Posts filed under ‘Post-Partum Party’

Photo a Day May: Technology – 23.

This is one of our favourite forms of it lately.  Arrested Development, Sesame Street and Spongebob. So good. It is amazing how something so awesome can be so financially accessible.  Netflix was very good to me in the early newborn days when I had a boy who loved to cuddle, sleep and eat with me all the time. I powered through The L Word when I was on maternity leave and loved every second of it. Many a memory is spent cuddling with my boy and accidentally falling asleep and waking up to the black with red detailed home screen of Netflix. We are huge fans of it in this house, so huge that we ditched the cable six months ago and haven’t looked back since. No need.

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May 23, 2012 at 10:14 pm Leave a comment

Stuff.

I don’t want this post to be a mish-mash, but unfortunately that’s what it may come down to.  I’ve spent too long wanting to do this post and just avoiding it altogether, simply because I couldn’t get my thoughts in check, and because honestly?  I thought I was being ridiculous and silly and over-reacting in a sense.  I am going to stop myself right there and not excuse any feelings, because I hate when other people do that in themselves!  Bottom line, if we think something matters, if we are bothered by something, then, it matters. 

I’ve posted the boy’s birth story with promises to myself to do another birth story from more of an analytical point of view.  I still haven’t done that, but this is a start.  Basically, in a nut shell, I was induced and (shockingly or not, depending on who you talk to) had an incredible birth experience for the most part.  I was induced with Cervadil (a cervical ripening agent) and then received Sintocinon (synthetic oxytocin).  I also had an Epidural, and while I loved it at the time, an Epidural or any medicated pain-relief would not be my first choice next go.  Considering how inductions can and often do go, I think that we were blessed, and lucky.  The boy and I were healthy throughout labouring, and the delivery pretty well went off without a fly.  My boy was born healthy as can be, and I was ecstatic.  After I gave birth, I became immersed in a world of birth, the online natural birth communities, reading about how awful and terrible interventions and pain-relief drugs can be, and how they can affect bonding and breastfeeding and the birth experience as a whole.  As much as I appreciated the information, and still do so much, I hated how I often felt like garbage after reading them.  Was it so shameful that I was induced?  I felt like I had to justify it.  I still sometimes do.  While I wish I would have been armed with more education, information, research so as to possibly avoid an induction (though high blood pressure can be SO damaging to mama and baby and I do think inductions can be medically necessary), the reality is, I was induced.  So sue me?  Except, not.

I’ve read far too much ‘all or nothing’ sentiments, but I’ve also read a lot of good, supportive information from strong communities.  However, it’s the all or nothing that gets me.  I despise how women are nearly made to feel bad if they had a good relationship with their doctor, or heaven forbid, liked their doctor.  But doctors are evil, money-hounds!  Truth is, I liked (and still like) our family doctor.  How dare I like someone who recommended an induction, I know.  The mere thought is paralyzing to some.  I don’t feel like she recommended an induction with her interests at stake (financially or convenience).  I felt supported by her, and honestly, when she came to the hospital the day I was in labour (she came 3 times I do believe), I felt calmed by her presence.   She was and still is a great support.  She spent an hour with us at our appointments, not in and out in 15 minutes.  If, for our next baby, the home birth/midwife route doesn’t work out for whatever reason, I would feel 100% confident having our doctor at the birth.  Confession: while I ‘interviewed’ her prior to deciding on her as our caregiver, there are more questions I would want to ask.  Things I’d want to clarify, and to have a good strong birth plan in place.

I think as women we need to choose our caregivers carefully.  We need to ensure that our doctor’s or midwife’s philosophy of birth matches our own, and that we will be able to feel comfortable and supported during such an extremely transformative experience.   There are great midwives and awful midwives and there are wonderful doctors and absolutely terrible doctors.  One size does not fit all, and families need to go with their gut.  What feels right?  What feels good?  Do you want to ditch the doc and find a good strong midwife, maybe birth your baby at home, maybe not?  Great, do that.  Are you fine with having your baby in a hospital attended by your doctor, not so cool with the midwife-route?  That’s fine too.  Do you feel comfortable having an unassisted birth in the comforts of your home, with only your spouse, your children, and possibly a friend or two as support?  So awesome and I support you 100%.

