Candid Chatter

Just Say It

Getting ME Back September 20, 2009

So I go through periods of time (short, thankfully) where I feel downhearted. Not completely overwhelmed with depression, but feelings of darkness. The last two weeks have been like that. Sorta.

Last night I either had a dream or I had a moment of lucidity as I tossed back onto my back to keep the snot in my head and not on my pillow. I have a cold. Again.
So I had this moment of seeing myself; not as I am, but as I long to be.

Healthy.

I was fit. I had muscle tone. I had a tan. I was smiling. I had energy. I was full of life.
And, I realized right then and there that the person I was seeing IS me.
And, even though I’m going through this rough patch of feeling like my body has fallen apart, it really is just that… a rough patch. Because I am not comfortable with fat. I do not tolerate unhealthy. I am not lazy nor am I a glutton.

So I am over it. If you see me today, I am over 150 pounds. I feel fat. I feel ugly. I feel like I am barely making it most days because I have no energy and I keep getting sick. I have felt stuck in this yuck for over a year. And. I am SO done feeling this way.

I will breastfeed Jaxon for exactly 4 more months. I have to say that for the first 10 weeks I thought of breastfeeding as a loving sacrifice. After that, I felt extremely happy that I stuck it out because I started to really love it. In fact, I loved it so much that when I had to start feeding my son baby food from a jar I was upset and I cried because he wouldn’t need me at the breast as much. Now that he is 8 months old and I feel like half of a normal human being again, I want to be done. It is now just a convenience for me. I don’t see it necessary emotionally for either of us. It is the greatest form of nutrition for him and that I will never deny. But, emotionally we don’t need it anymore. It feels like I’m just feeding him now. I don’t know how to describe it, really. I guess “routine” is a good word to describe how it feels.

Anyway… I don’t consider nursing my son the reason for my downheartedness. Don’t get me wrong. But, the nursing has kept me in this state of being that I am unhappy with. I can’t take certain meds to feel better, it is taxing my immune system despite what you “experts” say, I am stillĀ  fat so the magic breastfeeding-makes-the-weight-melt-off is baloney in my book… and on and on. Because of the extra weight my foot is not healing the way it should. I can’t lose without using my foot. It’s a vicious cycle that is tiring me to the core.

And, before anyone startsĀ  bashing me for eating fast food… find another chick to assault. I am a vegetarian 3/4 of the time. I only consume fish occasionally and my diet is well-rounded with my carbohydrate intake consisting primarily of fiber rich, whole grains and fruits. Save yourself the aggrivation of trying to pinpoint my problem as being anything other than breastfeeding. Pregnancy sucks and robs me of my nutrition and it has become apparant that breastfeeding does the same thing to me. It’s awful.

I didn’t realize until recently that one very important part of my mental well-being is my physical well-being. The two are intricately tied. Since I feel sluggish and I hate the way I look with my fat stomach and fat rear end… I am not healthy emotionally either.

Sure other things work their way into that equation, but the main thing is that I am physically unhealthy. Everything else is just another ingredient.

Awareness.

I am glad I see this now. It is relieving in a sense. I probably have about a year left of being “this” way physically. I am not done nursing Jack until January and, even then, weening is a process.

A woman once told me that it took her 3 years to get her body back after her last child was born. She breastfed too. I hope it doesn’t take 3 years. But, I will do what it takes to get mine back.

Healthy. Vibrant. Strong.
That is me. I am ready.

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Need Breastfeeding Support? April 22, 2009

Go here: Custom-Made Milk

And don’t delay!
I would not have made it this far breastfeeding my little Jaxon if not for her help and the help of those like her.
Run. Don’t walk. Go now!

breastfeedingbaby

 

Differing Opinions February 4, 2009

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 6:01 am
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I am learning so much about being a Mom right now. I consider myself a veteran for the most part, however there are a few things I didn’t know. Because of this new information, I have been asking a lot of questions to friends of mine who have experienced what I am experiencing now. And you know what — some of them differ greatly in how they answer my questions. It’s very interesting.

I take what I can use from each of them and leave the rest. This is how life is done anyway. And it’s working.

