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SuppleMANtal Nursing System

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When Mom’s away…

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Gettin’ Crunchy

No, I’m not eating granola right now (although I do).

This mama is gettin’ crunchy.

My brother and I, as I may have mentioned, were born in the early 80s. Like many awesome 80s kids, we were cloth diapered. My parents lived in eastern Pennsylvania, and a diaper service came to our house. Prefolds were the only choice back then. My mother had all sorts of pins. She told me each liner came freshly deodorized and pins were even themed at times. Disposable
diapers weren’t as reliable as they were today, and my mother never used them unless they were traveling. Pampers used to leak, which is pretty shocking, considered both my babies wore them until the started to really flip around. Then, it was Huggies, and eventually for A1, the famous Pull-Ups.

Cloth diapering is making a comeback. It’s economical, better for diaper rash, greener, and fashionable. Some of these diapers are the cutest things I’ve ever seen! Now, all someone has to do is put Elmo on some trainers for A1, and we’re in business.

Gone are the days of using traditional pins. Many pocket diapers have snap or hook closures. You can even use these neat devices called Snappis. They have teeth-like grips on either side to hold the diaper in place. As the name suggests, inserts are placed inside, whereas the prefolds are already outfitted with these. The flat variety is very much alive, too.

I decided to try some. I just ordered two from Lovely Pocket Diapers. I hope that I love them as much as many other mothers have. I will definitely keep everyone posted.

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Diapers suck.

I’ve been changing diapers for two and half years, perhaps not as long as some; however, when you wake up to a toddler’s pee soaked sheet and pajamas every day, you get sick of it real quick.

Let’s also mention that I change a nine month old’s diaper all day long. My other favorite task is emptying out diaper pails Fucking Disgusting!

The difference between today and yesterday is both kids peed through their clothing and A1 chose to grab her bath crayons off the dresser, scribbling all over a white sheet…that I just changed yesterday. Thanks a lot, small fry.

You may have seen from previous entries that my attempts to potty train her weren’t successful. She never stays on the toilet. She runs around bottomless and pees on the floor.

You can also factor in an infant who won’t freaking sleep train at all.

48 hours of suck.

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Watch Out for That Toy!

My brother and I had plenty of toys when we were kids. In fact, I enjoy going on eBay and browsing through the 80s and 90s toys that shaped my childhood. According to my mother, my grandparents would say (jokingly, of course) that it looked like a toy store. I wonder what they would say about my house.

We could open a toy store—yesterday.

I’m glad the kids have plenty of toys, and I’m grateful they’ve been giving so many as gifts. Sure, organizing them is a challenge, but at least they’re having fun. One tough part? Trying not to step on things in bare feet.

Being barefoot is a way of life for me. When I was a baby, I kicked off booties (according to my mom), and my feet were always hot. I’m 25% Sicilian, so I’ve inherited the hot, Italian feet. Thanks, Dad.

I have yet to step on Legos as an adult. I stepped on them a couple of times in the past, and the memes are pretty accurate. It is one painful experience.

A1 puts a sea of toys on the floor. It can become an obstacle course. Yesterday, it was a bedtime ABC book that poked me in the foot. Those are some razor sharp corners! She also loves to sort and build, which is great. Then she grabs our shoes, wears them, and leaves them in the middle of the kitchen. If you read my entry about breaking my arm, you know I’m afraid of trip hazards, perhaps more so than the next mom (or so it seems).

I carry A2 and make an effort to avoid the toy maze on the ground. It’s hard work, but I enjoy playing with the toys when I’m at ground level.

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Motorin’

You were probably thinking about this…

You’re close.

A2 sure can’t drive, but she definitely makes up for that on four limbs. For the first time in my parenthood, I’ve had a child under a year old follow me to the next room. In fact, she is approaching the phone as I type this to steal it.

She’s been stopped midway by a teether. Score! 🙂

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Can I be on your blog too, mama?

When I enter the kitchen or the hall, I am followed by a series of cute giggles and squeals. I turn around, and there she is!

I love this age!

