Monthly Archives: November 2006

Crying Over Spilt Breastmilk

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For six months the door of our freezer has been filled with jars of frozen breastmilk. They’ve been stacked up there since Catherine was born and was unable to breastfeed right away. It is long since expired so I spent some time yesterday thawing it and pouring it down the drain.

It was somewhat of a spiritual experience for me. I cycled through several emotions before I was able to come to terms with what I was actually feeling.

As the first ounces of milk hit the bottom of the sink I was thinking about waste. What a waste of good milk. Why didn’t I try to donate it to sick kids in Africa? If Catherine didn’t need it couldn’t someone else benefit from it? I also worried- what a waste of time! I spent 15-20 minutes, 8 times a day for two weeks, pumping milk with my rented Symphony breastpump– and she barely even ate any of those hundreds of ounces. I felt like it was alot of work for a product that went unused. Catherine would take in some of the milk in her feeding tube, and then a bottle, but it wasn’t all that much. By the time she was able to start nursing, at at 8 days old, we already had a freezer full of milk!

While I was pumping in those first few weeks I had envisioned bringing that milk into the hospital daily for the baby to drink and then pumping more for the next day. I don’t know how I could have thought that she would eat near as much as I brought her! I blame post-partum exhaustion for the lapse in rational thinking!

Once Catherine came home I was breastfeeing exclusively. Whenever she needed to eat, I was there. There was still no need to use the milk that I had hoarded. If I needed (or wanted) to be away from her I had the more portable Harmony pump to get through a feeding or two.

What, then, was the point of all that work? Obviously not the product; Catherine consumed maybe 10% of the milk that I pumped for her. The benefit from all the work came through the process.

Throughout my pregnancy I had planned to breastfeed. No one ever assumes that they’ll be in a position where that isn’t possible. In order to (eventually) take Catherine home and nurse her I HAD to pump as if I was feeding a baby. The milk was important to deliver to Catherine, but even more so was the practice of pumping. It ‘tricked’ my body into thinking that I was nursing and kept my milk supply up. In other words, I had to do some hard work then to glean benefits now. How many times in life, in any situation, do those words ring true?

This experience reminds me that no matter what I’m doing, whether I think it is a waste of time or energy, may have an amazing outcome somewhere down the road. It would have been so easy to stop pumping and switch the baby onto formula. I’m so glad to now have the experience of nursing her-which I would have lost had I made a different decision.

As I finished dumping the last of the milk I was struck by one final revelation. How blessed am I -are we- that Catherine is home with us and healthy? She might have had to stay in the hospital longer and have needed that milk. She might have had trouble learning to nurse and I’d still be pumping for her now! As sad as I was to “waste” that milk I was overwhelmed with joy for the baby girl that didn’t need it.

Weekend Walks

This weekend, we had some pretty nice weather, so we headed out for a couple of walks.

On Friday, we took a walk down to Beverly’s Dane Street Beach:

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Catherine (and Mom and Dad) enjoyed the swinging, the ocean, and the pleasant weather. 🙂 More Dane Street pics can be found here.

On Sunday, we drove out to Appleton Farms in Ipswich. It was the first visit for any of us, and we had a great time. There were trails, old farmhouses, fields and meadows, and cows!

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More Appleton Farms pics can be found here.

Thanksgave

I hope that you all enjoyed that Turkey Day picture of Catherine… I know that I sure did. 🙂

We spent Thanksgiving morning out in Townsend, decorating gingerbread houses and celebrating Corey’s birthday.

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Becky’s House

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ppp|Corey's Gift

Corey opens his gift from us…

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In the afternoon, we headed down to Boston for Thanksgiving dinner (and another Corey birthday celebration) with Tom and Gabi and the boys. My personal favorite dish was the baked, seasoned squash. 🙂

See pics of Thanksgiving in Townsend and Thanksgiving in Boston. (The Boston pics require family access – let us know if you need it.)

Two C’s

Happy Belated Birthday, Corey! Corey’s birthday was on Saturday, and we were so busy having fun with him that we didn’t have time to post wishes. 🙂

Also, happy six month birthday to Catherine! It’s hard to believe that half a year has already gone by with Catherine in our home.

ppp|Corey and Catherine

Corey and Catherine

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Explosion

For those who are following the story of the explosion in Danvers, our Beverly apartment is about two miles away from the site, as the crow flies. My workplace in Peabody, CBD, is about three miles away. No one in the Wood household felt or heard the explosion at 2:45 this morning, probably because we live in the basement, or possibly because, as new parents, our bodies needed the extra sleep much more than they needed to wake up and find out what had happened. Still, I’m pretty amazed that we didn’t notice it, since there are reports from people as far north as New Hampshire who felt the explosion.