So, that was totally an aside, and what I meant to right about was the emotional pain that I experienced during our post-birth experience.   Like I said, I put it off for so long, because I couldn’t formulate the thoughts or the words.  I felt for so long that I was worked up about something that didn’t matter.  Sometimes I really need people to flip a new perspective on things for me so that I can give myself permission to feel and to heal.  Is that healthy, no, not necessarily all the time, but in this case, it’s what I needed and so I’m allowing myself that.

When I had the boy, after an hour of pushing, he popped out and I’m not really exaggerating.  None of this head, shoulders, rest of the body biz.  He flew out in one push, which I think is largely attributed to a) epidural and reducing sensation resulting in me not ‘going with the flow’ in terms of pushing b) strong contraction + strong push also connected to not necessarily knowing how strong I was pushing.  So needless to say, my perineum wasn’t in the best of shape.  I remember after I gave birth, I didn’t want to put my legs down.  It. hurt. so. bad.  I knew that that the on-call OB/GYN was going to be attending for ‘repairs’ (it was a partial 3rd degree tear, so our doctor referred to the OB) and the mere thought of getting ‘comfortable’ and then having to sprawl out again when the OB got there, was enough to send me packin’.  I think I eventually put my legs down, though, because it took I think 30-45 minutes for the OB to actually get there and start stitching.  I received my hospital health records a couple weeks ago, and it surprised me how long it took for them to get there, but how little time it actually took to do the repairs – 15 minutes, yet it felt like an hour at LEAST.

The main part I wanted to talk about, was not necessarily the tearing or the repairs and healing themselves.  I’ve talked about that, but I wanted to talk about the OB’s words and how they stung.  I am doing everything I can to hold myself back from apologizing for feeling what I’m feeling.  One side of my brain + heart is telling me to just get it out there, talk about it, recognize how it hurt you, and proceed to heal.  The other side is telling me to woman up, suck it up, stop making a big deal out of it, and get on with your life.  It’s ridiculous really.  It’s not holding me back from living my life, but it is something that bothers me, that makes me shudder.  One thing that does bother me about blogging about it, is that taken out of context, I don’t think the feeling, the harshness, is quite there.  And I guess I just have to be okay with that, because that is part of what this (blogging) is about.

When I was getting stitched up, it was very painful.  It is the part I remember the most (in terms of pain) about the experience.  I would have thought because I had an epidural, that it would have been a bit more numbed up, but it just wasn’t.  And so it hurt.  A lot.  I was in visible pain, squirming, but trying to stay still so they could do their thing.  It was the OB and a resident, and I believe it was the resident who did most of the repairs, with the OB pitching in here and there.  I asked how much longer, and the OB said it will be awhile.  A little bit after that, I asked him “Are you almost done?”  and his reply, the words that stung, that sting, and that took all of the power he had and threw it against me, “Do you want me to fix you up or not?”  

It’s the control thing.  The power.  He took all the power he had, as a man in authority, in power, in ‘good standing’ in the college of medicine or what have you, and used it against me.  His words bit me ,they cut a knife through the vulnerable state I was in, and they hurt my heart and they ached my soul.  A couple weeks ago I was talking to Kyle about this experience, and he put that into perspective.  I wondered for a long time why they bothered me.  I knew they were insensitive and rude, disrespectful comments to make, but to still sting 11 months later?   Last night, a dear friend and I were reminiscing about our birth experiences, and she put it into perspective again for me, as she tends to do with a lot of things, and said that while she didn’t want to assume anything, she saw his comment, his treatment of me, as emotional abuse.   I asked Kyle why he didn’t say anything, why he didn’t stand up for me, when the OB was being so completely awful.  He barely remembers the OB and that moment – his main priority at that moment was his newborn baby, whom he was so over the moon with, and supporting me, in the various stages of post-partum pain.