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I Support A Woman’s Right to Choose. Do You? Part II

After a week or two recovering from surgery, I went to the doctor for my follow up appointment. He gave me some exercises to increase my range of motion. This didn’t do much. By the end of August, I was in physical therapy. I went three hours a day, doing exercises that ranged from light duty to the extremely difficult. One of the PTs would try to force my arm down on a massage table, hoping make it straighter. I can still imagine the pain. She asked me, “Is this better or worse than labor?” (She is dating and has no children.) “Worse. When you’re in labor, you actually get breaks,” I replied.

When A1 was 10 weeks old, I made the decision to return to work. As a new parent, I thought that this would be the easiest thing to do, since this was the norm for me. It was a circus. I was jiggling a new baby, a new office to which I was assigned, and all the complications of a stiff, broken arm. I managed the best I could.

Nurses, BabyCenter contributors, and other researchers talk about the baby blues. Before then, it was nothing more than a comic strip to me. I felt emotional at the beginning. I’d cry, I’d be frustrated, but I still loved spending time with the baby. Unfortunately, there were a few key things I missed in the fine line between the baby blues and PPD.

It was September. Daddy J had a meeting to attend at 6:30. I was terrified to be left alone with A1. What if I had her and something happened, like not being able to handle her all by myself? I also kept having visions of her falling and fears of tripping over things. I still fear trip hazards sometimes. I cried and begged him to stay.

I was pumping at work, and because there was no place for me to pump in the building, I had to pump in the car. The bathroom was offered as an option, but that really isn’t a favorable one for a variety of reasons.

Child care was handled by my in-laws. This worked out well. The quality of care was good, but there was one thing that had gone awry: A1’s sleeping schedule. My little baby who slept through the night at four weeks was now up at three in the morning when I had to be up at 7.

I worked 50 miles from home, so I had a 100 mile drive total. On Wednesdays. My AIL, who is very kind, watched A1. She lived in the opposite direction from the interstate, so I had to drive all the way to her house, then drive 20-30 more miles to get on I-80. I tried to get to the office on time. I had a flexible schedule, but felt like I couldn’t juggle all the balls. I didn’t understand how other mothers did it, and how it must be so easy for them. It wasn’t fair. I cried in my car many, many times.

One day, I got a call from my OB’s office. It was the head nurse. I figured this had something to do with my postpartum appointment or my annual Pap smear. She informed me that my husband had called. He was concerned about me, and it sounded from his description of all my mood swings, anger, sadness, and PTSD that I might have postpartum depression.

I told her I was stressed out from new parenthood and dealing with my job. I reassured her and attempted to reassure myself that everything would be ok. I was on the highway when I spoke to her, so I headed home. I called Daddy J and was less than thrilled. I was embarrassed, so I yelled at him. He said there was no shame in asking for help. Sadly, I’ve had so many experiences in my life where I was shamed for doing that. It is never easy, and I always felt that asking for help was like waving a white flag. I can’t do it. I give up. Here, you do it. Not true.

The next day, I was pretty weepy and upset. When I got to work after an hour in the car, I sat there and cried. I just wanted to go home. I was tired. I wanted to just lay in bed. BabyCenter has an assessment for PPD. I took the test. I answered “yes” to everything. The results said it was highly likely I had PPD. I called the nurse again and talked to her. She gave me the pep talk I needed. She said there was hope, and I would get through it. She prescribed me an anti-depressant to help with the chemical and hormonal imbalances I had. I told my boss and one of my supervisors. I took a leave of absence from work. It was hard, but it was necessary.

Some of my family members were very supportive. My aunt and uncle are always positive, and expressed their concern/empathy. Daddy J was very supportive. My best friend, J, and her husband, L, were there for me. There were a few people who simply didn’t understand the manifestations of mental illness or PPD itself. “Are you like those women on TV?” One family member asked.

Some of my ILs weren’t very empathetic. One of them had PPD when both of her children were born, yet she chose to join the small group of people who ganged up on me. This included the younger woman who BFed for a short time.

