Posts tagged ‘cade’

Heal the soul, Feed the heart.

I am so sick and tired about blogging how I never blog.  I am sick of starting posts with “I’m back” or “so I took an unintentional break.”  It’s all the same junk, all the time.  I take breaks, they are unintentional.  I have mini-meltdowns, I forget about my blog, I get up on the uppity and sail through my life without so much as a thought about my main writing outlet.  How dare I ignore myself, because this blog really is just an extension of that?  I prevent myself from writing about anything substantial, aside from the fact that when I am gone that is substantial but most definitely not the most substantial moment that has occurred since the last time I wrote.  SIGH DOUBLE SIGH.

I am not sure if I have made a promise before, to myself and to my blog.  Probably?  Kinda feel like I’ve been there done that with every sort of “I VOW TO BLOG ALL THE TIME EVERY TIME” deal, but please don’t judge as I am about to make it again.

Aside from my mini-explanation two days ago, I haven’t blogged in nearly three months.  That is an eternity.  Imagine something you thoroughly enjoy, now axe it out of your life for three months and imagine the sorrow.  My heart is filled with it, and then part of my heart gets mad because I am the only one that can change that and I haven’t done that.

I feel like I am at a very transitional point in my life, and in all honesty, I think I always will be.  As human beings, I think we always are, because we always are growing and changing, even if we feel we are pretty stagnant.   The last five months have been an incredible adjustment, and they totally still are, and I am still adapting.  I think C is too, though seriously, I feel like he is just going with the flow and is mostly loving it.  The boy loves daycare.  He loves his friends.  He loves his daycare provider.  That really just tickles me pink, it truly does.  Mainly, I am happy he is happy.   Daycare is not a choice for us but a necessity, at this point in our lives anyway.  If we had a choice, we wouldn’t be utilizing it, or at least not on a full-time basis, I already know this much is true.  I am pretty certain I would be much happier, more fulfilled and satisfied, if I was a mama who did not work out of the home or at least not on a full-time basis.  It feels awful to write such a sentiment, but it is what I believe.  The tricky part of this is, because it is not really an option right now, is navigating it so I still feel thoroughly fulfilled, and that I am providing my family and myself with the very best me possible.  That part, I haven’t yet figured out.  What I do know, is my boy is growing way fast, and I know that part of what I need to do is to let go of my hangups around what I can’t have, and focus on trying to enjoy what I do have.  It’s the quality now, not the quantity.  Wise words from some wise women.

Back in January (!!!) I talked about the growth I have been encountering, the changes I have been making, and while they are mostly the same, there’s even more to add to it, and that warms my heart deeply.  I’m still on my handmade gift only path, and we’re heading into the middle of April.  It’s so fun, so satisfying, and it really nurtures and helps to fulfill my creative soul.  I have sewn turtles and flax magic bags, made no-sew fleece blankets, made miniature taggy blankets, along with various other goodies.  I am learning skills left right and centre and I absolutely love it.  I’ve got to gather up some more tricks for my bag of crafts, because I’m needing a dose of fresh crafty ideas in my life, but for now this is good.

Another huge development in my life is that I registered for the Doula Training course that is offered here.  I am beyond thrilled for this new step in my life and I have this feeling, I just know, that this is going to be a good thing.  I questioned myself slightly before I registered, mainly because I had to drop a bit of cash in order to take the course, but I know deep, deep down that I am meant to do this.  It is my passion through and through, for various reasons.  I thought I’d get the birth high, then it would dwindle, but oh no, ohhh noo it’s still there, stronger than ever.  I am not obsessed, I am passionate.  The gig starts April 26, and is ten weeks long, one night a week.  I imagine I will branch out in the blog-world to have a doula biz site up, but that’s for another day.

As of Saturday morning, I have temporarily deactivated my Facebook account.  It was a decision that I had to do.  The clincher for me, was the struggle I actually had with clicking ‘Deactivate.’  I couldn’t do it, well I mean – I obviously did, but I hummed and ha’ed for quite some time, days, before I went ahead and did it.  That experience alone reinforced to me that I was far too addicted to it.  It had taken a hold of my life, and gripped it with all of its psychotic Facebook intensity.  SO not cool.  The whole smart phone phenomenon made it even worse.  Honestly?  Do I need to check my Facebook ALL the time? Just ‘to check’?  Highly unlikely.  But even more than that, was the psychopathic tendencies of Facebook, that is, if Facebook was a person.  Stalkerish, right?  Creepy.  And I was a part of the game.  I couldn’t let go of certain Friends on my Friends list, because the fun would end.  And by fun I mean, the ability for me to poke my head in on their virtual life at any given time.  I get that we are in the 21st century and social networking is the way of the future, but when does it become social psychopathic tendencies and not social networking anymore?  Hmm.  The privacy settings are shady at best, and I just needed a break..  It is not okay when I feel my blood pressure rise, my cheeks become rosy, at the sight of some ridiculous, attention-seeking status update by someone I really don’t even care about. That is not okay.  Sure, there are plenty of things I like about Facebook.  I like the support that some of the communities provide, the ability to see photographs of family and friends in faraway lands, but for now, for me, there are other ways to have these needs met.  And quite honestly, I’d like to spend a little bit more time talking to the people I care about instead of creeping on some jerk-face who I really don’t.

I am no longer seeing the counsellor I mentioned in my second last post.  Not because of anything more than we  really weren’t getting anywhere that significant.  It was alright, and she helped to somewhat shed light on a few issues I was struggling with, but it was not entirely what I needed.  In hindsight, I am not even sure know what I need.  We’re at that point, and I know it’s not a great point to be at, but it’s a starting point, and I know I am here, so I’ll roll with it.  And it’s nothing against psychologists, but that is not exactly what I am needing right now, I don’t believe.  So tomorrow the journey continues, and I will meet with a homeopathic doctor/social worker/counsellor in one.  She comes HIGHLY recommended and so I am quite anxious to have this experience.  I’ve got a couple of things I want to address, and I am also anticipating that she will guide the session and we will do some exploring.

