Monday, September 20, 2010

Full Circle

I wrote my first blog entry on Wednesday, September 17, 2008. I had just had my first miscarriage. It seems like it was so much longer ago than that. I re-read that post, and it seems like those feelings and that sadness happened longer ago than just two years.

Life is fast these days. There's a lot going on in this house with a husband, a cat, a two-month old and a three year old. Let's just say that trying to get my s**t together in time to get D to preschool by 9 am is not easy. Before I leave, I get myself showered and dressed, get D fed and dressed, E fed and dressed, make coffee for myself and attempt to find time to shove some food into my system, and I pump twice. I realize I don't really have to be showered to drop him off, but so far that's my goal.

Preschool has had a rocky start. D didn't cry when I dropped him off the first day, but cried multiple times that day after I left. Then the next two days, he cried bloody murder when I dropped him off, but didn't cry after that. On the bright side, he did NOT have to be potty trained, so that's one battle I don't have to fight. I *think* he's starting to like it better, so hopefully drop-off won't continue to be a battle.

This life is not always easy, but it's amazingly rewarding to look at my family and know how much love there is in this house. I wish I could go back to the me of my very first blog post and tell her that the road would be rocky, but it would all turn out okay.

Thank you all for telling me not to sweat the small stuff so much. In the end, it doesn't matter how long I breastfeed (which I'm still trying to do because I guess I'm a masochist.) It doesn't matter that my house isn't "company ready" at all times. It doesn't matter if I yell at D more than I would like, because at the end of the day, he knows that he's safe here, and he knows that I love him.

Full circle. From devastating loss to overwhelming love. I am so lucky.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Doctor's orders

Well, not exactly a REAL doctor's orders, but Dr. Google, anyway. Dr. Google tells me that I should try having a beer every day to increase my milk supply. Now THAT's advice that I can get behind! ;) Alternatively, I can use brewer's yeast. But really, isn't the beer more fun??

In all seriousness, I really did read that from several people, and since I'm not going to be in the mood for a beer every day for the next however long, I think I'll look for some brewer's yeast. And I might look for some of that reportedly nasty tasting Mother's milk tea to try. And maybe some blessed thistle, which I've read you're supposed to take with the Fenugreek. (Still taking 15 pills a day and STILL don't smell like maple syrup.)

So as you may have guessed, I'm still obsessing over breastfeeding.

I always said from the beginning that I would never change my diet to accommodate breastfeeding (if there was a problem, I would just formula feed.) Now I find myself wondering if caffeine or chocolate might be affecting E's tummy and whether I should try to cut down on my consumption of those things and see if it helps her to stop crying while I feed her.

I'm also trying to hold her in a more upright position when she eats by propping her up with my bent leg to see if that will help. Sometimes it help, sometimes not. I've noticed that sometimes she smells a little pukey even if she hasn't spit up, which makes me wonder if she has reflux after all.

Thank you all for your awesome comments on my last post. You're the best.

The fight continues. ;)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Maybe just a little longer

Fair warning... This is a "poor me" post, and I know that, so if you can't handle it, feel free to skip it.

I bought two more bottles of Fenugreek. They were buy one get one 50% off, so I kind of HAD to. (I'm a sucker for a good deal.) Honestly, I STILL don't smell like maple syrup, and I haven't noticed any difference in production really, but I keep hoping it might miraculously start to help.

After writing my last post I realized that I just wasn't ready to give up on nursing yet. I know a lot of it is hormone related, but I feel like a failure in so many ways these days that I just wasn't willing to be a failure at nursing so soon.

See, I feel like I'm failing my son. I'm not getting as much sleep as I need, so my temper is short. I feel like I yell at him all the time. He's SUCH a cheerful and good kid, and I sometimes feel like I'm expecting way too much from him. I'm completely stressed out because he's starting pre-school next week, and I think he's supposed to be in Pull-ups at least, and he hasn't even STARTED potty training. He's a smart kid, and I think he's mentally ready for it, but he's made a conscious decision to just say "Forget it. It's easier to poop in my diaper." I've been VERY laid back about potty training so far, offering the potty often, but waiting for him to take the lead. Honestly, I'm ready to stop changing his diapers. So ready. I mean, REALLY now. And I'm so worried that the pre-school will be like, "nope, he can't come until he's potty trained."

