. We will never do it. I just threaten it so that I can get back online, read all the dangers and reaffirm my decision to NOT CIO. That's how it goes I guess. Never an easy moment in the world of parenting. Not yet anyway.

**I am adding this in kind of late after reading all the comments. When I say CIO, I am referring to putting your baby in his/her crib and just letting them cry themselves to sleep. The parents that do this, do so with the intention of 'sleep training' their babies. The thought beyond CIO is that the babies will learn to self soothe. In my opinion, all a baby learns is that his needs, wants and fears are not addressed. I will say that CIO is also different than a baby vocalizing himself to sleep. One reader called it 'baby bitching'. Perfect description. I have triplets. Of course they cry. Way more than my other babies had to. There are 3 of them and only 1 of me during the day (not to mention 2 toddlers) I am outnumbered. But I will not lay them down, in their crib, with the intention of walking away as they scream for me, only to return when they awaken after falling asleep in a fit of exhaustion. I just cannot do it. And studies have shown that it is not healthy nor effective. CIO and a baby crying are 2 very different things**

Again, I'm providing some links to studies/literature/stories on CIO. Read what you wish. :)

Dangers Of CIO

Sleep Training

CIO Causes Brain Damage

Dr. Ezzo & Failure To Thrive

Confessions Of A Failed Babywiser

CIO Dangers