Posts tagged ‘life’

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

C25K: Week 9 Day 1

We’re in the final stretch now and it feels OH. SO. GOOD.

I’ve been saying and thinking “I’m doing this! I’m doing this!” all along, and pretty soon I can say “I DID IT!” and do you know how friggin’ good that feels?  Conquering a fear, something I told myself I couldn’t do, and instead, went on to prove myself, and I’m sure many other naysayers wrong?  Shit yeah!  I belong in some kind of new club or something now.  I feel like when I see people running, and I’m just out for a leisurely walk, I want to yell out, “I can do that too!  I’m just not doing it right now.”  

I did my first run of the last week on a treadmill, because by the time I got my butt in gear to go, it was way too flippin’ hot and I didn’t want to battle heat exhaustion like last time I decided it was an amazing idea to git’er done in the sun.  I don’t know my exact distance, because the treadmill kept turning off whenever I’d switch the fan on, but I THINK it was almost 3 miles, which is aaaaaaaawesome for me, best yet.  There was a time where I had the speed set to 5.5 mph!  But my average was about 5.0 mph, which is still a huge step.  The only other time I ran on a treadmill, I was running at about 4.3 mph, and that was week 6 day 3 I think?  We’re making headway, oh yes we are.

My weight loss is at about 10 lbs, I think I’ve posted that before, but even more awesome is my energy level has increased and I am very aware of that.  My clothes are fitting looser, and I feel like I “take up less space” than I did before.  I am learning to love my body again, but we’ve still got some work to do.  I went through a nasty phase when I was a few months post-partum.  It was hard and difficult and… interesting, because I had worked so long to come to a sort of peace with my body and its “imperfections.”  So when my mind came crashing down and tried to tell me to hate on myself, I sort of listened to it at times, and we were not in a happy place as much as we should’ve been.  But we’re getting there!  We’re working on it, and there are so many contributing factors, including… my happy pills (Vitamin D and Omega 3’s), sunshine, exercise, well-balanced diet and treating myself one day a week, and most of all, my fricken’ awesome little family and life I’ve got going on here.  I’ve got to do a lot of reminders, daily almost, because I see things I don’t have but desperately want, and then I start to feel like a little kid and am sad that I can’t have such and such.  That’s when I have to take a tiny little step out of my mind, look at what I’ve got, as cliche as maybe it sounds, and re-evaluate.  We do that a lot lately.

I’m trying to think of a way to treat myself after I finish this program.  One thing I am doing is going out with a couple of my besties on Thursday.  I don’t do it very often so that will be a huge treat, however, I’d like to personally reward myself with something.  It’s hard when money is tight, so it can’t be anything too extravagant, and I don’t necessarily want it to be something food-related either.   Anyone have any ideas?   I’d love to buy myself a brand spankin’ new pair of awesome, pro-fitted runners, because I know that I need them to avoid potential injury, but I’d be looking at about a hundred dollar bill there.  We’ll see.  I haven’t bought myself new running shoes for about… 3 years, so, yeah, it’s probably really bad that I’m running in these ones, but they are in decent shape.  Still though, I need to get in on the shoe market SOON before I smash my feet all up.  So throw your ideas at me and we’ll see what we can do.

Oh and totally not C25K related, but I’m taking on a little project and I’m having a lot of fun with it.   I’m now an Admin on the Facebook page for The Birthing Site.  It’s awesome, informative, and fun.  I love to support amazing people as they go through an amazing stage in their life, and I am learning a lot.  You should come check it out.  You don’t have to agree with all of the articles posted, or links, or what have you.  We are welcoming of ALL birthing experiences, not just “natural”.  The main thing is we encourage woman to be educated about what ALL of their options may be, so they can make the right choice for THEM, which may not be the right choice for anyone else, but that’s not the important thing.  Come and say hello!

August 2, 2011 at 12:09 am 4 comments

C25K: Week 8 Day 3

Woop!  Killed it this time instead of just mildly torturing it.

(Oh! I want to link to this article comparing breastfeeding to running.  I’ve linked it before but it’s friggin’ awesome hence the double link.  Enjoy.)

I killed it in terms of pace, speed and challenge, but I did not kill it in terms of distance.  In fact, I have taken a few steps backwards when it comes to distance, but only for this one run, and I THINK it’s because I tackled a MASSIVE hill, I ran at a very very intense incline for probably about 6 blocks.  It was hard, it slowed me down to no end, and there were many-a-time where I thought I should stop and walk the hill, then give’r the rest of the way, but not once did I stop, not once did I let my negativity overcome my abilities, because I knew that it was there.