I’ve thought about doing a complaint about this man’s treatment towards me.  I haven’t taken any steps, and honestly, I don’t know what I would need to do, but I’m still considering it.  Why is it okay to let him make other women feel like this?  Like I said, language, words, are powerful.  I really think some caregivers ought to learn some sensitivity, empathy, and plain and simple caring for the human spirit.  Compassion isn’t that difficult to embrace is it?

I am an emotional being, and I have softened up a lot since I had the boy.  I was pretty soft before.  I’ve always been a sensitive soul, but toss in pregnancy, birthing, and being a mother into that mix and wow.  Wow.  Shit stings, you know?  I’ve spent many a year, many a decade, ignoring my feelings and truckin’ on for the sake of others, and even myself.  Easier to put a smile on sometimes, isn’t it?  I’m sure we all know about that.  I think sometimes people see me as some sort of weird pillar of strength.  I am strong, and really, it’s because I have so much strength in my life.  Family, friends, resources, things.  I have great influencers of strength, strong support networks, and people that encourage me in any way possible.  I have ‘stuff’ too.  And sometimes?  That stuff gets shoved under other stuff, and then it never comes out.  Or if it does, it manifests in ways that are maybe not as healthy as say, letting that stuff out.

 

October 6, 2011 at 10:10 am 11 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

Poop.

As you can tell, my creative juices are just flowing at maximum rate lately.  Except… they’re NOT.  AT ALL.  Someone give me some inspiration.  I have a feeling that once I start the C25K running program, I will feel inspired and challenged, and perhaps I will have some of that to share with my dear readers.  PS:  Does anyone wanna join me on the program?   I downloaded the podcasts from Running Into Shape, and they have all the prompts, etc. for each day and each week.   Let me know if you wanna join and we can perhaps motivate each other.  We all could use a little bit of motivation.

But for now, I’m going to be awesome and talk about poop, because a good chunk of my life revolves around it now, and has, for the past 7 months really.  First there was the awesome mid-birth poop, which I’m blogging about because I find hilarious, and not gross in the least.  I wrote about it before, how I thought it was funny, because as I was pushing my dear baby down into the birth canal and out of me, I knew exactly when I pooped, and made sure to ask my doctor and nurse “Did I just poop!?”  Of course they answered yes.  After I gave birth, I expressed fear at having my first post-partum poo, and I super appreciated my doctor’s response: “Well, see, it’s good you went tonight!”  Now, that, THAT, is compassion.

So there was that, and then we progressed to anxiously awaiting the first meconium poo, which came, and it came full force.  And then it stopped for awhile due to jaundice and my boy being essentially starved ’cause this mama wasn’t producing enough milk.   So we waited, and I have never been so excited for my boy to poop as I was those couple of nerve-wracking days where the dipes were just consistently not dirty.

Cycle back to post-partum bowel movements, read: NOT FUN AND SUPER SCARY PANIC INDUCING FEAR DRIVING MOMENTS.   Sometimes they require the assistance of a little stool softener, and they often require the assistance of truck loads of fiber.  My favourites were prunes, fruit, vegetables, and fiber packed cereals.  So, when those big PPP’s happen, they are cause for celebration.

Fast forward to, once again, the boy’s poops.  They happened every diaper change for a little while, and then went to twice a day, and now they are typically consistently once a day in the morning when he’s eating his breakfast.  Awesome and so routine.  (Plus, makes those poopy cloth diapers even easier to clean – it’s not even that hard in the first place, but anywho – because I just toss a biodegradable flushable liner in the diaper that I know is gonna be a poopy one.  Simple!)  (CADE, I am SO sorry I am blogging to the world about your poops!)  Last week, a friend and I went for a walk with our little ones in tow, of course.  At the end of our walk, we were standing in the parking lot by the wier, getting ready to say our goodbyes, and obviously the topic of baby pooping came up.  At that moment, a professional looking gentleman in a suit walked by, and I looked at my friend, and my friend looked at me.  We knew.  We both had the same look.  This is what it has come to.

(I believe it was that same week where I met a different friend for a walk, and after doing our hello hugs, she pointed out the small bit of leftover dry toothpaste on my face.  This is also what it has come to.)