As for my running shoes, they haven’t been laced up in way too long.  March came and went, and that is the hardest month of every year for me.  The winters are too long, and the spring lingers.  I love the first days of spring, but then let’s get this show on the road.  I am tired of cold mornings, and my cold appendages itch for warm skin.  The plan is to get out there and get running, again, because last summer when I learned that running was a total outlet for me, was one of the best summers ever, and I need that injection of wholeness, of light, and of endorphins, in my life, on a constant basis.  The issue right now is that I am feeling really unable to battle the brisk mornings, and so I’m anxiously awaiting the warm ones.  In time?

And without turning to ‘external’ sources of healing, I am mostly feeling very blessed, very privileged, to have this here family that I do.  My son provides me with an insane amount of beauty, life, and love, and I don’t even know how to say it properly.  He basically just blows my mind, over, and over, and over again.  Every little word he says, every thing he does.  He is the most beautiful soul, the most beautiful creature, the most beautiful beauty.  Yeesh.  so.much.love.  And thee baby-daddy, well aye, I get hung up on things, on complains, on this and that, but gosh darn, I am lucky.  Who ever thought I would be living in my small-but-its-cozy house, with a 17 month old, a 3 year old poochy, and a partner?  I am not sure I ever did, but oh boy, am I sure glad I do.

Happy Monday, friends, dream sweetly & sleep tightly.

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April 9, 2012 at 10:05 pm 6 comments

Newness.

To me, autumn has always stood for ‘change’ or at least the strong desire for change.  I get antsy at the end of summer, knowing fall is coming.  Fall always meant transition in terms of the school years.  I’d start grade 1, then 2… then high school… then university, then so on.  The first fall not going to university was weird, because I felt like I was playing some weird form of hooky.  Typically I want to do things in fall like take up a new hobby, change my sense of fashion, get a new hairstyle, or do something drastic.

This year, we’re going for low-key.

Hence.

The new template.  I checked out the new templates on WordPress, and this one specifically called out to me.  In a month, maybe it won’t, but for now, I’m all about the simplicity, the minimalistic approach.  There’s a few different things with the template – mainly being that blog subscriptions, recent & top posts, categories & tags, and archives are now at the very bottom of the page.  Other than that, I like how it’s streamlined.  I’m a fan of tweaking, and so I’d like to eventually tweak the template to my liking.  I love making new headers, so that might be something I attempt as well.

This weekend has been a busy one so far, and so my posts are always scrambled, ramshackled posts put together at the very end of the night, into the wee morning hours.  Not productive for my creative needs in the least, but it is what it is.

The biggie of the day, aside from the cake batter frozen yogurt topped with a whole shwack load of goodies from Pure Frozen Yogurt Bar, is that my boy is TEN MONTHS OLD.  So insane.  So bizarre.  So surreal.  He has been earthside longer]

than he has been wombside and that?  THAT is just, wow.  I still have days where I look at him, smiling, rolling, climbing, crawling around and think to myself, fer real?  You are mine?  Forever and ever?  How did I get this lucky?  How did I score this amazing life?  Of course, there are days where I look at him, screaming, crying, fighting sleep SO very VERY hard, and standing/climbing/sitting when he is supposed to be sleeping and think to myself, fer real?  You are mine?  AND YOU WON’T SLEEP?  NOT EVER?  How did I get this tired, this sleep-deprived?

But so yes, a whopping 10 months old he is, which, as I mentioned a couple posts ago, means we’re only 2 months away from Doomsday, rather, this mama’s return to work.  Can’t focus on it, can’t focus on it, can’t focus on it.  For now, I shall and I must and I will enjoy my boy to the fullest extent possible.   I just hate feeling like the next 2 months have to be solely spent preparing him for daycare, ensuring his sleep is top-notch, and ensuring he is ready.  I get that those things are important, but seriously, I’d rather be laughing and putting funny things on my head to entertain my boy rather than stressing out over ensuring that such and such “habit” is kicked because gosh forbid he carries that particular “habit” with him to daycare.  Double sigh.   HE.  IS.  A.  BABY.  With baby needs.  And really, my priority, is meeting those needs.

I ain’t no sucker, I’m just a mama.

Happy 10 months to my precious, <3

September 3, 2011 at 11:04 am Leave a comment

But it’s not a word I’m familiar with.

Today I set out to run just for fun, rather than following a specific time.  Well at least partially just for fun – I did have a goal in mind, and that goal was to run 5km.  I’ll first begin by saying, I didn’t meet my goal, but I came absolutely very close and I ran the furthest I have yet to run which is incredible in and of itself.  I ran a whopping 4.35km in about 32 minutes!  My pace was about 7:20/km.  I am blowing my own personal goals RIGHT out of the water and I truly cannot believe it.  I feel so fit and strong, and I know I can only get fitter and stronger.

When I was running today, I was blogging in my head.  I thought to myself, I’m going to write “So, today I ran 5K, but it took me such and such time.”  And then I decided I wouldn’t write but, and then I came up with a reason why, and that’s because but implies that there is something wrong with the words written or mentioned or said before the but, and in this case, there most definitely is nothing wrong with them.  So instead, I thought, I’ll say “So, today I ran 5K, AND it took me such and such time.”  There, there’s nothing to contemplate there about any time being a bad time, because there is no such thing.  Completion is the running theme in my new world of running, and I’m happy to say that I am kicking completion’s ass and so on and so forth.