I ran down to the river tonight and along the river for only a slight bit, and then back home.  It’s funny how I can always time my runs so that I am arriving home just as the run should be done.  I guess I’ve been running around this neighbourhood for the last 8 weeks so I’ve got a pretty good grip on how long it takes to get from point A to point B.  I am SOOOOOOO excited to start week 9 because I KNOW THAT I CAN TACKLE IT, ROUGH HOUSE IT, and MAKE IT!  And that just makes me so astoundingly happy.  Two more minutes of running than what I’ve been doing?  Piece of cake.  I’ve got this, baby, I’VE. GOT. THIS.

Whenever I see other people running, I feel like we are in a bit of a secret club and we can connect on a level unheard of.  It’s a neat feeling and I feel good to be part of ‘that group’, or clique, really.  Grade 8, how I’ve missed thee.  And this is totally egotistical and actually I am wondering if I should even put this anyway but I’m going to because I know deep down that I am not an egotistical selfish person, and I hope you know that too, so… here goes.  Sometimes when I see people running intervals, like they are just starting out a program, or doing a different kind of running program, I VERY SECRETLY (not so much anymore, sigh) think to myself, maybe they read my blog, and maybe I inspired them, and maybe they’re doing the C25K challenge and secretly following along on my blog!  YAY.  Likely NOT but it’s fun to think that and it gives me a jump in my step.

Since we’re divulging, I’m going to divulge something to y’all that makes me feel like a big whopping loser but that’s okay.  I think I did so well tonight at running because I was totally using it as a therapy tool.  A couple hours prior I had a meltdown on the phone with the National Student Loans Service Centre.  Like, I’m talking a breakdown.  I’m kind of embarassed and I’m willing to bet I was the girl they talked about after we hung up the phone.  Ugh.  Since I’ve been on maternity leave I have readjusted my loan so that I only have to make interest payments.  I initially wanted to do repayment assistance where the government would help me, but our income was above the limit for that.   That was stressful, because they have super strict dates and things you have to do and if you don’t get it in RIGHT on that date, it’s kibashed, but yet you still have to wait for pay stubs, information saying how much you make, etc., and if you don’t have it by that date, kaboom, done.  I kind of got the runaround with that so needless to say whenever Student Loans comes into the picture I have a mild panic attack.  I got a letter in the mail saying my account was SERIOUSLY PAST DUE and I owed like, $3000 or something, and my account was negatively affecting my credit.  I was ultra confused because I HAD made the payments that I was required, however, they had sent a letter with my revision of terms that I was supposed to sign and return by a certain date (aforementioned STRICT DATE) and since I didn’t, blam, all done, things got f’ed over and cancelled.  I DIDN’T GET THE LETTER.  So I started crying on the phone.  To the poor lady at the student loans centre.  Whom I said “Just listen to me PLEASE! I keep getting screwed over! I am so confused, please just listen to me explain this, *sob sob sob sob*”  Like I said, UGH.   This is what pregnancy and motherhood hormones do to us!  So long story short, I’m kind of a loser, it’s all figured out now and all is well and I don’t owe $3000 after all (good grief, thank goodness), and I took out my lameness on my run hence the awesomness.  The end.

Week 9, you’re on baby, YOU ARE ON.  I’m pumped.  Cue Rocky theme song music here.

July 29, 2011 at 2:39 pm 2 comments

C25K: Week 8 Day 2

Well my friends, we’re nearly there, and this run was a bit of a downer.  I shouldn’t say that, but it was rough.  I did the same route I did on my 25 minute run, and only increased the run by about 2 blocks, which I know is better than nil.  Especially considering the circumstances surrounding this run.   I had about 4 hours of sleep the night before, due to Cade having a super rough night, likely due to sprouting 2 teeth in 2 days.  I did my run not even 30 minutes after I ate supper.  We actually attempted to go before supper, but 2 minutes after going out the door there was a MASSIVE down pour that would’ve drenched us in a block, so needless to say, the Lil’ster and I turned around.  We had to rescue the diapers too because they were outside “drying.”  Yes.  Drying.  In a downpour.  Makes so much sense.

So we pushed on, and right from the beginning, I had a terrible negative mindset that rushed over me and tried to dominate the run.  I confess, I totally almost let it.  I was going to let it run me over, and then I would just run the next morning, however, I conquered thee and pushed on, pushed past it.  I had to.  I couldn’t let myself NOT do it because deep down inside the sometimes super nasty discouraging but mostly encouraging motivating depths of my soul, I knew that I. COULD. DO. IT.  And I so did.  I wouldn’t say I killed it, like I killed day 1, but I, err…. slaughtered it.  It just didn’t die.  (Oh my god, that’s so morbid.  I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry.)

One thing that is really shocking me about the C25K program is that I am still enthused about it, enthralled with it really, and excited and anxious to take on each new week, each new run.  I think because it constantly keeps me motivated and believing in myself.  And I’ve said it before (honestly, the C25K people should like, pay me for all this advertising ;) but the program is so do-able and SO challenging that it doesn’t get boring at all, it doesn’t get too hard that you get discouraged, but it stays consistently challenging so that you are always pushing yourself, taking your self and the beliefs about yourself to new levels, new heights, really.  That’s the best thing about it.

I’ve lost between 8-10 lbs, depending on the day and when I weigh myself.  I’m pretty stoked about that actually.  Running is a thinning agent, I guess?  I’ve totally readjusted my eating habits too (still have to blog about my issues with food, NOTE TO SELF!) and I think that absolutely helps.  What’s the percentage of importance placed on diet and exercise in terms of weight loss?  I heard 20/80 or something, but every resource tells you different things.

Some of my favourite things to eat right now are: quinoa mixed with a bit of olive oil, red onion and feta (OMGOMG), tuna wraps on those fancy shmancy lettuce leaf wraps, so light, fresh and tasty (this ain’t your regular tuna wrap, I’m talking sri racha sauce, light mayo, light ranch, celery, onions, cucumbers, red/green/yellow peppers, tomato, mushrooms, sprouts, pickles, light cheddar cheese), chicken/spinach/strawberry/red onion/feta salad with Fig Balsamic dressing (so sweet, smooth and that bit of bite from the balsamic).  Every day I have a 1 litre water bottle that I typically fill up about 3 times.  I think that has totally aided the weight loss process too, as I am ensuring that I am sufficiently hydrated each and every day, and it makes it easier when I don’t have to be running to the fridge a million times a day, because a girl gets lazy, you see.

So to end fitness blog with Trista day 235135, I want to say, thank you to all for encouraging me and supporting me in this journey.  It’s an amazing one that is almost (sadly (!?)) done, but not complete.  It has merely opened up many more doors for me, for my family, and for that I am eternally grateful.  4 more runs to go!  I will see YOU on the finish line.  And you, too. <3

July 27, 2011 at 10:42 pm 4 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 7 Day 2

It’s true what they say, better late than never.  My running schedule is a bit wonky this week, but I managed to squeeze my run in this afternoon, in the blazing wind.  I ran mostly against the wind, a 40km/h wind, might I casually add.  It was intense and I am glad to say I have braved nearly all of the elements and scaled those elemental walls indeed.  Rain, check.  Scorching heat, check.  Wind, check.  I loved running in the rain.  I hated running in the heat.  And I didn’t mind running in the wind.  That heat from Sunday knocked me on my ass for a couple days, and I was struggling with the consequences on Sunday and Monday.

My run today was about 4km, and I took a new route, which is always fun.  I need to keep things fresh so my head can stay clear, I can feel it’s a challenge, and I am not mentally calculating in my head how far I’ve gone, but mostly, how far I have yet to go.  I ran to teen pop music today, the likes of BSB, N*SYNC, 5ive, and Britney Spears, and again, it was awesome and amazing.  I feel like I can conquer the world because I tackled the years where those groups defined my days, and if I made it through that, well, surely I can make it through anything.  Birthing and teen pop, oh how they have transformed my days.

Once again, the unbelievable has happened.  I surprised myself by feeling like this run was more bearable than the previous day’s.  I never would have thought this would happen.  Shit, I never would have thought I would be running for 90 seconds straight, then 3 minutes, then 5, then 8, then 20, and now 25.  I can only go up from here, I think, and I am prepared.  Any time I feel a bit of a kink my stride, a pain in my shin, a muscle twinge in my side, I get a tiny feeling of disappointment, because I think that it is going to offset my game, this awesome thing I’ve got going on.  But it hasn’t yet.  They are minor bumps, tiny little speed bumps that we zoom over.

Kyle is sick with a cold right now, and so I’m on my own with this one.  The last run he did was Week 6 Day 3, and he had to cut it short due to some achilles trouble.  He’s been icing, resting, and…. NOT doing recommended exercises to ease the ailment!  Yikes.  Note to Kyle: exercise, stretch, and rejuvenate your achilles so you can join me on the awesome bandwagon and feel better.   On the upside, I’ve got several people in my life who are extremely supportive of this program and me doing it, and a lot of those people are doing the program as well, which is all kinds of fabulous.  Every couple of days, we’re shooting off text messages back and forth, checking each other’s progress, cheering each other on, and basically proclaiming how amazing we are doing.  Yes, it’s like that, and yes, I went there.  It just feels so good.  And what feels even better, is knowing that I am SEVEN runs away from being done this program and I KNOW I can complete it, assuming everything continues to go as planned and I don’t end up on my ass with an injury.  It would be too much of a coincidence if that happened, since I blogged about it?  Right?  Please validate that for me because now I’m paranoid that I’ll wake up in the morning all runned out.  Now THAT would be too much of a coincidence for sure.  I think we’re clear.

How are you all doing?  I just want to extend a huge THANK YOU to everyone that has said any nice word to me in terms of running, sticking with this program, and being active.   I can’t thank you enough for the support, my gratitude goes on for miles and miles.  <3 to you all, my friends.  Oh, and I promise, within the next couple of days I will blog about something non-C25K related.  I promise.

July 20, 2011 at 10:56 pm Leave a comment

C25K: Week 7 Day 1

I feel like it was yesterday that I was titling a post C25K: The Night Before and here I am, already completed 1/3 of week 7.  So insane.  So nuts.  Who woulda thought?   I talked about hoping for the runner’s high (CHECK), being able to do the runs (CHECK), and believing in myself (CHECK).  I think I’m doing pretty good, if I may say so myself.

The one thing I haven’t been doing is strength training on the off days, unless you count lifting up the boy.  He’s a mighty weight that’s for certain, but I’m almost used to the 24 lbs of weight that he is, and so now it’s just something that we do, not any type of ‘strength training.’  Though the tosses and bumps up in the air might account for some training.  Damn, that is hard, and of course it is one of the things he loves the most.

So, week 7, day 1.  I went this morning at 11am and a few minutes into the run portion of the workout, I mentally kicked myself in the ass.  It was HOT, so hot, scorching really.  There was barely a breeze, so I didn’t even have that whole wind in my face thing.  Right now it’s 27 and 31 with the humidex.  I’m fairly certain it was around there at 11.  Brutal, but I did it.  Didn’t stop once either.  I blow myself away every time, because so much about this is mental self-control.  I am training my brain and my body, and they are training me.  It blows me away that I can have so much control and when my mind is telling me I probably should take a break, I tell it to piss off and keep on trucking.  Granted, I slow down a tad, to a very slow crawl-like jog, but I keep going and pressing forward.  Not once have I listened to the negative thoughts and I am proud to say I am putting them where they belong.  On the pavement.  Under my feet.  Stomping on them loudly and proudly as I press on.

The most awesome part of my run today, was that I increased my distance from 3.86 km to 4.3 km.  It was in 35 minutes rather than 30, and was not 5 km, but I increased my distance slightly and for that I am a very happy mama.  At this rate it will still take me about 42 minutes to do a 5k, but it’s coming.  Kyle is trying to encourage me to run a 5k in the fall, but I’m very nervous.  My whole thing is that I don’t want to come in last place.  I actually looked up the results from the Mogathon 5k, and if I would’ve ran in it, I would’ve been probably about fourth last.  I know it doesn’t matter.  It has no bearing on anything at all, and the fact that I would and COULD finish a 5k, is what counts, and blows me away.  I just need to overcome that obstacle, that fear, like I’ve overcome the others.  Shit, 7 weeks ago when I started week 1, I took ALL the side streets, weaving in and out of them, having a VERY VERY mild panic moment when I would have to run on a busier street.  Today, I took only main streets and didn’t give two shits.   People in cars looked at me, some smiled.  I told myself they smiled because hell, it’s hot, and that girl is out there running with her dog.  Go her.

When I got home from the run, I was right done.  When I stopped running and did my cool-down walk, I was right done.  I felt pretty nauseous, and might have to invest in a contraption to carry a water bottle, or something to have it dangle from Lily’s leash.  I can NOT jog in the heat of the day anymore, it kills me.  7am jogs, how I miss you, we need to become besties again.  I listened to some old school hip hop/rap podcast from kissmyblackass.org, and it was pretty solid.  Kept me going.  However, I felt a little crappy when she chimed in for an update and for sure I thought she was going to say I was half way done, but no, I was only EIGHT MINUTES IN.  Are you KIDDING ME?  Brutal.  I tried to paint that smile back on my face so I could muster the strength to continue.  It worked and off we went.

While it was hard as hell and this is still extremely challenging, I am feeling at peace with myself and with the program.  I’m down about 6.5 lbs and I feel like a million bucks.  I feel like now I know I for SURE can run 25 minutes straight because I’ve done it twice, that next week when I add on 3 more minutes, what’s 3 more minutes?  Probably brutal, is what 3 more minutes is, but I know I can do it.  Less than 3 weeks and I will be blogging about finishing the program.  I can’t even believe it, can you?

Looking forward to hearing your C25K updates, or whatever journey you’re on.  We all have our experiences, our stories, and I love to hear about each and every one of them.  Have at ‘er!

July 17, 2011 at 4:16 pm 3 comments

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