Motherhood doesn’t come naturally. Sure the pregnancy is pretty natural. The birth can be totally natural too. My friend LB has given birth to all 3 of her children as naturally as one can. She’s a trooper! But, after that, it’s mostly trial and error. Things start to come together and may seem natural, but really it’s that Mom and Baby have learned a few things from one another. A Mommy learns what different sounding cries mean. Babies learn their Mother’s voice and unique touch and take comfort in that familiarity.

Breastfeeding doesn’t come naturally either. The body’s ability to produce milk to sustain the life of a growing child is totally natural. The ins and outs of feeding the Baby are learned. Trial and error.

Babies are resilient. It serves a parent good to remember that — especially when guilt feelings surface. Am I holding the baby enough? Am I talking to the baby enough? Am I bonding with the baby enough? Am I drinking enough water for milk production? Is giving a pacifier to the baby a good thing or a bad thing? Is lack of sleep causing me to resent the baby? And so on…

My Mom has not given me much advice unless I’ve asked for it. She’s very wise like that. My Mother-in-law is fairly similar in that she does not interfere and I think she can tell when she’s on the edge of “the line” and she won’t cross it. She’s wise too. My Sisters and my Sister-in-law are available whenever I call upon them. My friends are greatly supportive too. It’s important for a Mother to have a large pool of women from which she can draw upon. I am so blessed in that regard.

But not all of them agree. And the good thing is, none of them will insist that I do it their way and only their way. It’s sort of an unspoken thing that all Moms know. We all know that it’s ok to give advice and it’s ok to tell how we do things with our own kids, but it’s not ok to insist another Mother do it like we do it. We have a silent understanding that not all parents are the same and it’s a good thing.

It’s a good thing.

 

So How Important is it? August 6, 2008

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 7:47 am
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I had a comment left on my last post regarding breastfeeding. I have to tell you that I am fully on the wagon for this topic. I support breastfeeding for as long as you possibly can stand it. My stories are that of frustration and disappointment in this area. I’ll tell you about my experiences and then a comment that may or may not draw some discussion.

Brianna: When my precious beautiful almost 4 year old was born I had it in my mind how things were going to be. I knew she’d cry. I knew she’d wake up a lot. I knew all about SIDS. What blindsided me was acid reflux. Personally, in hindsight, I think she was born about a week too early. I have a feeling that if she had stayed in my womb another week this digestive immaturity may have corrected itself. I feel that way because the reflux symptoms started within 36 hours of giving birth to her. I had just finished breastfeeding her and I laid her down in her cart. Remember, I am in the hospital for 4 days because of c-sections. I was there, not at home.

Anyway, I laid her down and then she started to scream. I got to her, picked her up, patted her back thinking there was a burp stuck in there, when all (and I mean all) of the breastmilk she had just consumed came shooting out of her mouth and all over me, her, the floor, and the side of the cart. I thought, “that was not spit up — she just vomited”. I called the nurse and from that moment on the battle began.

I was hooked up with a rented electric breast pump and told to give my poor bleeding nipples a break and start pumping. I was pumping for 20 minutes every hour and a half, then feeding her the pumped milk from a bottle (which took about another 15 to 20 minutes), then she’d fall asleep, then I’d fall asleep. I’d sleep for about a half an hour once I got settled and the cycle would start over. I was getting so little sleep I felt my knees give out sometimes when I would walk. I swear I could have fallen asleep standing.

The reflux was getting worse and sometimes she wouldn’t go to sleep after eating; she would just scream. It’s important for me to say here that I didn’t know it was reflux. I even called 911 one evening because she vomited so much while lying down after her bath that I thought she has aspirated. The EMT guys checked her and told me she was fine. It was so bad that I couldn’t allow the swing to have motion. I couldn’t put her in the bouncy seat. And I had to hold her upright for 20 to 30 minutes after every feeding. There went my sleep; 20 min to pump, 20 min to feed, 20 to hold upright, about 10 min left of real sleep once I got us both settled.

Finally and tearfully, I told my husband I couldn’t take it anymore and I was buying formula. That actually ended up being a great decision because the doctor who finally diagnosed her correctly told me I could start putting rice cereal in her bottles, which weighed the milk down, and kept her from projectile vomiting. He also prescribed her Zantac and the screaming stopped almost immediately. By the time she was 6 months old the reflux was gone. But she was a faaat baby. LOL! That rice made her chunk right up.

Jeremy: I actually went into labor with him. His c-section was scheduled, but he had other ideas. The day after I had him I called a lactation nurse into my room. He was killing my nipples. I was prepared for pain, but he was hurting me so badly I winced every time he latched on. She figured out he couldn’t stick his tongue out past his bottom lip. She told me I would have to latch him a special way in order to keep him from further killing my nipples. Yeeouch! Well after much practice and a lot of latching, unlatching, and relatching I got it down pat. He was doing great and growing right on track.

There was another problem though. Well two actually. One is that I produce so much milk that I could probably feed 3 babies at once and still have milk to spare. When my milk comes in (about 4 days after I have a baby) my boobs go from being a normal “B” cup to a “D”. Super sized porno boobs I call them. The pointer sisters. I get engorged if I’m not careful and I think I was on my way to mastitis with Jeremy too. Fine. After calling the La Leche League, I had to start this feeding pattern to keep Jeremy from choking during let down. He was choking and sputtering and it always happened when I felt my milk let down. If you’ve never breastfed, it’s a feeling of heaviness easing down into your breasts towards the nipple shortly after the baby latches and starts sucking. Let down for me happens fast. It’s more like dropping or plopping down. Anyway, I put up with all of that because I was so happy to finally be breastfeeding successfully. Yay!

Then the news. Jeremy had jaundice that was realized about 24 hours after he was born. The problem was it wasn’t getting better. It was getting worse. I can’t remember the low number, but I do know the pediatrician told me that if he got close to 20 he may be in jeopardy. When I took him to the hospital the day I realized he was lethargic and they tested his blood, he was at 17. Panic set in. His pediatrician told me to stop breastfeeding for 3 days, pump instead, throw away the milk, and then start breastfeeding him again after the 3 day break. I was in such emotional upheaval that I decided to just stop. I breastfed him for 6 weeks. His jaundice went away and by day 3 he was not yellow anymore. The whites of his eyes were finally white for the first time since the day after he was born.

I do plan to try again with this new baby. I even asked a friend of mine who has successfully breastfed twice to help me if I get to that point where I’m ready to quit. She agreed. I am hoping that the 3rd time is a charm. I would love to be formula free for once. That stuff is so expensive and how nice to be able to just latch the baby instead of mixing and such when on the go. Less to carry in the diaper bag too.

Now to the comment that might draw certain discussion.

I don’t believe my kids are any less intelligent or healthy. I don’t think their lack of breastmilk in the first 6 months did anything to rob them of whatever nutrients they supposedly needed from breastmilk. They are both smart. I’ve told you before that Jeremy is so smart he has me spoiled and there are days I forget he’s only two. Brianna is smart as a whip too — beyond her age level. Neither of them has ever had an ear infection. They have not been as sick as some of my friend’s kids who have been breastfed for 6+ months. They are fit, healthy, active, smart, and normal. I have friends who did breastfeed for a long time whose kids have had ear infection after ear infection, croup, high fevers (trips to the ER kind of high fever), and other things. Some have been sick more often than my kids have with colds and regular bugs that float around.

On that same token, my nieces and nephew who were formula fed from day 1 are all healthy, fit, smart, and normal too. No signs of any delays because of their diets.

So how important is it? Are we just being told that it’s oh so much better to breastfeed but it’s really just a theory? I say “a theory” because I have yet to see any proof. I have many, many babies in my life at any given time. Some have been breastfed, most haven’t. Put them side by side and you cannot tell a difference. Give them an intelligence test and again no difference (if there is it’s usu genetic b/c mom or dad is a moron, but that’s a different topic).

Truthfully, I think the formulas made today are so chock full of vitamins, minerals, and such that babies are fine either way. Heck, some babies can’t even drink their mother’s milk because they are lactose intolerant. Then they have to go on special formula. Right?

So what do you think?