This woman texted Daddy J and was typing in Stream of Consciousness stance. She insisted that my PPD was caused by breastfeeding and that I should stop. She told him that my medication (Zoloft is a class C med, so it is safe for BFing) isn’t good for the baby, and we should get her some formula. She also thought that I would “End up wrecking the car and killing u both”. (Yes, she uses text speak, and yes, that is a direct quote).

Meanwhile, at four months, A1 was starting to refuse the breast. She would nurse for a few minutes, and the detach after screaming and fussing at the breast. She lost several ounces of weight. We went to the pediatrician, and she determined it was reflux. She recommended Similac Alimentum, which costs $9.14 a quart. We were also told to thicken her milk with oatmeal. I initially mixed EBM with formula, but when A1 was 8 months, I started EFFing her, because it was easier for me.

She started to fill out a little around seven months. She is still thin, but I’ve come to terms with it. She is in good health, and weighs about 24 lbs. I give her Pediasure once a day to ensure she gets proper nutrition and gains weight. She was in the 5th percentile for the longest time, but now is in the 19th. She’s 34″, so she is definitely growing.

This person started to and still does compete with me over her daughter’s stats. She wears a 3T. She wants 4T-5T clothes. Her daughter was 5 pounds at birth, so she’s tried to fatten her up.

A1 was eight months old when I became pregnant with A2. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do all of this with two kids. As you can see, I figured that out.

Fast forward to now. A1 is two, and eats all table food. A2 is eight months old, and is still nursing. She gets solids, too, but she still loves her booby milks.

I attended a baby shower with my ILS the other day. This woman cornered me after nursing A2. “So, how much longer are you going to breastfeed?” “Until she’s ready,” I said. She rolled her eyes and sighed like a snotty seventh grade girl. I added that if she decided she wanted to stop next week, and that was her choice, it was fine with me. “Well, she isn’t going to tell you,” came the condescending reply, as if to say I was stupid and uninformed. “Those teeth are going to hurt when they come in all the way. If it were me, I’d go [for] eight months and be done.”

Wow, I didn’t know she was the go-to for breastfeeding advice. You know, since she gave it a whole five minutes—I mean, three days. She also has been busting my invisible balls about using a “walker” (she calls the Exersaucer a walker, too). She mentioned it when I saw her at a church function last month, and she said, in that mean tone, “So J, did you get out that walker yet?” “No, it’s still in the basement.”

That, on top of all the other stupid things she does and says, really irritated me. So, instead of getting anxious and angry, I empowered myself by posting this:

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EBF eight months today! We just tried the upright position, which was a success! #proudbfingmama #nurslings

Those are my actual hashtags. She thought I posted “Happy F’ing Mama.” I’m glad her literacy skills are on par with first graders

This post apparently offended her. This is her conversation with Daddy J, verbatim:

J put something up about Brest feeding on her Facebook, gross:/

–Gross? How is me feeding my daughter “gross”? I’m sorry you have such a backward interpretation of something that is very acceptable.

Yes I know but she doesn’t have to post it and write happy F-ing momma! Like that is appropriate…. What the hell is that about? That isn’t something u say or post to people u really don’t know. U know if I posted I took a really good shit today, it looked big and brown and left streak marks in the toilet u think people want to know that and read that? No it’s gross yet people have been shitting since the beginning of time..

—This was in response to my husband saying that it wasn’t gross and I was proud of my accomplishment. He also added that women have BF’d since the beginning of time, hence the lovely defecation comparison. I’d rather hear about a women nursing and cuddling her baby than that incongruent description of hers any day of the week. What she said is gross.

Sorry I was just disturbed by her post and I wanted to tell u
Lots of ppl Brest feed but u don’t see them writing about it. It’s not aomething ppl talk about.
—People don’t talk about breastfeeding? Where the hell has she been? What about the La Leche League? I Eat At Mom’s? Eats on Feets (BM donation)? The Leaky Boob? The list goes on and on. No one writes about it, eh? Well, I just did, so get over it.

