Posts filed under ‘Breastfeeding’

The First Year.

 

It’s not even that I have been procrastinating, I just haven’t really had time.  The start of the first year, our lives changed dramatically, and the same goes for the start of the second year.  What a whirlwind.  I got to a point tonight where I started to feel severely overwhelmed.  I can keep my shit together, for the most part.  We’re nearing the end of back to work week 3, and it is sort of sinking in that, yup, this is how it will be for the next little while.  It is hard and draining and emotionally overwhelming.  Being AT work itself is not horrible.  My office has a window and that helps exponentially.  I think about my my boy, my love, and my pooch constantly, but the work itself?  Fine.  I am not knee deep in it yet though.  Maybe ask me in a month?

The after work part is the hardest.  At about 3pm I start to feel completely tapped out and drained.  So by the time we pick up the boy from daycare (which is going swimmingly!) and then get home, unload, put away stuff from the day, I am spent.  And that’s before supper.  I’m trying to go to bed at a decent hour, and I have to, because as of 3 days ago I made a decision to start waking up at 5am so I can be at the gym for 5:30.   But I’m still absolutely drained of energy by the end of the day.  The thought of cleaning, the thought of doing dishes, the thought of any extra responsibility tires me.  I know it will take getting used to and I am really trying to be positive.  It’s just hard.  The year I had with my boy is the year I got used to, and now it has changed again.  The post-partum adjustment period was crazy.  I remember March being a rough month.  In hindsight, it was pretty bad.   I was in a bad place and didn’t bother to seek out support aside from my immediate peeps.  Not good.  So my point, is that it took me awhile.  I thought I was awesome with change but apparently it takes me a little bit.  The only thing I can think to do, is to remind myself that this is okay.  It’s okay if I need time.

The issue I am struggling with the most is that the bulk of my energy is going to work.  I don’t think this is a bad thing, obviously.  I like my work, I enjoy what I do, and I’m passionate about it.  I put in my all when I am at work, but I have made a promise to myself that I am not carrying it home with me.  I cannot do that.  It would not be fair to me, but mostly, it would not be fair to my family.  I already am struggling with the fact that at the end of the day, when I’m spent, my fuse is shortened, my patience thinner.  I am not being the best mother that I can be.   I am not being the best partner I can be.  I am probably not being the best friend I can be either.  I know what my potential is (sorta – sometimes my modesty gets in the way) and it saddens me that I am not living up to it.  I don’t think my standards are high, it is simply a matter of routine, and getting into it.  Figuring out how to jive with this new life thing.

So technically that is part of the second year and since this is supposed to be a reflection… onward!

My first year of motherhood, eh?  I don’t even really feel like I can completely capture it appropriately with words, but I’m going to give it a shot.

For starters, the moment I birthed my boy, my life was forever transformed.  And at that point, I didn’t even realize how much that statement was going to be truer than true.  From the getgo, I fell immediately in love with this most precious little being.  (We officially 100% completely bonded on all applicable levels, not immediately, not even the next day, but I remember the moment I thought oh THIS is bonding, I thought that I was bonded before but no, THIS is it.  Before?  That was survival).  My body, our bodies, created life.  This simple fact blows my mind to this very day.  It’s not even unnatural, obviously, it’s happening by the second, worldwide.  But it’s beautiful and unreal.  It is captivating.

We began to embark on a journey of sorts.  It started out rocky.  We still hit rocky patches.  But mostly, it’s smooth.  And journeys are sort of boring when they become too consistent, right?   I am grateful and overjoyed that my boy keeps me on my toes, every second of every minute of every hour of every day.  I am not even exaggerating.  He is a busy, busy little soul, and an explorer at heart.  I am so excited to watch where his soul, his explorer capabilities take him.   Every day he makes me smile, every day he makes me laugh.  What gets me through every single work day, is knowing that at the end of it, I get to run up to the door (sometimes if I’m nice I let Kyle go), open the door handle, and see the most beautiful little face, waiting for me, reaching for me.  It warms my heart.  Honestly, sometimes so much I fear the risk of overheating.

It blows my mind the amount of stuff children learn and do in the first year of their life.  That is IN-TENSE.  Smile. Laugh. Roll over. Hold things. Sit up. Crawl. Stand up. Walk (sometimes).  Play.  Learn.  Talk.  Eat.  Drink.  Develop the strongest relationship with his pup.  ;)  The other day I was asking my little angel to give his mama a kiss, and he, without breaking his look away from the passerbys in the grocery store of course, opened up his mouth, leaned in to me, and planted the sloppiest wettest most awesome kiss ever.   It fascinates me (but not really, because I already know that children are obviously so smart, they are human friggin’ beings!) that he knows how to do this, and just picked up on it like so.   And that is only one example.  Kid blows my mind.

And as for my own personal journey from being a woman, to being a woman with a child, a mother, this little boy has changed me in ways that even I will not be able to pinpoint.  All I know is, I feel in some ways like a completely different woman, but in some (a lot) of ways, exactly the same.  There are things I get now, that I had no concept of before, mostly because I didn’t feel the need to have a concept of.  There are things I am passionate about now that were over my head before.  My ability to be assertive has increased tenfold, and along with that, I have softened up by even more.  Everything is touching, everything is special and sentimental.  A friend said to me, it’s because we have given birth, and so we feel like we have given birth to everything, and I couldn’t have said it better.  I feel like I am on a path that I was not on before.  I have hopes and dreams and passions that I want to fulfill.  The concept of health means more to me than it ever did.  I really feel like I have never worked this hard to be healthy in my life, aside maybe from when I was pregnant, because I truly felt at my healthiest then.  It is one thing to put healthy, wholesome things in our body, and to regulate how we manage our muscles and our bones.  But this here mind, this here heart, this shit needs to be in tip-top shape.  I have recognized ways in which I am not being the best person I can be.  It’s not even that I have some ridiculously high standards for myself, because I really don’t think I do.  In fact, I think that I am living my life in an even simpler way than before, if that is even possible.

I have never had as little money as I do right now, but I have never felt this happy.  Or this excited about what tomorrow, or next week, or next year, might bring.  I have never felt so connected to a little being before.  I still cannot believe I am a mother and I have a son.  I have never felt this intimate with my spouse.  There’s this super intense level of intimacy, bonding, and energy field that has developed – or maybe not so much developed as expanded – between the two of us, and how we interact with one another, and with other important people in our lives.  I have never had as many ridiculous 3am sleep-deprived arguments in my life, but I have never had as much positive growth and soul-searching either.  My life, our lives, have changed exponentially.  I can’t put it into words but as you can see – if you’ve made it this far – I have tried.  I might have different ways of doing things, or varying ideas and beliefs than before (or perhaps they are simply just interpreted as so or are just being voiced now by the new assertive me ;).  But different does not have to mean bad or negative.  I am not scared of change or growth, and I don’t want you to be either.  Look where it’s got us so far?

November 23, 2011 at 9:45 pm 3 comments

Offbeat Mama!

I had planned to do a post on my review of the DivaCup, however, I noticed that I got some traffic via Offbeat Mama, and realized that my post is already up!  I may have read the e-mail wrong, or perhaps there was an error in the date they told me, but, my post is up!  It is a condensed version, obviously, because the actual version is very long – but I am thrilled nonetheless and so excited to be sharing my experiences and sharing in other’s experiences as well by way of my story.

I am so thrilled, I really really am.  The response already has been absolutely incredible.  I want to reply to every single comment, and when I have a bit more time, I absolutely will.  I feel truly honoured, blessed, and lucky to be able to exchange stories, share information, and support with other parents in such a great capacity.  I have learned an insane amount about parenting, about life, and about myself as a result of birthing, the transformative experience to motherhood that it is, as well as breastfeeding, and the journey that it is.  To be able to network with others, belong to a community of like-minded individuals as well as individuals with completely different values, philosophies as myself – is incredible.  I feel like I have had the opportunity of a lifetime.

So with that, we’ll talk about the DivaCup later.  For now, I’m just going to celebrate this.  I’m going to bed one happy mama tonight.

XO, to all of you.  Through and through.

 

 

 

September 26, 2011 at 10:35 pm 4 comments

September 28, Mark It!

I got a very pleasant e-mail yesterday from an administrator on Offbeat Mama, and it said:

Hey Trista!  This will run on Sept.28 at 11AM PST.

And by this, she is referring to my breastfeeding story that I submitted, the same one I posted on my blog 2 months ago.   I was really surprised to get the e-mail, as I wasn’t sure if they would publish my story.  They get a ton of submissions, and obviously cannot publish all, so needless to say, I am pleasantly surprised.

By posting it on my blog, I had an amazing response.  All of your replies brought tears to my eyes.  I recognize the emotional extent of the breastfeeding journey, through and through, or at least from the perspective of someone who has had struggles, and so I kind of feel like I can say, I get it. 

I had a Facebook chat with a friend who is a Certified Lactation Educator.  We have talked extensively about breastfeeding, our journeys, and our birth experiences, and we have quite similar birth experiences and very eerily similar breastfeeding stories.   She was curious about my situation, and so was wondering if she could ask a few questions.  Of course I did not mind, anything to try to get to the root of what went on!

From what I informed her about my pregnancy and about our birth experience, she feels 95% certain that my struggles were not related to anything physiological. Of course, she cannot say for sure, but I really do respect her education, background, knowledge, and experiences with breastfeeding.  She feels that there were a whole bunch of things lined up against me, and that is what affected our journey.   So, it was more circumstantial, based on her evaluation.  What she said that sort of summed it up was:

IV fluids, epidural and pitocin cause the body to swell. The tissue in the breasts swell and prevent the ducts from releasing milk. It can cause a delay in mature milk coming in. It also contributes to severe latching problems for the baby, so they are not able to remove colostrum/milk. When the milk is not removed, feedback inhibitor of lactation builds up, and tells your body to stop making milk.

She also offered to support me next go, which is just fabulous.  When I say friend, I guess I sort of mean acquaintance (in the best way possible), and only because I feel like I know her well, but we don’t hang out real-time!  It was good to talk with her, and have her take on things.  I know it’s really hard to pinpoint any answer, and while I’ve already considered the Epidural/IV/Pitocin combo, as well as had it suggested by health care providers, it was good that echoed.  I want to feel confident for next time around, and this helps me to feel so.

Anyway, I am passionate about breastfeeding.  I consider myself a breastfeeding advocate, which probably sounds silly.  But with that being said, I consider myself a women’s rights advocate, feminist, advocate for personal choice, and with that, I think the BEST thing we can do is support women, support health care providers, and provide breastfeeding education that SO many of us have to search down on the Internet for rather than being provided it through and through, no questions asked.  This is information that should be readily available, and not just when there are issues.  Women should have access to support peoples if they need be, if THEY feel they need, and not denied when someone thinks that there is no need.  Families should be educated on all the feeding choices for their newborn/toddler/child, and make a decision from there.  Only a woman and her family knows what is best.

I am excited to be able to share my story, and to be able to heal from it, and learn from it.  I feel honoured to be able to share and support other women, and to hear other women’s stories, as heart breaking as they may be.  I really feel like I can hear people out.  I’m not a fan of “I know how you feel” because obviously, I don’t, but I feel that in this situation, I can get as close as possible, but because breastfeeding is so personal, I truly respect and honour each woman/baby/family’s personal experience.

I have learned a crap load, and would love to be a Lactation Educator so that I can fuel my passion and support others that are learning the ropes of breastfeeding.  Actually, what I really want, is to take the doula training course.  That is my next goal and I hope to achieve it by spring of 2012.  I think that’s doable.  The only thing holding me back is budget.  It’s just not in the budget.  Unfortunately, because there is a course starting up in a couple weeks that I would love to enroll in.  Thems the breaks.

So to wrap it up, on September 28 (Wednesday!) check out www.offbeatmama.com and you will see my story.  I am pretty excited by this, I really feel honoured that they will be sharing my story with the world, on a site where there is some major exposure, and a lot of really good people who read and belong to that community.  I’m really beyond thrilled.

September 22, 2011 at 9:58 pm 4 comments


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