Discalimer: Men type may not be interested in this post. Please feel free to stop reading at any point and return tomorrow for our regularly scheduled programming.
~ Thank you, Management.
This post is for you. I thought it would be easier than writing a BIG, loooooooong response comment :) Yes, I know, I’m so freakin’ efficient. So, without further adoo… Vicki – you asked about the breastfeeding and wanted to hear more. I haven’t talked a huge amount about it because I wasn’t sure that people really wanted to hear too much about it. And frankly, the whole concept of breastfeeding in our culture is a bit touchy for some, but breastfeeding an adopted child is harder to grasp, especially if you’ve never given birth before. Really though, it’s not a new concept. It was very normal about 150 years ago for people to have wet nurses for their children. It’s just something that has gotten to be more out of style in the last century.
The whole thing came about a long time ago when Chris and I were still just talking like, “Hey, when we adopt…” One day he said, “Are you going to breast feed?” My reaction was, “Um, you are such a boy,” thinking that it must be impossible. His mom was a Le Leche League leader so breast feeding was something he was very familiar with. Anyway, just out of curiosity I Googled “adoptive breast feeding” one night and found a whole bunch of info on it and learned that a lot of people not only are able to do it but have good success with it. I kept doing research and realized that it was very possible for us to go this route if I planned ahead. Before we went on our summer holiday I took some time to find some great books on Amazon and ordered them so I could read while we were camping. Breastfeeding An Adopted Baby and Relactation by La Leche League International, and The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers by Dr. Jack Newman are both really great resources.
Dr. Newman has focused on breastfeeding for over 20 years and has a lot of information from working with adoptive mothers. Both books lay out a “protocol” for getting yourself ready. The most effective way is to be on a mixed hormone birth control pill for several months consistently – no sugar pills, add in some Domperidone at a certain point, then stop the pill about a month before you receive the child. The consistent use of the pill stimulates the same hormones that your body makes when you’re pregnant and stopping it produces prolactin – the hormone that helps bring milk in for feeding. The Domperidone is a drug used for gastrointestinal issues with a side effect of inducing lactation. After you stop the birth control pill you start to pump. Wahoo!
So, after doing all my reading, I went to my doctor while we were back and told her what I wanted to do. She looked at me a bit strangely at first, but then said she would check it out and call me at home. After her research she came up with the same results I did and sent prescriptions for everything to our pharmacy to pick up. I just started the Domperidone about two weeks ago and I’ll admit, was wondering if this was actually going to work, but I have seen some visible changes that tell me it is working which is actually pretty exciting.
In all of the reading that I’ve done about adoptive breastfeeding they really emphasize that it’s not as much about the milk as it is about the bonding that takes place. That’s the mentality that I’m trying to keep because most women can produce a portion of the needed milk, but not necessarily all of it. In that case women use a Supplemental Nursing System. It’s a small bottle or bag that hangs around your neck with tiny tubes that get taped on your nipple so the baby can suck and still get fed from the bottle. I have one of these and just bought some formula to use with it if needed. Any breast milk, even if it’s a small amount, is beneficial to the child which is really reassuring. The whole thing so far has actually been a very cool experience, especially now that it’s getting closer to Gotcha Day. I’m constantly reminded how amazing God and his creation (us) really is and that he made it possible for women to do this.
Barb – You mentioned that it would have been great for us to ship stuff in. Well, we’re pretty tricky, and because the container was delayed, we were able to ship some stuff in. When we got the washing machine I asked Cheryl, who picked it up and delivered it for us, to stop at Target on her way to the ware house and get some diapers and wipes, which she did, and stuff them into the drum of the washer since we ship by volume, not weight. So, there are a few packs of diapers and wipes on there.
The best transporter for stuff though has actually been the storm of visitors that we’ve had in the last month and a half. Anyone with small ones – I would definitely recommend checking out Ebay for diapers. On two occasions we’ve been able to buy 2 cases for about $75 with shipping. These are the BIG wholesale cases and with each order we’ve gotten about 450 diapers. Per diaper it’s pretty cheap.
The group that came at the beginning of November was the first group to bring stuff in. One guy filled his bags with the diapers and wipes that I had ordered. The other guy said, “Hey, what do you need?” I gave him a loose list and he showed up with a duffel bag that he and his wife had filled with everything from a couple packs of diapers and wipes to onesies, baby wash (BIG bottles!), diaper cream etc. It was really exciting :) Then my parents showed up. With the exception of a few things they had packed all of their personal stuff in their backpacks and filled the suitcases with presents for us. They brought us a lot of the basics that we needed.
Friends of ours that have been on furlough in the US for several months found a crib and baby swing that they’re shipping in with a bunch of their stuff for us, which is a huge blessing. We couldn’t afford, nor wanted to, buy a new crib here in Haiti. You can get used ones, but half you wonder if they’ll even hold a child, or they don’t have a mattress. It was such a blessing to have friends look for those bigger things.
Vicki – you asked what we still need. Not much actually. When we go home for Christmas we’ll be getting the rest of what we don’t already have, which is mostly little stuff. I’ve found some great deals in on Ebay for basics and have ordered a few other things too. If you’d like a specific list just email me and I can pass that on. Our biggest need right now is financial to help cover the cost of the adoption. So far we’re doing okay with things and have a good portion of the fees in reserve. We’re not really sure how much it’s going to cost when it’s all said and done, we just sort of have to take it bit by bit. We’ve been really blessed with how little we’ve had to pay for things actually. Just when we get to the point of thinking we have to shell out a big chunk of change for something we find out it’s much less than we were originally told.
It’s so exciting to realize that this is happening and it’s happening soon!