On a non-human-but-still-poop-related-note, today I was dancing with the boy in the living room, and we happened to notice a woman walking by with her dog.  They stopped in front of our house, on the patch of grass between the sidewalk and the road, and the dog did the potty dance.  I watched for a bit, and couldn’t discern whether dear old pooch was peeing or pooping.  I stared at its backend but still couldn’t distinguish if that was poop I saw, or if the grass was just too long.  I saw the woman anxiously looking around, and that’s when it pretty much confirmed my suspicions.  The dog was shitting and she was most certainly not picking it up.  I started walking towards the door and had planned to yell something out.  Originally it was “PICK UP YOUR DOG’S SHIT!” but then I thought that was too harsh, so I was going to go creeper-mode and instead say “I saw that.”  However, I decided against saying anything, for fear that the dog actually was just taking an innocent pee.  Later, when we went on a walk (with poop bag in tow, might I add), I checked the grass and sure enough, a big ol’ pile of doggy doo.  Not cool, not cool at all.  Aside from pet owners leaving dogs in sauna-like hot vehicles, pet owners not being responsible and picking up their dog’s feces is one of my big… pet peeves. (Sorry, super lame pun not intended there but it just happened.)  On the one occasion that I have walked Lily accidentally without a bag, I found something to pick up her crap.  Granted, she is tiny and her poops are as well, I made do.  Luckily most human beings are disgusting, so there was some kind of litter (I believe it was a cup) that I was able to use to scoop up the shit.

So with that, last night was kind of hellish in terms of getting some decent quality sleep, so I’m shuttin’ it down earlier than usual tonight.  A mama’s gotta rest.

Hope you enjoyed the poop stories.  It’s all I’ve got tonight, and for that I apologize… but not really, ’cause I kinda find it funny.  Nighty night y’all.

June 2, 2011 at 9:06 pm Leave a comment

June.

One of the most difficult aspects of blogging, for me, is coming up with a Title, so because of that, today we are going for simple, boring, obvious and non-descriptive.

The post might even fall under one or all of those labels as well.  Bear with me.

First things first, this is one of my most favouritest pictures of my sweet angel.  He fell asleep while getting burped, and almost nothing could wake him up.  Beautiful little boy.  They just so dang cute when they’re sleeping.

I’ve seen a ‘thing’ on several blogs, where the author will post sites and articles that interested them for that particular day or week, and because I love to share the wealth and spread the love, I’m going to start doing that too.  Not on a daily basis or anything, but once a week I will give a nice little shout out to things that have spoken to me.

Today:

  • This is the most beautiful birth story I have ever read.  Seriously is so eloquently written, so raw, and so honest.  It also has 1300 comments, so I think that speaks for itself.  Love reading her blog in general, the way she writes, the way she captures images, just lovely, so lovely.
  • As inspired by this post, I think I am going to take on a huge challenge and push myself to complete it successfully.  It’s called the Couch to 5k and it is essentially a jogging program that promises to get couch potatoes jogging 5km in 9 weeks.  Of course, it’s a gradual process, but I need something to challenge me, I need something to give me a nice, swift kick in the rear end, because this gym thing just ain’t cutting it the way I want it to.  My health isn’t just about me anymore, it is about my son, role modeling a healthy lifestyle, and I’m not doing that as I should be right now.  I don’t want him to struggle with weight ever.  I don’t want him to have issues with food ever.  And so I need to get my ass into gear.  I haven’t decided if I will start on the treadmill or just go outside, but I likely will do the treadmill thing, because I don’t do super well with hot weather.  Or running.  Or running in hot weather.  Disclaimer: I AM NOT A RUNNER. I AM NOT A JOGGER.  By any means.  But I am slightly envious when I see people jogging.  I’d like to be there someday.  Hell, I was even thinking about posting on this here blog that I will run a marathon in 2012.  Going too far?  Perhaps.  But goals need to be set.  I’m not setting that goal just quite yet, because I believe in starting small, being realistic.  So for now, it’s the C25K.  I’ve already loaded up my iTunes with TONS of podcasts to keep me going.  They even have prompts for when to jog and when to walk.  So awesome.  If anyone is interested I’ll post links to those as well.
  • A shout out to Plus Size Mommy Memoirs, both the blog and the Facebook page.  She has created quite a following, and quite a supportive community of plus size mamas, trying to conceive, pregnant already, or navigating through parenthood.  I enjoy her posts and I enjoy the different discussions that take place on the wall.  It’s supportive and I think a piece of the pregnancy and childbirth puzzle that needed to be filled.
  • One of the funniest and most entertaining blogs I’ve been reading lately is Rantsfrommommyland. It’s seriously SO good.  I don’t laugh out loud that often while reading things, but I can barely get through a single post without busting a gut.  Bravo mamas.
  • And of course, can’t forget the most precious little Shiba Inu pups ever.  I suspect they will be going to their forever homes soon, since they are almost 2 months old.  They’re so cute and getting so big.  Playful little stinkers.

I think that’s all I’ve been creepin’ on lately.  Well, I’m sure there’s plenty more, but that’s what sticks out.  Check them out, post some feedback, and by the way, I have a major stalking statcounter now, so I know when you visit.  At least say hi, will ya?

Oh, and I’m going to attempt a post every day in June thing.  We’ll see if I can do this.  Geez, I am awfully committal this month.  First the jogging, then the posting.  Maybe they’ll go hand in hand.  You can hear about how I nearly collapsed on my first day of C25K.  That ought to be entertaining.

Happy hump day my friends.

June 1, 2011 at 10:30 pm 2 comments

Oh Boy.

Four months ago I wrote a post called ‘Fussy Gussy Wussy Woo‘ about my boy being needy and always needing to be held.  I just went back and read the post now, and honestly?  I wish I could sit down my Self from 4 months ago and have a little chat.  A pep talk, if you will.  I know it is all about living and learning and trial and error.  Figuring things out as we go.  Being a first time parent comes with its challenges that is for certain.

In hindsight, I remember the conversations with people (often random strangers) who would ask, “Good baby?”  First of all, that’s a loaded question, and in my humble opinion, kind of a silly one.  Let’s reframe that and get down to specifics, though if you are a random stranger, not sure why you’d want to, however I get that you maybe are just making small talk and love babies.  Sort of like asking someone ‘how are you?’ as a salutation rather than a genuine concern.  So yes, instead of asking if someone has a good baby, ask if the baby is a good sleeper, or ask how the parents are getting the hang of their new role.  I remember people asking if Cade was a good baby.  The opposite of good is bad, and when people ask if a baby is good, I think what they are basically asking is, is your baby needy, does your baby cry lots, and does your baby party all night? By those definitions, no, Cade was not really a good baby.  Was he needy?   Of course he was, he was a baby, he still is a baby.  He has specific needs, and it is up to Kyle and I to meet them.  So if they’re not getting met, then yes, he is going to scream and cry until they are met.  And sometimes, even long after that, as he often did his first 3-4 months of life.

Looking back, the equation seems so simple and so easy now.  Why on earth was it so frustrating at the time, having a baby who wanted to be close to his parents all the time?  Why was this so hard to believe and understand?  Of course he wanted to be close to us.  Of course he wanted to be kept warm, safe, nurtured, cuddled.  Can you imagine, within hours, going from living in your nice cozy warm heated home, perhaps snuggling with your pet or your partner on the couch or in bed, to living on the cold street in the middle of winter, having to rummage for food, seek out some sort of warmth, all while you are feeling alone and no longer have your snugglebug so close to you?  It would be traumatizing and dreadful.  It is no wonder the 4th trimester is so brutally hard on babies and parents.  Everyone is adjusting to this new life that has suddenly grabbed the reigns and taken control.  For the wee one, that means not having immediate and consistent access to food and nourishment (yes, a breast is always close by, but not as close as being DIRECTLY connected to your food source), and not being surrounded and kept warm by a cozy aquatic bubble.