In any case, stay tuned to Boston.com for more details.

Book-tacular

It’s my turn to chime in on the uber-popular “book meme”. I found this to be tremendously difficult. I’ve read so many books and so many of them were memorable and there’s so many that I’d want on a deserted island.

  1. One book that changed your life: Husband Coached Childbirth: The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth Maybe not so much “changed” but “reinforced” my outlook on childbirth; and helped me achieve it.

  2. One book that you’ve read more than once: Lately? Hippos Go Berserk

  3. One book you’d want on a desert island: The Swiss Family Robinson

  4. One book that made you laugh: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

  5. One book that made you cry:Les Miserables

  6. One book that you wish had been written: “How To Eat All the Ice Cream You Want and Never Gain a Pound; 2nd Edition; edited to include Tater Tots”

  7. One book that you wish had never been written: There are books I wish I had never read… but everyone gleans value from different material. I’m sure that books I have hated fall into the “changed my life” for other people.

  8. One book you’re currently reading: Toward the End of Time

  9. One book you’ve been meaning to read:1776

  10. Now tag five people: Angela:: Jeremy:: Lisa:: Bethany Joy:: Jill::

Redbox

I’d noticed a shiny new red vending machine in Stop and Shop a few months ago, and I finally stopped to check it out. The machine is managed by a company called redbox, and it is essentially a DVD rental vending machine. For $1 per night, plus tax, you can rent a DVD from their selection. Get it back before 7 p.m. the next day and that’s all you pay. After that, it’s another $1 for each additional day, and after 25 days without returning it, the DVD is yours to keep (and you just paid an outrageous amount to buy a movie).

The selection is understandably limited by the physical size of the machine. They do have some of the day’s more popular titles, and it is stocked with new releases on a weekly basis. There is no membership to sign up for – you just provide a credit card at the time of rental. The touch-screen on the machine allows you to browse the inventory of DVDs, make your selection, and pay. The DVDs themselves are vended mechanically from a slot on the side of the machine. They come encased in hard plastic. To return the DVD, simply go to any redbox kiosk and put the DVD back in the slot. Presto! You can also browse the selection of your local redbox kiosk from the website, and place your order there. Then, just go to the kiosk to pick it up.

You can get a free one-night rental if you visit the website and provide your email address. We did so a few weeks ago, and last night I stopped by to pick up a DVD. The whole process was as simple as could be, we enjoyed our movie, and I returned it today with no hassle.

It certainly won’t replace Netflix‘s breadth of selection or nifty feature set, but it can’t be beat for simplicity and price. At some point, they’ll probably enable the kiosks to download any movie you want, and then burn it instantly to DVD… then Netflix will have something to worry about!

If you’re interested, find the nearest redbox location and check it out!

Nope, I’m not getting paid anything for this post, I just think it’s really cool.

Book Meme

I’ve been tagged by Mr. Farnham to do a book meme. So here it is!

  • One book that changed your life: Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity It’s a book about getting organized and getting things done, but it’s also about reclaiming space in your mind and in your life to help you focus on the things that matter most.
  • One book that you’ve read more than once: GTD again.
  • One book you’d want on a desert island: Some book about survival and how to get off of an island as soon as possible. I am not going to assume that I’ll be stuck on this island forever; I want something practical!
  • One book that made you laugh: Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
  • One book that made you cry: Can’t think of one.
  • One book that you wish had been written: “What Are They Thinking?: Explanations of the Weirdos Around You”
  • One book that you wish had never been written: Can’t think of one.
  • One book you’re currently reading: Life Photographers: What They Saw. It has excellent interviews with photographers from the staff of Life magazine. It’s about more than just photography, though. It’s about history, culture, life, and work. It’s a joy to read.
  • One book you’ve been meaning to read: The Neutronium Alchemist : Conflict (Neutronium Alchemist, No 2). The next in a series of books that I had started reading a few years ago. I haven’t been able to find this volume at our local library, unfortunately.
  • Now tag five people: Alright, let’s see who’s paying attention (or at least monitoring Technorati: