Posts tagged ‘self-reflections’

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 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 3 Day 3

Three weeks down, six to go.  I am a third of the way done and I cannot believe it.  In six weeks, I apparently (I mean.. I WILL BE) jogging for 30 minutes straight.  I feel kind of like a liar when I call it the C25K, because I am definitely not walking/jogging 5km when I go out.  I mapped it out on Google maps and it’s about MAYBE 2km.   Ugh.  Made me feel like a bit of a shit when I first figured that out, but I (once again) reconfigured my thinking and reminded myself that it is not about distance right now, it is about completion, inner drive, and perseverance.  When I can run for 30 minutes straight, I’ll worry about distance then and achieving my absolute ‘distance goal.’

So day 3, when I finished it, I felt like gold.  And then I thought about what’s to come next week.  It’s so hard not to peek ahead and see what’s in store, but I did and I have been and I should really just QUIT THAT.  Next week it’s a lot more running and a heckuva lot less walking.  Can I run for 5 minutes straight?  Of course I can.  Just have to pace, pace, pace myself like no other.  I am constantly amazed by my breathing and my increased strength.  Every day it seems like the time required to catch my breaths in between runs is shorter and shorter and that just makes me happier and happier.

I can never remember what I’ve already blogged about, because I’m blogging so much about the program, but I have realized that I am absolutely a morning exerciser rather than an evening one.  I never thought I would be, but I am.  The key for me is just making sure I get to bed at a decent hour, which is difficult because the evenings are my relaxing time and our couple relaxing time.   But I’ve done the run in the morning and in the evening, and I’ve found I have way more energy in the mornings.  I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but I’m going to gradually have to start getting up earlier to do this so I can condition my body to get up early early (and I’m talking early) for when I’m back to work.

I’ve still got the runner’s high and addiction process going on, working itself through my body.  I cannot wait until Sunday.  I can’t wait until I finish the run and can have that “I did it” feeling again, because it blows me away.  As much as I like to think I can’t believe I’m doing it, in my heart, deep down, through all the nitty gritty can’ts and negative thought processes, I know I can do it, so it shouldn’t be that surprising.  Go me Go me Go me!   Talking to myself really helps when I’m feeling stuck in a rut like I can’t take one more step.  I tell myself out loud, GO, MOVE, GO FORWARD.  I picture my feet hitting the pavement, I picture the wind carrying me.  All these little things work for me.  I smile, and I carry on, and I try to figure out my breathing so I don’t feel all collapsey and such.  The power of the mind is amazing, let it guide you, let it take you where you want to, need to and CAN go.

June 24, 2011 at 10:53 am 4 comments

2/2 – The 2nd 3





I feel like I am going to put a big jinx on everything that we have accomplished up to this point by saying what I am going to say next, but because I am brave and courageous I am going to say it anyway: months 4, 5 and 6 were easy-peasy in comparison to the first 3.  Oh isn’t that lovely, just after I typed that, I heard a mysterious screaming noise coming from the boy’s room.  Lovely is right.  I have come to dread the evenings again, and we were doing so, so, so well.  Sigh.  And so we march on, and another hurdle we will conquer with our fists held high.

4 months old

I guess I shouldn’t say easy-peasy, as month 4 was still winding down from the chaos of the previous months.  Month 4 saw several 2am car rides as well, which were enjoyed by all, even Lily.  I have never seen someone get as pumped for a late night car ride as her.  Oh my babies.  Basically we spent the month of March attempting to level out the wild crying activeness of the boy, and eventually, they settled down.  Cade had his first ride on a Greyhound bus, which went off pretty smoothly, thankfully.  It was actually quite peaceful, just being able to chill out with him in a vehicle, pick him up if he needed soothing, and feed him as need be.

Month 5 saw big changes in regards to Cade’s motor abilities.   Our little baby who just looked around and took in all the new sights now started to physically take in all the new sights, wanting to grab at them and shove them in his mouth.  This happened more so towards the end of the month, and the middle of month 5 saw a huge milestone in the life of Cadester – he started sleeping in his crib at night and during the day for his naps.  One Saturday eve, when Kyle was at soccer, I was lying in bed with my boy attempting to watch some NetFlix and hopefully have him fall asleep next to me.  After 2 hours of him lying there, calm though, he still had not fallen asleep.  That should have been my cue to try the crib, but intead, we persevered and we both eventually dozed off.  The next night, I suggested to Kyle that we should give the crib a try.  We had tried dozens and dozens of times, but Cade was never ready and would scream bloody murder as soon as his head hit the crib, even if he was fast asleep when we put him down.  So, the night of March 20, we went about our evening routine, nurse, bottle, bath, book and bed.  We aimed for a bedtime of 8PM, hoping earlier would mean better chance of crib sleeping success.  Turns out, it may have.  We laid our little guy down, patted his bum, popped the soother in his mouth, and he drifted off.  An hour passed, and Kyle and I were amazed.  Another hour, and same thing.  Granted, we had to get up several times that night to pop the soother back in, he slept in his crib from 8pm – 8:30am, minus getting up to eat two times.   I was curious what the next day’s napping schedule would bring, but it went off without a hitch.  Our boy was READY!  And mama was sad, because it meant no more naptime cuddles or no more bedtime cuddles.  Well, at least not for a little while until he got used to the crib being his bed.  If he wouldn’t have been ready, we wouldn’t have pushed it, but I truly believe it was just ‘his time’ to sleep on his own.

5 months old

I must say that month 5 was full of big things for this little guy.  First off, he decided that everything he saw, he had to touch, attempt to grab, and then shove in his mouth.  This started earlier than month 5, but was really exacerbated in month 5 and taken to a whole new level, and this has just gotten progressively crazier.  I can barely drink a glass of water without him grabbing it out of my mouth and putting it up to his mouth.  Reason #5328573289572389 why I love my boy, because he is hilarious and persistent.  He fights for what he wants.  Atta boy.

Cade had his first taste of ‘solid’ (read: pureed) food on March 29, which was homemade pureed chicken.  Pretty sure more ended up on the bib, on his face, on his hands, and up his nose, than in his mouth, but it was fun and it went well.  He figured out pretty quickly how to open his mouth for the spoon, and in fact, wanted to do it himself, which I partially obliged to until he nearly shoved the spoon down his throat.  After the introduction of chicken went off without a hitch, we proceeded to make some more food and introduce slowly, allowing for a few days in between so as to notice any adverse reactions.  To date, Cade has tasted avocado (loves), sweet potato (loves), beef (meh), carrots (loves), rice cereal (likes quite a bit), banana (loves), as well as small tastes of apples and peaches from using his ‘safe mesh feeder’ where he just sucks on the fruits through a mesh cover, so he can taste the juices.

Delish

Cade had his first HUGE shopping trip over the Easter weekend in Edmonton.  I did not expect him to be the trooper that he was (I shouldn’t say that, he is an amazing little boy and I thought things would be ok, but I knew we would be going shopping crazy and I can’t even handle that let alone a 6 month old boy who needs naps and down time more than I do!) but he showed us all up and braved the 9 hour shopping day with all of us, Lily included, since she was puking the night before and the morning of, we didn’t want to leave her alone because we were worried.  So in her travel bag she went, and both the sibs got to hang out with us for the day, checkin’ out West Ed Mall, South Commons and Ikea.  Nine pure hours of shopping and Cadester barely fussed once.  I was seriously amazed but moreso I was proud of my little guy for being such a trooper.  He is a shopper at heart, oh yes he is. Kyle, look out, ’cause now you’ve got two of them.

Cade had his first swimming adventure at the beginning of April, when we went to the Shaw Centre with our little munchkin.  It was super fun, and so nice to be in water with my boys.  Water is so relaxing and so natural, and Cade seemed so comfortable being in it.  He loves his baths, so it only made sense.  He wasn’t a huge fan of the kiddie pool, I think because it was a bit chilly, but he absolutely loved the family hot tub, which was set to bath water temperature, and had jets.   What can I say, I loved it too.

Waterbaby

The relationship between Cade and Lily has just continued to grow and grow.  He watches her everywhere she goes, every move she makes, and she is pretty actively into what he’s doing too, but mostly I think because she knows that his spit up makes for good treats for her.  Yup, I know, its not the most pleasant thing ever, but it’s pretty funny.  Lily has come to recognize when we start burping him, that his burps often mean spit up will come, and she is on her toes.  He gives her treats and and he doesn’t even know it.  However, while she loves his spit up, she is not the biggest fan of his grab & ingest behaviours.  She has figured out how to dodge his flailing arms and legs so she doesn’t get booted or grabbed.  The other day, Cade actually got a good grab of Lily’s fur, and while she frantically tried to get away, he pulled tighter, and the menace-like grin and laugh on his face got brighter.  It was quite hilarious, though I felt bad for the little gal.  Once Cade is an appropraite age, I’m excited to teach him how to treat animals and what the correct way to engage with them is.

Besties

In April, we made the decision to switch to cloth diapers, based on environmental impact, chemicals in the diapers, as well as finances.  We’re still using disposables as we’re building up our stash of pocket diapers (we’re at 16 now, woo, with 2 diapers from eBay enroute).  Soon, we’ll be able to mostly use cloth, with a few disposables here and there, and do laundry every 2 or 3 days.  We purchased a couple different brands to try, and have purchased a few of one particular brand that we like.  They are so darn cute, and we really feel a lot better about having our babe’s bum draped in chemical-less cloth diapers, and in turn, not throwing out a bajillion diapers that will sit in the landfills.  We’re leaving a legacy behind for our little boy and his grandchildren and so on, I guess you could say.

                                                                                    

Clothbum

6 months old

Month 6 has seen Cade develop a growing disinterest in nursing, except for his middle of the night feeds where when Kyle is prepping a bottle, I breast feed my boy.  I am not sure what it is, actually scratch that, I am the mama, I am pretty sure I know what it is, but can’t quite pinpoint exactly what it is.  I think it’s more of a combo deal, he knows he gets the bulk of his nourishment via the bottle, which comes out faster, he gets distracted when nursing, and since it’s not constant, fast flow of milk, he is more likely to turn into wandering eyes. 

So 6 months, eh?  Where did the time go, I have no idea.  I couldn’t tell you.  I guess we were busy, though some days I feel like we just did the same thing as the previous thousand days.  It’s all good though, because if I had to choose between doing the same thing over and over by myself or with my babies, I would obviously choose with my babies.  I cannot even verbalize how much I love my boy and how much he has changed my life for the better.  The photo above is one of my favourites, taken today.  It speaks so clearly about our family.  There you have Kyle and I smiling at our boy, who is grabbing for my glasses and Lily, simultaneously, while Lily is barely hanging on, trying to escape from the Wrath of Cade.  I love us and I love what tomorrow will bring.  Happy 6 months, my boy, you are beautiful.  xoxo.

These are a few of Cade’s favourite things…

Month 4

  • Sucking thumb and fingers
  • Rolling over from tummy to back
  • Chillin’ out in my Ergo baby carrier

16 lbs 8 ounces

Month 5

  • Chewing his feet, fingers, toes, and virtually anything he can get his hands on
  • Sofie the Giraffe and Lily are probably his besties
  • Loves his Lamby lovey and Sleep Sheep, they are his sleep companions that replaced mama and dad
  • Solid foods!  Chicken, avocado, rice cereal, sweet potato…

18ish lbs

Month 6

  • Solid foods, more n more… beef, carrots, banana
  • Being busy and never ever sitting still, that is my boy’s main motive right  now
  • Jumping jumping and jumping in his ‘jumperoo’, related to the need to mov
  • Non-stop til-you-drop shopping (okay, maybe not his favourite thing, but he was a trooper, so it kinda counts)

19 lbs 8 ounces and 26 inches

May 3, 2011 at 10:42 pm 2 comments

1/2 – The 1st 3



The first three months of Cade’s life were probably the hardest, most emotionally and physically draining months of my life.  I can’t imagine they were a walk in the park for Cade, either.  I think he struggled immensely with the 4th trimester, and I don’t think my little monkey really loved being apart from this mama.  I don’t blame him, would you?  Cozy, warm, serene, aquatic, and constant nourishment vs. cold, noisy, bright, and a fight to feed.  Take your pick.

Not even 24 hours old

Month 1 was full of excitement and disappointment.  As I’ve been very open about my breastfeeding struggles, that’s where the disappointment enters the picture.  We struggled and struggled, and we tried and tried.  We also persevered, despite an extreme amount of tears, anxiety, and at times, stress.  We battled with silly nursing aids, tubes, syringes, herbs, and medication.  We fought sleep so we could feed constantly.  We had wars with the breast pump that was just oh so mechanical.  In the end, it was far too much, and we switched to a new routine of a nursing session and then a bottle session.  It worked and it’s still working, though my sadness is again coming back for a visit as I sense my boy self-weaning.  That’s another story for another day, though.  Don’t want to get too sad all up in here.

The first 4 days were rough.  My boy was being starved and we didn’t even know it.  Well we did, we knew something was up, and eventually pinpointed it after my boy had lost a ton of weight, did not produce the appropriate wet and dirty diapers, and came down with a nasty case of jaundice.  At that point we had to introduce formula, which was my worst enemy turned… simply just enemy.  We have a love/hate relationship.  My boy was losing weight and was extremely hungry despite constant feeding, so formula was the better option out of starve or formula.  Once he began an appropriate intake of calories, he was happier and did not scream for all hours of the night, every night.  Thank goodness.  I really should have kept track of how much sleep we actually got in those first few days (or weeks, months, even), because I know it was minimal.  There were days where I wondered how we’d survive, and looking back, I’m so proud of all of us for making it through, but mostly Cade.  My little boy persevered, grew, and has kept on growing into such a very content and happy, though sometimes very serious, little man.

Cade loved being swaddled in the first couple of months.  It came down to being the only way he’d sleep, and eventually, one of the only ways he’d sleep.  The other way?  In The Arms.  He was an arms sleeper for probably close to 3 months.  An arms napper and an arms night sleeper.  This made for a very tied down mama and a very tied down daddy.  But even better, it made for a very happy and very secure and loving little boy.  And that’s what really matters when it all comes down to it.  We co-slept from the time Cade was about 6 weeks old up until March 30, so just over 4 months old.  It worked for us – it wasn’t our first plan, but now, I am so glad we did it, and I miss the days of snuggling with my boy.  (Since he’s come down with another cold, the first of which he caught when he was a tiny 5 weeks old, we’ve been doing a lot more snuggling in this household, of which none of us mind one bit.)

1 month old

Cade’s first smile came on December 2, the day before he was 1 month old.  It was not even 7am, and Cade was lying happily in his crib after a feed and a change.  My mom and I were talking to him and he flashed us the most precious little smile ever, he just beamed, which of course made us extremely giddy with delight.  I quickly ran and woke Kyle up, but of course, as Murphy’s Law always wins, when he came to wait for another smile from our little monkey, Cade decided smile time was over.  Sigh.

Cade’s first ‘roll-over’ from tummy to back was on December 27.  Kyle and I witnessed it and of course cheered like it was the greatest thing that we had just witnessed (which at the time, it certainly was.)  After that, he didn’t roll over for a really long time, probably until about 4 months old when he started rolling over lots.  Another milestone for the boy was when he started to ‘talk’ a lot, which was at about 3 months old.  He coo’ed and “yelled”, particularly when he was hungry or tired, he was sure to let us know.  He also would smile tons at his polka dot decals that were above his change table.  He LOVED them and was always looking at them, smiling at them, and occasionally he would “give them a talking to.”

2 months old

Cade and I spent most of our days chilling out at home, since it was often too cold to go for walks.  You know, Saskatchewan winters and all.  We did a lot of playing, a lot of cuddling, and a lot of talking.  We also listened to music every single day, because who wants to watch crappy daytime TV when you can listen to shitty hip hop?  Does it get any better than that?  Oh, I also should mention we did a lot of socializing, and still do.  Being that I’ve got… 2 hands full of mama friends on maternity leave with me, we’re kept busy.  We’ve done lunch dates, coffee dates, “play” (read: mamas talk and babies chill out, mostly sleep) dates, and we also took a ‘Stroller Fitness’ class at the Field House in January, which was super fun, despite Cade’s consistent screaming fits, which resulted in me using our trusty and awesome wrap to participate that way.  We were both much, much happier.  And I was able to keep my sanity!

Starting in January, shortly after Cade was 2 months old, we started a ritual of super late night car rides.  Like, I’m talking at times, 2am car rides.  It was sometimes our only break from screaming, our only chance to talk to one another without Cade crying in between us.  We’d grab a tea and a hot chocolate from TH’s and cruise the quiet city.  It was relaxing, though I have no idea how Kyle managed to do that and get up at 7am for work (luckily since Cade was up all hours, he’d sleep in, and so I did too).  We tried everything to try and combat cryfest 2011.  We switched to lactose free formula and a lactose-free diet for yours truly, we used probiotic drops (BioGaia, I think it actually may have helped), and we also did a nice swaddle-soother-side position-shh’ing white noise-swinging/rocking combination for sleep, which also helped our little one not get so riled up.

January was a tough one, as it often is in terms of anxiety and depression due to horrid temperatures, however, that was coupled with a colicy babe, and a perineum that didn’t want to heal.  It made for a sad and emotionally fragile mama, though with a lot of talking, reading, and writing, those days are mostly behind us.  I cannot believe my little boy is so happy and content.  There were days where I thought, alright, I’ve got a miserable little guy forever, let’s do this.  Fortunately and thankfully I was so wrong and I’m so glad for that.  I have got nothing but a happy little guy.  Heck, he smiles and jumps even when he’s sick.  I can’t top that.  The 5th trimester (‘cept, not really, because it was much smoother) was just that – progressively got easier, less cry-y, and happier overall.  We even got a chance to breathe a couple times!

3 months old

Cade and I are super thankful to our friends and family because they are amazing and helped us to trudge through some of the roughness of the first three months.  We probably only would have scraped by if not for them, but instead, we passed with flying colours.  A support system is a must, people.  I really am clueless how single folks do it, or folks who’ve got simply, no one.  I mean, they do it, and I really ought to give credit where credit is due – PARENTS ARE AWESOME PEOPLE!  They (we) are amazing and we can learn so much and thrive in times of madness, who would’ve thought?

These are a few of Cade’s favourite things…

Month 1:

  • Swaddling, warmth and cuddles
  • Sleeping and eating
  • Music, car rides, and movement
  • Following objects with his eyes

8 lbs 3 ounces

Month 2

  • Sleeping with mommy and daddy
  • The froggy position against mommy or daddy’s chest
  • Car rides, rocking, movement and cuddles
  • The decals on his walls, Lily, and his play mat

12 lbs 13 ounces and 23 inches long

Month 3

  • Strong neck and head support
  • Looking around and checking everything out
  • Eating, eating and more eating
  • 2am car rides to combat non-stop cry fest 2011
  • Sleep Sheep white noise ‘machine’
  • 70’s music station on Galaxie
  • Sleeping only with mama or dad, and napping only with mama or dad

14 lbs

Besties from day 1 (this picture was taken at about 5am)

May 2, 2011 at 11:55 pm Leave a comment

Mamabear.

I am planning a big whoppin’ six month summary post of my boy’s first half of a year journey into Tangible Life.  I’m thinking it may be an emotional one for me to write and reflect on, because I simply cannot believe this little monkey is growing into a boy who responds to goofiness, totally knows who mama and daddy are and again, responds accordingly, and also, who has such clearly defined likes and dislikes.  He is being shaped, he is constantly developing as an individual, and while he is still a baby, he is not a teeny, fragile newborn who needs his head supported.  You try supportin’ my boy’s head and he contorts and twists and squirms because he just wants to GO.

Almost every day I remind myself that I am a mom.  It’s not that I forget, but it’s that I have to remind myself because, at least to some extent, I am still in shock that we created a beautiful life, a life who has thrived from day one, a life who has made me proud, who has played a part in shaping me into the woman I am today.  No one could have prepared me for what pregnancy, birthing, and subsequently becoming a parent have been about, and I appreciate that.

I appreciate that it has been at times a rough journey, at times a journey that I never thought I would make it through.

I appreciate that this has helped me to become a survivor of my own story and experiences no matter what they are.

I appreciate that I have shed an amazing amount of tears, an amount that I didn’t think my body could create.

I appreciate that my muscles have grown as my boy grows and never thought lifting 20 lbs could be so easy.

I appreciate that I have never felt closer to my family or my friends and truly feel an indescribable connection to them.

I appreciate that while I may not have been able to fully breastfeed the boy, I have been able to provide him with as much of my breast milk that has been physiologically possible, and that we have created a routine, a breastfeeding relationship, based on what my body can and has given him up until this point, and also, that as a result of establishing and coming to terms with a routine that works for us, my boy no longer has to deal with a crying and emotionally drained mama at each feed.

I appreciate that I am now a pregnancy and birth junkie and am slightly addicted to reading birth and mama blogs and envisioning how my next birth experience will go.

I appreciate how while there are certain aspects of my birth story that, looking back on, I would know to do differently next time, I would not change a thing, because everything that happened resulted in the birth of my amazing and beautiful boy, and the flowering and growing of my relationship with my husband.

I appreciate that on top of all the rough moments, the non-stop 4am crying sessions, the nursing troubles, my boy is healthy as can be, and at nearly 6 months old and nearly 20 lbs, that speaks for itself.

I appreciate that I was able to feel comfortable with my body to do what it needed to do, and, albeit needing a little bit of, er, medical assistance what with the induction and all, I trusted myself and I felt comfortable in my body to labour and experience intense rushes and waves which resulted in the amazing birth of the boy.

I appreciate that I have never felt as assertive as I do now, but not so much so that I have crossed the line of being able to be respectful, because I think respect is one of the most important lessons I can teach my son.

I appreciate that Kyle and I are individuals and have our own beliefs and personalities and as a result, will be genuine role models to Cade, in hopes that he too will express himself in such a way.

To sum up the past 6 months before I properly reflect, it has been the most trying, sleepless, tearful, emotional, happy and beautiful months of my life.  I have never experienced such highs or lows, and I have never been so happy to say the same.

April 28, 2011 at 11:09 pm 1 comment

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