If I could go back and have that pep talk with my Self from January 2011, well, even earlier than that, I would hammer home these very critical points:

  • Your baby needs YOU and that is it.  YOU provide everything else it needs, but first and foremost, it needs you.
  • Sleep, rest, take care of yourself and don’t worry about the state of the house.  It’ll get clean.  I realize this sounds cliche and you don’t want to hear it because you have a teeny little bit of an issue around control, but just let it go.
  • Sleep and cuddle your baby.  It’s winter and winter is a great time to hibernate and rest, so do that.  Lie in bed and take a vacation, a true, restful vacation with your babe.  Set up a diaper station near your bed so in those early days, you really don’t have to get up and you can heal yourself and be healthy and happy enough to care for your child.
  • If your baby is needing to be held constantly, that’s okay.  Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty about it.  Don’t google too much because there are some weirdos out there who say that you are spoiling your baby.  You’re not spoiling your baby, you are LOVING your baby and giving your son what he needs, which is YOU.
  • Do whatever you gotta do.  It’s really as simple as that.  Sometimes desperation sinks in and you do what you have to do to survive at that particular moment.  You might even do things you swore you’d never do.  THIS IS OKAY.  Do not feel guilty.
  • Your son will grow to be secure and attached because you have helped him to feel this way because you have not ignored his cries, you have not ignored his cues, and you have not ignored his needs.
  • Cannot say it enough, but the most important thing you have to do for your son is not only take care of him and meet his basic needs, but take care of yourself, take care of yourself, TAKE.CARE.OF.YOURSELF.  If you don’t, your son won’t have a healthy strong parent to take care of him.  This is not cool!
  • Reach out to people.  Tell them how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking.  If people reach out to you, ACCEPT IT.  If they want to cook for you, by all means, let them.  If they want to bring you a coffee or lunch, don’t say you’re good, you need nourishment too, and in those super early days, when your child needs nothing but to be close to his mama, it’s much easier having someone else do the cooking or at least the meal picking up and dropping off.

There’s so much more I could say, but basically, I wanted to hammer home that a baby needs love and protection, safety and nurturing, first and foremost.  Was I tired and exhausted and run down?  Yes I was.  But my son needed me, he needed us, and we gave him what he needed.  I really do believe that all the cuddles, all the lovin’, all the holding, all the carrying, and yes, the co-sleeping, helped to begin solidifying his identity and his healthy levels of attachment and security that he is starting to display.  This boy is a HAPPY, happy boy.  He barely even likes being held and cuddled now, unless he is super sleepy or super over-tired.  I never thought we would see this day, but it’s here and it’s here full-force.  My boy, who could not be put down, is itching to GO.  The only thing really holding him back is his abilities, which are very quickly developing.  And once he goes, he’s gonna be gone.

May 31, 2011 at 1:14 pm 1 comment

SNOOPY SUNDAY.

RULES:

1) Every Sunday, I will post an answer to a question from a reader.   You can ask me questions on Facebook or by commenting on my blog.  The question I choose will be random – I will put the questions in a hat and pick one out; that will be the question I answer.

2) Once I answer a question, I will visit your blog or your Facebook and ask you a question in return.  I will also link to your blog when I write the answer to the question you asked.

3) I don’t know if this is exactly a rule, but I will encourage my regular readers who have blogs to also participate on Snoopy Sundays.  Let’s make this fun, shall we.

4) Questions can be relating to anything, although try to keep it somewhat appropriate.  I cannot police how you interpret appropriate, so be nice.

Chandra was nice enough to shoot out something like 4 questions for me so I got the pick of the litter, and this time I chose: Do you think after the experiences you have had, are you more inclined to have more children or less?

Honestly, I guess I picked this one ’cause I thought it was an easy question.  Call me a copout.  I slept on a camping trailer-style table-bed last night, and my hips still get achy from giving birth, so my sleep was a little on the not so great side, forgive me please and let me just have my moment.

The short, super simple answer is, my experiences have not really changed my mind about how many children I want.  Not really.  For the first 3 months post-giving-birth, I was totally on the fence because I was down in the dumps about my experience in terms of my perineal tear and not so fun healing process, breastfeeding struggles, and the cryfests of 2011 that turned into late-night (think 4am) parties that only technically involved 1 of us as the 2 adults and 1 dog were basically were walking zombies, sleep-deprivation induced mania, if you will.   But guess what?  Things are looking up.  My hormones were all over the map and so I was upset and sad about every and anything.  I know that it’s not the worst thing that could have happened.  I know that.  I am fortunate.  Things could have been more hectic, things could always be worse.  Always.  But, it’s all relative and I must give acknowledgment to my experiences and how they have shaped us.

So with that being said, I could not believe that I would be going through that whole journey again.  Give birth again to another child?  Yeah right.  As beautiful, amazing, empowering and wonderful as it was, the after-part was the sucky part, and it scared me to think that we would trudge through those murky waters ever again.  However, look at us, we made it, and I’d say we passed with flying colours.  But then again, I’d say every parent does because parents are wonderful beings and can take on the world.  Especially some parents, whom I am so blessed to say, I know some of those people.  And they are fricken’ amazing.  They take on challenges like nobody’s business.  They possess the kind of strength those silly UFC fighters would be jealous of.   Anyway…

So yup, we made it through the 4th trimester. The 4th trimester is one thing a lot of people fail to talk about.  Seriously, I think instead of trying to fear-monger every pregnant woman with war-like stories of birth, let’s talk a little bit about the stuff people seem to ignore, like the 4th trimester, realistic breastfeeding tips, how to heal yourself physically and mentally, sex after childbirth (which may or may not happen in the 4th trimester, depends on how brave you are, really), what to do when you seriously feel like you just might lose your mind and never ever EVER find it again, and maybe a good tip for partners: how to deal with your baby when your baby is screaming at 3am and mamabear is screaming louder than the baby.  NOW we’re talkin’.

Ok, I keep getting off topic.  4th trimester…. yup, made it, and it seems after that 4th trimester, well, give or take a couple months, I found myself slowly creepily climbing back on the baby bandwagon.  Read that carefully people, BABY BANDWAGON, NOT BABY-MAKING BANDWAGON.  Instead of being all, omg, how will I go through this again, I was all, yeah.. I could totally do this again, and even, I want to do this again.  Yes, want, as in, desire.  K and I for sure want at least one more child, possibly two, and if you asked K, possibly three, though that seems a bit hectic and chaotic panic-inducing to me.  The thing is, I have one sibling, and always thought it would be cool to have one more (sorry broseph, you’re like, really cool and all, but…).  But then three siblings is an odd number, but four, while an even number, seems just WILD.  And expensive.

Another thing about my experience (and I’m merely talkin’ labour/birthing experience here) is that since I’ve given birth, I have been a crazy lady with research, reading birth stories, watching birth videos, reading birth plans.  I have already begun to create a birth scenario and birth plan for our next one.  I have visions of home births (or at least, doula-accompanied and major talked about “natural childbirth” plan with lovely doctor style hospital birth) dancing very rhythmically in my head.  But with that being said, there’s things I need to do, personally (physically, emotionally, etc) before we bring another life into this world.  There’s also this thing called time and age gap, both of which we want a decent chunk of.

Personally, I can’t imagine just having one child.  And I say that without any judgment (seriously!) on people who choose to stick with just one kiddo.  I just picture Cade and his brother(s) and/or sister(s) playing in the yard, setting up forts with miscellaneous items, and of course, with the aid of nature.  I picture them creating games and implementing their own rules, each helping the other how to figure out fairness and justice via an awesome game that they imagined and then put into action.  I picture them fighting and tattling on each other.  It makes my heart glow and beam so, so, so much.  I know we’re in for still more challenges and just ’cause we’ve made it through the 4th trimester (and well, an additional 4 months after that) it’s not that I think we are just totally good to go.  I just know that we can take on whatever challenge that this little dude is gonna present to us.  You deal with what you’re dished out, right, isn’t that how the saying goes?  Some people’s dish is piled high with medical needs, some people’s dish is piled high with super active toddlers who might as well be nicknamed Crash, and some people don’t even just get 1 dish, they get the whole friggin’ buffet.  Whatever it is, whatever it may be, we can do it, and you can too.  So with that, I say, bring on the kidlets.  But not too soon, will ya?

May 29, 2011 at 10:24 pm Leave a comment

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