That’s disgusting. People need to grow up a bit. Sorry, just cu other do does it make it right? Sorry I am just telling u that what she wrote, happy fing momma isn’t appropriate and no one wants to hear about breast feeding. That is great she can do it, we don’t need it posted
—Yes, I am so immature for being a proud mother who chose to be a SAHM, sacrificing my career to be with my kids while this woman still pawns her daughter off on her own family, because she is too busy working from 7:30 am-7:30 pm by choice. Skip the damn coaching, come home, and see your daughter. Oh, and quit dropping her off on weekends. You said you miss her? Humph! Then come home and spend that valuable tim. Disgusting? I’ll tell you what’s disgusting—YOU ARE! Regardless of how we feed our kids, we should be building other moms up and silently agreeing to disagree, not putting others down or picking fights in an effort to bolster one’s insecurity. I am not doing anything wrong by nursing my daughter, and I’m sorry you didn’t have the experience I’m having. Perhaps if you would use the perseverance that got you to the finish line in one of your high school races, you might succeed next time. After all, I made this commitment to EBF. I took time to drink water, rest, and eat healthy. I put my kids on a schedule to ensure we are all healthy and happy. You didn’t, and you don’t, but that is fine.

I support every woman’s right to choose whether she breastfeeds for formula feeds. Do you?

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The Things I Will/Won’t Miss: 2As Edition

I took the As to the store to pick up a few things. Normally, this isn’t a big deal, but today, A1 decides to 1) Open her cup of Ritz crackers herself 2) Throw them all over the floor and 3) Scream and flip about the ones that were still stuck in the cart. Embarrassing.

I left the store after using a self-scan register, and ran into one of my ex-coworkers. I was in mid-dash, just trying to exit the store as quickly as possible. She asked how I was doing. “Ok, I guess,” in that well, obviously not tone. She asked if everything was all right. I gestured to A1, telling her that my toddler was terrible in the store, and retelling the cracker story. “It sucks,” I said, desperate for a moment to regroup. She laughed. You know, that knowing laugh of a BTDT mom. One who now wears the “grandma” badge. “Oh, I shouldn’t laugh, but you’re very right.”

Yesterday, I took the As to a local festival to see what A1 refers to as “wireworks” (fireworks). It was a great night. “Bye bye, wireworks,” she said after the show. Then, I put the kids in the car. They proceeded to scream, emitting that shrill, wild animal sound that drives you mad. I have never sung “Michael, Row The Boat Ashore” aloud, but it was I could do in a traffic jam, so I would scream at them or want to shoot myself.

All of this has inspired this post, so here it is: the good, bad, and the ugly of raising two small children.

Things I Will Miss:

1. The first smile.
2. The first time they say “Mama.”
3. The baby laugh.
4. The inventive, funny phrases of a toddler.
5. The times they fall asleep in my arms when they are sick or teething.
6. Picking out their clothes.
7. Picking out hair bows.
8. Their small size.
9. Some of their toys.
10. Nursing. The milk drunk smile, the “boob in the mouth” smile, watching A2 grab my shirt. Snuggling on the couch with her.
11. Being able to share a seat on the couch with both kids.
12. The random hugs and kisses A1 gives me (and eventually A1’s).
13. The joy and ease of an immobile baby. You know, before the crawling stage.
14. Cute toddler mispronunciations.
15. Being the center of their universe.
16. All the little kids’ playground equipment.
I’m sure there are more, and I will add them.
Things I won’t miss:
1. Changing diapers, especially A1’s.
2. Spit up on my clothes.
3. Tantrums.

I still love them anyway. 😉

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A1 colors at the table with Mama.

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A2 enjoys chewing on a book!

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A Day in the Life

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A1 “stunts” at the table while A2 looks at the camera

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The As hanging out on the couch

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A2 catches up on her reading. Her book of choice? Baby Touch and Feel Farm, of course. She also sat unsupported for the first time today (she decided to flop down and roll over when I grabbed my phone).

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Big cheesin’: A1 swings at the neighbors’.

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A2 on the baby swing.