It also stresses me out when he doesn't take a nap, because see, I still need his nap time. I need some time without him. He is a chatterbox, which is endearing, but also starts to become endless after hearing hours and hours of the same things. He is also THREE as I may have mentioned before. Forget the terrible twos. Three is MUCH harder.

I just can't seem to get myself to relax and be a laid back mommy. Is it really that important for him to be eating with a fork and spoon consistently rather than his hands? Most of what he eats is finger food anyway. Is it really that big a deal that I have to prompt him to say "please" a lot of the time? I've had other Moms go out of their way to tell me that when he's at their houses, he's SO polite. It's just with me that he pushes the limits. I had more tolerance for repeating these things (i.e. "What do we say when we ask for something?") before E was born, but now that it seems like he's just not making any effort to change these things, it's really starting to wear on me, and I too often see a side of myself that I'm not proud of when I'm dealing with him.

I also used to be really good about making sure that D had a veggie with every meal. Lately he's been on a peanut butter kick. There have been days when he's had a bagel with peanut butter for breakfast, a piece of bread with peanut butter for lunch and pasta for dinner (plus some fruit thrown in during the day.) Again, I feel like I'm failing him in terms of nutrition.

Oh, and D needs a haircut too. Another failure. A good mother would find time / be brave enough to go with two children to get his hair cut. (Or she would be able to cut it herself without making it look like she cut it herself.)

I also look at my house and notice the dust under the sofas, and think about how I'm failing as a stay at home wife. Really, how hard is it to grab the Swiffer and clean under there?

And then there's my body image. After I had E, I lost all but 5 pounds of my baby weight in the first week, but now I've gained about 5 pounds back. Another failure. I'm nursing - isn't that the magic post partum diet?? I feel ugly and uncomfortable, and I can't comfortably wear most of my clothes anyway, because they're too cumbersome when I'm trying to breastfeed. I know when my snacking is emotional rather than hunger related, but I'm just not having an easy time saying no.

Then there's the breastfeeding. We're six weeks in as of yesterday. My nipples are much less sore than they were. E is a much better latcher than she was, but she's still a lazy nurser most of the time. I've been nursing her all day - all but one or two pumping sessions, and giving her formula at night to hopefully get her to sleep longer. I was feeling a little more relaxed with nursing for a while, but now I'm back to being stressed a lot of the time because E is yanking on my nipple and crying during her feedings. I'm guessing that it's a result of it being harder to get milk out of me than out of a bottle (in addition to the supply issue - that she's probably not getting much.) It's feeling like a cycle that I can't seem to break out of - She needs to nurse more so that my supply will go up, but she gets so frustrated trying to get the milk out that she doesn't want to nurse at all. But I'm still not ready to give up, and I'm just finding myself getting angrier (not sure if that's the right word - mayber sadder is really the word) that everything I'm doing just isn't making it work. Man do I wish she could talk...

I know, I know, I know it has a lot to do with hormones. I really do. I just wish I could convince myself that other moms yell at their kids about things that probably don't matter. That he won't need therapy when he's 18 because of being told, "D, don't touch that!" 8,000 times a day. That I'll be okay if I stop nursing, and I won't have a horrible ache inside for months, and tons of regret that I didn't try just a little harder. That I shouldn't compare myself to other nursing moms (nor allow myself to feel judged by them for my failures) because everyone's situation is different. That I'm not a failure as a human being just because my house isn't spotless. That I'm not a failure as a human being because I gained weight after losing it. That all these things will resolve themselves on their own once the stress level in my house decreases.

Yeah, if I could just believe those things, I guess life would be just about perfect.

(**On the bright side of things, E is thriving. At her one month appointment, she was two pounds heavier than her birth weight. She's generally a happy and content baby. She mostly cries when she needs something, and not just for the heck of it. She's smiling more consistently, and getting stronger all the time. She's very good at holding her head up, and her legs are very strong too. In spite of my feelings of failure, D seems to still be a happy kiddo even though he has to share the spotlight now. He has moments of sibling rivalry, but mostly I think we're doing a good job of giving him enough attention.)