Friday, July 18, 2014

Shipping Breast Milk - Our Process

We are so incredibly fortunate that our surrogate offered to continue pumping for Aidan. In most surrogate contracts, the surrogate chooses whether or not they'd like to pump for the intended parents, and there is usually a fee associated with it. The fee varies, though in most situations I've encountered it's about $1 per ounce of breast milk. In the beginning of our process, I had researched induced lactation and had hoped that I could nurse Aidan myself, but once Aimee offered to pump for him we decided that the cons outweighed the pros for induced lactation.

We're still ironing out the process since we had one shipment that came a day late (and boy did we freak out!), but this is what has been working for us so far: Aimee pumps and stores breast milk in Lansinoh bags, which are then put in her deep freezer. Once she has enough for a shipment, she puts the bags in a Styrofoam cooler with dry ice packed on the top. She has been shipping overnight through USPS, so I receive before 10:30 the next day. We did attempt to ship via FedEx, but they will not ship breast milk.

Once I get the shipment, I take all of the milk bags out to our deep freezer, which I purchased before Aidan was born. This has been such a good investment for us. When we are preparing milk for the next few days, we take about 8 bags inside to our freezer to start defrosting. When we need milk for that day or the following day, we take about 3-4 bags of milk and place them in a Ziploc bag to continue defrosting in the refrigerator. When they've defrosted enough that the milk can be broken up, we take the bags out, and put the contents into a mason jar to be stored for the day. It sounds like quite the process, and to be honest it's not as easy as putting formula in a bottle and having it instantly ready, but we really feel it's worth it, and are incredibly lucky to have a friend who is willing to provide this for him.

Friday, July 4, 2014

First 4th of July With a Baby

I love 4th of July for many reasons. I love America, BBQing with friends and family, traditions, themed outfits, pie, and fireworks. Oh, and it's Mr. Bee's and my dating anniversary. Cheesy, but we like to celebrate it 10 years later.

Growing up, I have so many great memories of 4th of July with my family. My grandma would always come visit, we'd grill, play with sparklers, go watch the fireworks show on the hill, and then get ice cream at Friendly's. Nothing too much, but definitely memorable to me. I hope that Aidan has just as many good memories of this holiday while he's growing up.

Our poor little fella has been battling a double ear infection (at 6 weeks - not fair!) and has been pretty fussy for the past few days, which now all makes sense. He started sniffling over the weekend and Sunday night had a little cough. After using my "mother's instincts" and Dr. Google, I was panicked. I even used the good-old rectal thermometer since I was convinced something was wrong, but no fever. My husband thought I was a little nuts, but thought it would be good for me to take him in for peace of mind the next day. So happy I did since he ended up having a double ear infection, and we caught it right before he got a fever. Incredibly grateful I listened to my gut with that one! And, he's already 13.3 pounds. Such a chunk!

This all leads up to me saying we didn't do anything significant for the holiday. In Reno, there are pretty much two options - the fireworks show in Sparks and going to Lake Tahoe. Since neither of those is extremely convenient with a fussy 6-week-old, we decided to go low-key. We celebrated with lunch at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants in Midtown, then spent the majority of the night wearing Aidan around the backyard to calm him down.

First time straight-ironing my hair in 7 weeks! 
We did get several smiles from him throughout the day, and had two outfit changes due to...unforeseen circumstances.

Outfit #1

Outfit #2
Can't wait until next year when Aidan can really appreciate the fireworks and enjoy the festivities with us!