Nine weeks ago today I started the running program, and I finished it a couple days ago.  Nine weeks ago, Kyle took pictures of me, and he did the same thing for a couple weeks afterwards, and then we forgot.  Today I got him to take pictures of me too so I could compare and wow, am I ever glad we did that.  It’s so neat to SEE progress, obvious progress in my humble opinion.  I was going to compare the pictures from June 26 to now because they seem to be more drastic of a difference, but these are from June 5, the very first day of the C25K.  I think I was sucking in on the pictures, which is super funny to me, but I can see results.  I look more fit, I look stronger, more toned (still a long way to go) and I am FAR more curvy which I love.  Next summer, I have promised myself, I will rock a vintage swimsuit from Popina.

So here are the photos.  I have some work to do on my arms, but this is me in all my running gear glory.  My next goal is to be able to do push-ups.  Heck, A PUSH UP would be nice.  Seriously, I can’t fully do a push up without crashing to the ground.  But if I can go from dying after running for 60 seconds to running 4.35km, surely I can eventually do a push-up or two, right?

 

Shazam!

Love it.  This picture thing has got me motivated, which is why I decided to have some nachos tonight for supper with my main squeeze.  Totally don’t regret it, but totally don’t plan on always rewarding myself with snacks.  A girl’s gotta live a little, once in awhile, and indulge in some good old fashioned nach-as, right?

And I’m sorta kidding when I say I’m motivated and so I ate.  These days, motivation for me transpires into MORE MORE MORE movement of my body, which is what I wanted to see.  Motivation transpires into creative ideas to get moving, to get healthy, and to give my body what it needs.

I need to find an awesome design for this blog because I am BORED with it.  If anyone wants to help me that would be awesome, and if not, well, screw you, I can do it on my own.  I don’t have a paid WordPress account so I’m sort of stuck with certain settings, but I’ve made it work in the past and I’ll do it again, I just need some creativity injected into my veins, that’s all.  I also need to refresh my About Me page but I’m really struggling with writing a mini-bio.   It’ll come, I tell myself, but if I’m not even really trying super hard, do I really expect it to magically appear, all properly laid out, grammatically correct, and witty?  Likely not.

Expect an awesome post of Cade-isms in the next couple of days.  That dude is seriously FUNNY shit and I have some uber cute stories of things he does and what have you.  Gosh, he makes me laugh.  He makes me smile. He makes me want to go and wake him up for a late-night before bed snuggle.  I WILL regret saying that when he wakes up screaming in a couple hours.  Which he won’t do because now I’ve put it out there and it would be far too coincidental if that happened.
 

 

 

August 7, 2011 at 11:19 pm 12 comments

A Story of Blessings, a Baby, and Breasts.

 

 

*EDIT: I forgot to add this within the story, and I just want to make a note that I did have blood work done in November when I was first struggling with low supply.  Nothing of concern was noted.  I also had more blood work (hormonal levels and thyroid) checked in March at my annual physical, and again, no concern.  I do realize this does not MEAN there are no physiological reasons, but these were explored and so that is why I am at such a loss!  Thank you for reading – I am overwhelmed with the response to this post, and I feel SO honoured to hear so many stories from amazing mamas.  <3 

When I was pregnant, one of the biggest themes present in my crazy, extremely vivid pregnancy-style dreams was that of breastfeeding.  My baby, in my dreams, was faceless, but beautiful.  I didn’t know if my baby was a boy or girl, because we had decided not to find out, let nature run it’s course, and find out when I gave birth to our child.  In my dreams, it was the same, I didn’t know if it was a boy or if it was a girl, and sometimes, it was a boy, and sometimes, it was a girl.  But for the most part, when I would dream about my baby, my baby was simply that – a baby.  But MY baby, a beautiful tiny little being, full of life, love, and full of dreams.

Just like I was.  I frequently had dreams about my unborn baby, and I would always wake up and tell Kyle what happened that previous night in dreamland.  Most of the time, it was nothing new.  Most of the time, it was simply that I was holding my baby, rocking my baby to sleep, and breastfeeding my baby in my arms.  Simple, right?

Throughout my pregnancy, and for any of you that have been pregnant I’m sure you can relate, one of the hot topics is how you are going to feed your baby, except it is not asked in such a way, it is asked of you if you are going to breastfeed.  It’s just one of those natural things, right?  Right.  I had done a lot of reading about pregnancy, birthing, and breastfeeding (however, not NEAR as much as I do now, the birth junkie that I am) and so I felt like I had a good handle on it.  I was not fearful of the labour or birthing process, in fact, I was looking forward to it.  I was amazed that my body was going to take over, with the aid of my brain and my baby, and we were going to do something miraculous, yet totally normal and happens all the time.

For the 9ish months that I was pregnant, I was waiting for my breasts to change.  I was waiting for them to get ginormous, to say the least, and it never happened.  I knew that this didn’t always happen, but I never really experienced much in the way of breast changes.  The only time I remember any pregnancy symptom that was breast-related, was in the summertime, being in the hot sun and going for dunks in the lake, and having the sorest most tender nipples EVER.  It was uncomfortable but secretly I was cheering inside because I had always wondered up to that point what was up with the lack of boobie changes?  On more than one occasion, did I wonder out loud if I would have issues with not being able to produce milk for my child because my breasts were not showing any evidence of this whole pregnant deal.

Cade was born on November 3 at 8:08pm and as most of you know, it was the most beautiful and transformative experience of my life.  Cade was born and I was born as a mother.  Just like that.  It still blows my mind, really.  He was immediately placed on my chest for me to introduce myself (though he had known me all along) and love all up.  I was in a state of complete bliss, and perhaps a slight amount of shock, but most of all, I was ecstatic and beside myself.  I couldn’t believe it.  “Oh my god, Oh my god!  I can’t believe this!  I can’t believe you are mine!  You are so cute!  Oh my god!  You are so beautiful!  I love you so much!”  I wish, to this day, that the moment that Cade was born was video’d, because it was incredible.  And not only that, but my declaration of love was, am I allowed to do this, flippin’ AWESOME.  I was over the moon for this little being!

And while I was beside myself, blissed right out, it did not cross my mind at that moment to breastfeed my son.  I don’t know if it crossed anyone’s mind, because it didn’t happen right then and there.  I wonder to this day if it would have made a difference, and I don’t THINK it would have, but I’m a sucker for not knowing.  I held my son for quite awhile, and Kyle and I gushed over him like mad.  I don’t remember timelines exactly, I don’t remember when he was taken to the warmer, Kyle right beside him for the whole time, and I don’t remember when they wrapped him all up, but I know that we had skin-to-skin for awhile.  I have tried not to have any regrets about this moment, because I know in my right, rational mind, there is nothing I can do differently about it, and having regrets is unhealthy.  So I don’t regret it, but I use it as a learning tool.  I would loved to have delayed everything, the “cleaning” of my son (rub that goodness right in!), the weighing, you name it, and I would’ve wanted us to attempt the breast crawl right off the bat, to initiate eye contact and bonding in such a way.

It wasn’t until we were up on post-partum, after I had showered and cleaned up, and after Cade had been wrapped in blankets, warmed right up, and had a bath, did we attempt breastfeeding.  He knew exactly what to do.  I remember the nurse that was helping me, bless her heart, said “look, wow, he knows exactly how to do this, he is a pro.”  I believed her and we went on with our night, as rough as it was.  Cade cried most of the night, despite frequent attempted feedings, cuddles, and skin-to-skin.   Kyle and I were both exhausted, and I broke down at one point because I “didn’t know what to do and I was so tired” and the nurse swaddled Cade up tightly, rocked him a bit, and handed him back to me.  It was not until 6am that he finally got some sleep, and so did I.

I always say that the beginning of motherhood is so insane.  You start off after going hours, days without sleep, and then you are thrown into a whole new wild world of breastfeeding, caring for a baby, and trying to heal, physically and emotionally from everything that just took place.  That’s exactly where I was at.  I could barely lie in bed without my perineum aching, and not only that, but I couldn’t pee due to the epidural/IV combo I had been infused with.  Toss in sore and cracked nipples into the mix and I’m spent.

The next day I remember being a bit calmer.  I would frequently breastfeed Cade, and I felt that things were going well.  I was in a sleep-deprivation induced haze, but was over the moon and in love with everything.  The tears poured out of my eyes over any and everything.  I was tired, so I cried.  I was in love with Kyle as a father, and so I cried again.   I remember the nurses in the hospital telling me to rest up that day, as baby’s second night of life was usually chaotic and they wanted to be up eating all the time.  I felt somewhat prepared, but that didn’t really happen.  That night, actually went off without much of a hitch.  Cade would wake up every 1.5-2 hours to feed, and would then go back to sleep.  Kyle and I woke up feeling somewhat refreshed, but still extremely exhausted.  Mostly, we were excited to be taking our little boy home, as that was the plan.  They tested his bili levels and they were fine, he was not jaundiced, and so we were able to go home.  That morning, I remember asking a nurse for the help of a lactation consultant, to ensure that everything really WAS going well and that we were latching.  The nurse basically denied me this request, saying that the LC’s were usually reserved for individuals who were struggling and having breastfeeding issues.  At the time, I accepted this, especially because she told me she had a passion for breastfeeding and offered to help me out.  I thought this was fine and dandy, and she really WAS of great assistance and showed me different positions to ease my achy nipples, however, looking back, I do think this was wrong.  I should have not have been denied the support of a LC by any means, and while I don’t think this affected our journey at all, I just think it’s unfortunate.

So homeward bound we were, and we couldn’t be happier.  I was on a strict regiment of having 2 baths a day, and to feed my son on demand, which I would do anyway.  The thought of using formula never crossed my mind.  I thought things were going quite delightful actually, until that night.  The sun went down and the evening reared its ugly head.  Cade turned into a nightmare, and in turn, so did his mama.  I must say, thank goodness for the best father ever, because he really was our rock at this time.  I’m sure there were times where he wondered who he should comfort first, though obviously that answer is pretty clear-cut.  Cade screamed.  All.  Bloody.  Night.  Despite constantly nursing him.  Despite endless cuddles and swaddling.  We swaddled him with an additional blanket.  It was shortly after that that he stopped crying and slept.  That was around 7am.  And I must say, we were pretty proud of ourselves.  Oh, so THAT was it. He was just cold, well DUH!

But it wasn’t just temperature regulation that was the issue, oh no, because he lost his mind the next night too.  And I felt oh so bad for this poor little boy.  What an entrance to this thing called life.  He screamed.  He screamed some more.  He cried.  He yelled.  He wailed.  I cried.  Kyle rocked and swaddled and patted and rocked and cuddled.  I think it was about 8am that Cade finally crashed for a couple hours.  Kyle and I were absolutely zonked.  I knew in my heart that something wasn’t right, and Cade looked a little on the yellow jaundicey side of things, and so I called the Healthy & Home nurses and demanded that they come for a home visit that day.

It pains me so hard, it breaks me into pieces, and it hurts my heart to think what COULD have happened if the nurses didn’t come that day, if something wouldn’t have told Kyle and I that we NEEDED to seek out support immediately.  I was starving my boy and I didn’t even know it.  Except, I did.  I knew something was wrong, and it was only after 2 nights of solid screaming did I wonder if perhaps he wasn’t getting enough to eat?

I was in tears on the phone with the nurse.  They sensed my urgency and they came over within an hour and a half.  They weighed my poor, sad, hungry little boy, and he had lost a pound of his body weight, which totalled 13 % which is a major red flag.  He hadn’t pooped in a couple days, and I really don’t remember his wet diaper count, but it wasn’t good.  I know that some major lactivists might say I was booby trapped after I say this next point – and maybe I was and maybe I wasn’t – what I DO know is my boy HAD to eat and he was a completely different baby after we fed him formula.  The nurses with Healthy & Home are lactation consultants as well, and Cindy, oh dear Cindy, was a kind, compassionate soul.  She understood my deep desire, my need, to breastfeed my son, and she understood my need to nurture him, with love and with nutrition, and she understood that he HAD TO EAT.  This was not an option, and I was not producing enough for my poor, sweet boy.  When we came to this conclusion, I was heartbroken.  I burst into tears, I had a million questions, and Cindy was amazing.  I swear, I should’ve sent her flowers.  I don’t know if it’s because she was the first nurse we encountered after going home or what, but she is the only LC’s name that I remember, and there were I think 5 different LC’s that visited us at home within a few days, to check on Cade’s bili levels and to provide breastfeeding support.  (Actually, this is an aside, but I think I am going to contact Cindy and let her know how much I appreciated her. )

Cindy basically demanded that we had to get some calories into this boy asap.  She asked if we had some on hand, and sure enough, WE DID (go on lactivists, attack me for not tossing out the free formula samples).  I saved everything we got in the mail, why?  I don’t know.  I remember thinking when I got the formula samples “oh, well, I’ll never need these, in the closet they go.”  I showed her the only bottle we had on hand (also a free sample), and she encouraged us to try the Supplemental Nursing System if we wanted to continue breastfeeding as well as getting formulas into our boy at the same time.  I remember the method seeming petty and confusing, and WORK.  But we agreed to try it out, and she showed Kyle and I how to team up and make it work.  It was complicating and stressful and just thinking about it gives me a lump in my throat.  Basically, we would fill a syringe with formula, attach a tiny sterile tube to the syringe, and then place the tube alongside my nipple as Cade latched on.  We were still trying to perfect the latch, so adding an extra step in caused much grief, but we did it.  For nearly 4 weeks, every feed, we would use this tiny little tube and place it as Cade latched, so that he would still nurse and hopefully stimulate my breasts to provide milk and increase my supply, but that he would still get substantial calories as well.  I remember feeling increasing anxiety as it came time for Kyle to go back to work, because how the hell was I supposed to do this on my own?  It took my tears, many tries, until we figured out a system that (sort of) worked.  When the tears got to be too much, I would just use my finger and feed the tube along my finger to feed Cade, after breastfeeding him.  I was scared of the bottle and we avoided it for as long as I could stand to.

After going in to the Breastfeeding clinic to meet with an LC there, Cade’s suck was evaluated and determined to be great.  The LC checked out his slight tongue tie, and also determined it to be very slight.  Our doctor has said the same.  This is still something to this day I wonder about.  Everyone has said it would not affect breastfeeding because it’s so slight and far back, but I am skeptical, if only because I am searching desperately for answers.  At one point when we met with the LC, I was breastfeeding Cade, and the LC was doing hardcore breast compressions to attempt to get the milk flowing.  And it still didn’t flow.  It just would NOT flow, stubborn supply.  The plan was to rent an electric hospital grade pump and attempt to pump after every feed for approximately 10 minutes per side (or all at once if using a double pump).  Needless to say, this was exhausting, but we did it.  The pump became my worst enemy.  I felt overwhelmed and intimidated by the pump.  We were not friends and I don’t believe this helped to increase my milk supply either.  I began to despise the pump, everything about it.  I hated washing out the pump parts a million times a day, I hated sitting there with the flanges on my breasts, making the “werr, werrrrrr” noise with every suction.  I hated anxiously watching the bottles that would catch the pumped milk, waiting to see a bottle at least half full.  I hated seeing next to no milk come out of my pumped breasts, my breasts that were so desperate to be full.  I’m sure one day I will regret it, but I wanted to experience hard, aching, full of milk boobies.  I felt envy and jealousy when my friends would have to slip in a breast pad because they were leaking.  I wanted to leak.  Shit, let me leak all over my shirt, let’s soak it up.  It never happened.

I attempted to take Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle, two supposed galactagogues, but the only thing they did was give my body a sweet and spicy odour.  I took these in combination with Domperidone, a prescribed medication used to treat stomach issues with the sometimes fortunate side effect of inducing lactation.  Again, I’m not sure it did much, though I did take it for about 6 months.  After 4 weeks of feeling in my heart that I tried everything I could to increase my supply, but to see really no improvements, I retired the SNS and revamped our routine to 1) Breastfeed Cade for as long as he would latch and suckle 2) Give him a bottle with formula to top him off.  This worked and I felt like a huge amount of pressure was eased off of me.  The SNS created stress and I began to cry at almost every feed.  Was it worth it?  Was Cade benefiting from a depressed and completely worn-down mother?  Eventually, I returned the pump.  I held onto it for a very long time, because I couldn’t bring myself to take it back for fear that it was signalling I had given up.  I hadn’t used it in days, and it was sitting there, taking up space, it was almost daunting in a way.  I returned it, and I felt a twinge of sadness, until I realized why I was returning it.

It took me a long time to realize what our feeding routine was doing to my son, and to myself.   I was completely worn out, I was stressed, and I was depressed.  I had begun to question if I really did everything I could, surely I missed something, right?  But when I realized that I did everything I could, and when I realized that it was worth it for our feeding routine to change, was when I felt a complete let-go of the stress that had been bogging me down.  I felt this within myself, and I noticed a change in my son at feeding.  He took to the bottle like a champ, and he took to the breast like a champ.  There were no issues with him going from breast to bottle and back.  Was it so important to me to not use a bottle because it might mean failure, even when it might have meant not so pleasant things for my son?  He truly thrived when I was happy, and I didn’t realize that in the moment until we had decided to change our routine, for everyone’s sake, but mostly Cade’s and my own.   Cade needed me, he needed his mother, to be happy, and to be content, and to feel GOOD about the time spent feeding him.  I was not feeling good about this, and what was this doing to him?  Did I want to transfer so much negative energy to a sweet little baby?  Of course I didn’t, so why I was doing that for so long, I don’t know.   I have determination and I have perseverance, and because I knew in my heart that that was one of the best things I could do for my son, was breastfeed him.

This was what factored into my decision to keep at it for so long.  I understand that everyone has a choice to make, and that choice is truly their own.  I respect each woman’s choice, and I do believe that decisions are made for a reason, based on past experiences, life issues, and the like.  The choice that I made, that we made, as a family, was for me to continue to breastfeed Cade for as long as we could sustain it.  Even if it was a teaspoon of milk he was getting from me.  Even if it was a drop.  We had become pros at breastfeeding, and it was part of our routine, so we kept on keeping on.  Gradually, he started to get more formula and less breastmilk, though there were times where he would breastfeed and did not want to take a bottle after that.  Those times?  I felt happy.  I felt good.  I felt like that was a huge success for us, and it was sort of a gift, a karmic gift, after the breastfeeding struggles we had endured.

We kept on with this routine until Cade was about 8 months old.  Eventually, it had turned to where he would only breastfeed in the morning when he first woke up, before having a bottle, or in the middle of the night when he would wake up to eat, while waiting for the bottle to warm up.  He got to an age where he got so distracted, and nursing was not on the top of his priority list, and so we went with it, and we excelled at that for awhile too.  Around 8 months old, he lost his interest in nursing, and it sort of happened gradually, which I am thankful for.  I remember thinking that I had to prepare myself for the end of this rocky journey that we had had, but because it just dwindled off, I am just now mourning the conclusion of it, pouring it all out there.
Truthfully?  I feel okay with how things went.  I had to come to terms with it, and I still have many what if’s that cross my mind, sometimes on a daily basis, but not as much anymore.  Do I wish that things would have went differently?  I do.  But I have learned so much based how things did go, and they went according to the agenda in which they needed to go.  Not only have I learned an insane amount about breastfeeding, pregnancy, birthing, and how the birthing process can affect breastfeeding, I have learned even more about my son and myself.  My son is patient and determined.  He possesses these traits like no other, and while some might argue that I can’t determine that since he’s so young, I CAN and I know that he will fight for what he wants, and if he wants it, he will get it.  I feel like at such a young age, only 8 months, he already knows exactly what he wants and how to go for it.  When my son is old enough to understand, I want to talk to him about our journey, and I want to thank him for being patient with me as I learned, and for helping me to learn.  He taught me the gift of patience and perseverance.  He taught me to believe in myself, and to be strong when times were tough.  And really, by simply being born, he has encouraged me to conquer my fears, to take on anything.

Still to this day, I don’t know why we were not able to exclusively breastfeed.  I don’t want to say that we weren’t successful at breastfeeding, because the way success is measured can be so trivial.  We were successful in ways that we had to be.  Was it the tongue tie?  Is it because I was induced and my body just wasn’t ready?  Was it the epidural and intense infusion of IV fluids?  Did the pitocin have something to do with it?  Should we have done skin-to-skin sooner and commenced the breastfeeding journey right then and there?  Do I have insufficient glandular tissue, a physiological condition that can prevent a sufficient supply of milk?  There were times where I wanted to be more successful, and around 6 months old I seriously considered attempting the process of ‘relactating’, but aptly decided that I would be doing more damage than good by taking on that.  That’s just a whole other ball game.

Just like any other mama who breastfed once but is no longer, I miss the feeling of my beautiful little angel’s tiny hands on my chest, resting on my breast, as he nursed and looked at me, or nursed and got so comfy he dozed off.  I miss being skin-to-skin and having his warm and so very soft tummy pressing against my own.  I miss his little “hmm” noises he would make when he was latched on.  I miss the feeling of nutritionally nurturing him, knowing I am providing him with the antibodies that he needs and his body desires.

I had many moments where I felt extreme amounts of guilt.  I didn’t want to feed him in public, because pulling out that bottle meant that I had failed breastfeeding, and so obviously I had failed as a mother, right?  WRONG.  I learned that breastfeeding did not equal perfection, nor did it equal motherhood.  Was it a huge component of motherhood?  Yes it was, but it was not the be all and it was not the end all.  In the end, I was doing for my son what I needed to do for him.  We learned along the way.  I’m hoping with future babies (probably only just 1 ;) that breastfeeding will work out, and that I will be able to use the tools that Cade taught me, in order to be “successful.”  But that’s for another time, and for now, this is where we’re at.

But most importantly, I am proud of where we were and where we have come.  I feel blessed that we were given an obstacle, a hurdle, and we flew right over it, with a little bit of turbulence along the way.  I know that my experiences might seem trivial compared to other’s, but the fact is, this is our story, and it does matter.  Our story might help others, but most of all, it has helped us.  It will make us better people, more empathetic, stronger individuals.  I feel like I have a surge of compassion that has been injected in me because of it.  I feel better able to understand other’s experiences with breastfeeding.  I never realized the emotional intensity of a breastfeeding journey and all that goes along with it.  I now do, and I think that that is beautiful and such an important part of the life that I want to lead.   My boy is thriving and I am happy and as healthy as I’ve ever been.  We work as a team, and this was only the very start of it.  We are in for a very wonderful, a very fulfilling, and a very triumphant ride.

July 25, 2011 at 11:31 pm 26 comments

C25K: Week 6 Day 1

I am TOTALLY and utterly ecstatic that I am more than halfway done the program.  The program that if you would’ve told me a year ago I would be completing, I seriously would have laughed in your face and de-friended you because that would have been an insult, but only because I was lacking confidence, trust, and esteem in myself.  Sigh.  Oh such a long way we’ve come, we’ve come a long way.

Can I go out on a limb and say something ridiculous?  Day 1 of this week was a breeze.  It was way easier than week 4.  When I say a breeze I don’t mean easy, I just mean the most doable week so far, probably, or at least compared to week 4, it was peanuts.  I think because you go through week 4, and it seems like a ton more running, then you do week 5, and the third day of that week is interval-less, so then doing week 6 day 1, with intervals, you get a break.  However I have read that intervals are more difficult, because the stopping and starting is tricky and messes with thee.  Not so sure about that.  We’ll see though – week 6 day 2 is the LAST DAY OF INTERVALS.  Omg, Omg, Omg.  From there on in, it’s go hard and run with only a warm-up and a cool-down.  So insane.  I remember doing week 1 and looking forward to seeing what the weeks had in store, and having slightly mild panic attacks when I realized I’d eventually run 25 minutes straight.  Actually, I didn’t even realize I’d eventually run 25 minutes straight, because I saw it as im-freaking-possible.  Turns out I have a little more faith in myself than one might have initially thought.  I am on the craziest high of my life, not that I am super familiar with tons of highs or anything, but wow.  WOW.  I want to go and conquer day 2 right now, and then day 3, and move on to week 7.  I can’t believe that before I know it, I am going to be titling a post C25K: GRADUATION, and reflecting on the weeks and the days and talking about how I completed the program.  Blows me right the heck away.

Tonight Kyle, Cade & of course my one true running companion, Lily, joined me.  I thought we could all go for a nice walk, and since I’m SUCH a slow runner, I could probably just jog alongside the stroller while Kyle pushed Cade and power-walked.  Well, well, well, wouldn’t you know, I am totally not as slow as I thought, because I had Kyle & Cade trailing behind me for blocks.  So then when my run stopped, I’d walk back and meet them, and we’d go through that cycle.  There was even a point where I turned a corner and they lost me, so I ran back towards the way I thought they went, and caught up to them.   It was such a delightful moment.  I guess I’m not as slow as I thought.  It’s bittersweet, really.  I even said to Kyle, when we first started our walk, “one rule, you can’t walk faster than I can run, because that’s embarassing.”  Not even a chance of that happening.  So the downside to this was, it wasn’t really a family outing as much as it was me doing my thing, then racing back to meet up with them.  It worked for the time being though, and at the very end when I had finished my runs and was doing my cool-down walk, I ended up jogging beside the stroller, veerrrrry slowly, because I just ‘wanted to run.’  Total cheese and crazy moment, when we got home and got in the back gate, I ran Lily’s bag o’ poo to the back garbage and said, “Why walk when you can RUNNNNNNNN!”  What a nerd, yeesh.  The other cutesy moment of the day, not that that one was cutesy, but whatevs’, was that when I was driving around doing some errands tonight, I saw a family of 4 jogging together.  It was priceless and awesome and I smiled but I don’t think they saw me.  I WANT THAT.

C25K updates!  C’mon, let’s hear ’em.  How are we doing?  Do you need some inspiration?  I want to help you and motivate you, because I am totally convinced that this is the greatest exercise program EVER and I love running and can I call myself a runner yet?  I will when I finish the program, just to be fair.  Goodnighty night my friends.  Love, sweet dreams and fluffy pillows to you all xo.

July 10, 2011 at 11:46 pm 14 comments

I am my boy’s mommy.

Is there any other job where you are required to start immediately after having run an all-night (or multiple night) marathon?  Nothing comes to mind.  Parenthood is crazy y’all!  Things are always changing, routines are different, and this little one just keeps us going and going.  We’re nearing the 8 month mark, which just totally blows my mind.  I can’t even go there because for one, it means I’ve (ONLY) got 4 months left at home with my boy, and two, because he is growing. so. fast.

I never imagined that I’d ever utter the sentiments “aww, remember when you were just so teeny, I sorta kinda miss those days” because those days were filled with non-stop night screaming and minimal sleep.  But I believe I have uttered that exact statement within the past week.  Am I nuts?  Perhaps.  There’s something addictive about that baby thang, but not when you’re in the midst of it.   Oh hell no.  Don’t know about you, but I wanted to run, oh so fast, oh so far away.

Cade is the most active boy I have ever known.  He’s learning how to crawl, but can’t quite figure out the upper body part of the equation.  Getting there, and as he’s getting closer, we’re fearing more and more for our lives.  He has already pinpointed the cords and everything else that looks fun and unfriendly for children.  He rarely stops, except for when he’s sleeping, and even then he moves and wriggles and squirms right up until the point his eyes shut and he enters the wonderful land of sleep, though he doesn’t quite realize how awesome it is yet.  Not sure if that day will ever come at this rate.  I shouldn’t go there.  You know, he’s a pretty amazing napper.  Consistently naps for usually about 1.5 hours morning and afternoon.  We think we’ve found a pattern to his night-time-sleep-fights.  If he doesn’t get a third nap around suppertime, he is way too exhausted by the time bedtime (8pm) rolls around and he cannot settle and then is up until nearly 10.  We really need to try and squeeze a little nap, even 30-45 minutes, around supper to combat this.  Like I said, he hasn’t quite realized the awesomeness of sleep. While he’s fighting to stay up, I’m fighting to want to sleep.  Oh the days, oh the days.

We’ve also started a new little fun and super cute routine of Cade Pooping & Peeing on the Toilet every morning.  It’s so dang cute, I just can’t help myself.  Plus, we’d change him right when he wakes up in the morning, and then he nearly ALWAYS poops when he sits in his highchair to eat breakfast.   So one day I decided that instead of changing him, then changing a poopy diaper 10 minutes later, we’d just plop him on the toilet and see what happened.  Well, poop is what happened, and then pee!  I can’t tell you how adorable this tiny (‘cept he’s not tiny, he’s 22 lbs!) little boy looks with his butt on the big toilet.  He grunts and I know exactly what’s coming.  Plop.  Cute.  Can pooping ever be cute?  Whatever, it kinda is in those moments.  It’s kind of an offshoot of Elimination Communication, except honestly, we’re not really watching his cues throughout the day.  Sometimes we do for the poos, because they tend to come at consistent times throughout the days.

We’re now full-time cloth diapering and l-o-v-i-n-g it!  We’ve built our stash up to 22 diapers, and I am addicted.  Constantly looking online at different brands, reviews, types, colours, patterns.  The options are seriously endless.  Our go-to diaper seems to be the Charlie Banana one-size pocket diaper.  It’s nice and trim, fits the boy good, and holds in the dirties.  They seem to be a bit smaller than our other one-size diapers, so really hoping they will last until he is potty-trained, or at least close.  Hard to tell.  Cade’s a big boy, but once he starts crawling more and walking, there ain’t no stopping, and so he’ll probably be on some crazy active weight-loss thing.

In terms of the extra laundry from the diapers, it’s really not a big deal.  Right now, we’ve been line drying the diapers, and not only does the sun make an excellent natural bleach agent, it saves on energy, and dries the diapers really quickly.  We were using the bumGenius laundry detergent, however we recently purchased some natural detergent (cloth-diaper friendly of course) from CleanB.  The bonus to this stuff, as far as I’m concerned, is that the smell sticks with the diapers.  Usually if this is the case, it means there is buildup, but not with this stuff!  I’m pretty pumped about it, because some light lavender scented diapers are totally cool in my books.  Check out all the other scents, she’s got a million of them and I want them ALL. We haven’t tried it yet, but once we do, I’ll report back.

The other bonus about cloth, is that the boy’s bum is not rashy like it used to be in disposables.  This is a huge huge perk.  Cade’s skin is so sensitive and the chemicals and materials in disposables were just not jiving with his little bottom.  We switched to cloth wipes early on in his life for that reason as well.  Back to basics baby.  Homemade cloth solution (olive oil, water, and baby wash) smells a heck of a lot better to me than traditional baby wipes anyway.   And the diapers.  Oh, the smell.  The odd time we put him in disposables now, I can’t stand how they smell once he’s peed or pooped in them, but especially pee.  It’s a chemical-urine smell that I like to avoid, now that we’ve done so for the past 2 months.

Brief photo-montage-story-documentation – this is the story of how Cade quickly spotted my cell phone and proceeded to claim it for himself:

So close, SO close.  love the determination face.  precious and priceless.

it’s mine. victory. is. MINE!

SUCCESS!  so proud, and so nonchalant and oblivious to anything else going on.

I can sense the boy waking up soon, so I best end this little Cade recap.  With… an exciting update?  It IS exciting, it just creates anxiety for me, slightly, so excitement topped with a little sprinkle of anxiety.  We found daycare.  It’s confirmed, the deposit has been submitted, and it’s a go.  I’ll start taking him in October a couple times a week so he can get used to her and the kids, and vice versa.  I’m excited that we found someone who I think will be really great.  I get nothing but good vibes.  My mama spidey senses are telling me great things.   Found her via Kijiji, but then a couple days later, Kyle came home with a phone number and name of a daycare provider someone he works with recommended.  Turns out it was the same one!   Talk about meant to be?  I’m thinkin’ so.

So as perfect timing goes, I can hear little noises coming from the bedroom down the hall.  They’re ‘puu’ ‘p’ noises.  That’s his favourite.  He’s telling me he’s up, and he’s telling me to get off my arse and go and get him, so that is exactly what I am going to do.  The post-nap and morning wakeup smiles are the best and get me charged up and ready to go for the day.  So sweet, so perfect, so cute.

June 27, 2011 at 12:01 pm Leave a comment

Day of the Dad.

I always knew Kyle would be an amazing father.  I had no doubt in my mind that he would nurture, care for, and love any new little being that entered our lives.  This became extremely apparent when we got Lily, and even moreso, of course, when our little man Cade was born.  Not only that, but his support to me as we were navigating the mostly beautiful but sometimes treacherous waters of parenthood – amazing and indescribable.  It’s just one teeny small gesture, but on this very day of the father, we made Kyle a lovely spinach & feta quiche, as well as a BBQ supper of steak, baked potato, broccoli and mushrooms and onions.  But the best thing?  This t-shirt that C and I crafted together, with Cade’s footprints, and an additional written piece stating “I let my son walk all over me!”

I don’t want to say Kyle is a very involved parent, he wouldn’t want me to say that either.  He doesn’t see it like that.  He sees it as he is being a parent, a father.  There’s no other way to describe it other than that.  There’s no sliding scale for him in terms of how involved he is.  Just like there isn’t for me, he would never say “she is a very involved mother” and so I’d rather not refer to him as that either.  He is an amazing dad and that is that.  He knows exactly how to soothe Cade (though sometimes, let’s face it, the boy needs some mama cuddles!) and he knows exactly what to do to make Cade smile and laugh.  I’m willing to bet Cade smiles and laughs more for his daddy than he does his mommy.  Little stinker.  I think Cade just bores of me, seeing me day after day, hour after hour, “Yawn, what a good nap… now just to wait for someone to come get me, OH, oh, you again.  Sigh.”

Cade, Lily and myself are all very extremely lucky beings to have Kyle in our lives.  Lily loves the walks and runs, Cade loves the cuddles, the dancing, and the love, and I love the support, the love, and yes, the cuddles.  I could go on and on, and luckily I’m in a good mood, because ya know what, things aren’t always hunky dory, things get crazy all up in here, and this mommy gets frustrated and upset with that amazing daddy that I just talked up.  It’s not always sunshine, and I might be a little worried if it was.  But as far as I’m concerned, the main thing is, we’ve got a solid foundation, a really strong base for our family.  I can’t wait for this little guy to grow up with such a strong, positive and nurturing daddy.  Happy Father’s Day Kyle, you are the bestest, the most amazing, and the silliest daddy ever.  Plus, you’re a great partner to have by MY side.  And you’re hot.  xoxo.  We love you daddy-o.

PS: Happy Father’s Day to all the awesome and loving dads in MY life – family-wise and friends-wise.  You are wicked.  I hope you got a little bit of special treatment today.  Love to you all!

June 19, 2011 at 11:04 pm Leave a comment

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