Thursday, July 7, 2011

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

This post is my contribution to The Breastfeeding Blog Hop hosted by Life with LeviSlacker Mom, and Diary of a Devil Dog Wife. Feel free to link up, and please visit the other blogs listed below to share some BFing love!!

Life With Levi

I had to laugh when I saw the topic for this week, Body Changes.
One of my closest friends breastfed her two kids, and really is one of only a few people I know that has breastfed. She by default then, became my go to person for all BFing related questions. We had a conversation somewhat recently about our bodies after pregnancy and BFing.  It started with me asking about whether her "ladies" went back to their normal size after she was through BFing, and ended when her husband so very lovingly threw in his two cents- "Swing low, sweet chariot!" We all had a good laugh about it, and continued on with our evening. Since then, I've gone back and forth with whether I really find that funny. Most days- yes, it's hilarious! It's a fun way to appreciate a piece of my new identity, battle scars if you will. In all seriousness though, it's a small price to pay for the well being of my precious little boy. There are other days however, that I'm pretty peeved about the ladies swinging low....and I'm sure if it's bad now, it's really going to be bad when I stop breastfeeding, and worse after future nurslings. Yikes! As depressing as "swing low, sweet chariots" can be, there are a few things that make me feel better as I stand completely bare in front of the mirror, and try to lift the ladies back up where they used to stand during their former glory. First, is that my problem isn't anything my good friend Vicky doesn't have a secret solution to. One trip to her place and I'll be a hot, confident Momma! Second, and most importantly, my husband has a such an appreciation for them it's difficult to not feel proud!
So maybe, just maybe, "swing low sweet chariot" can be funny all the time??

Friday, July 1, 2011

I hear you, loud and clear!

Little Gabriel has been growing like a weed! In addition to eating "big people food", he's also jabbering like crazy (Dadadadada! Mamamama! Rarararara! I'm not sure where the last one came from!), and has started army crawling (though he doesn't get too far)!
So of course, I am feeling like my little tiny baby isn't little at all anymore. In an effort to feel a connection to what used to be, I thought a few days ago that it would be a good idea to try nursing again. (Keep in mind, it's been around two months since I gave up trying to get him to nurse, and about 3.5 months since his refusal first began and I became an exclusive pumper.)
Well... let's just say he got his point across! My darling little angel first turned his head away, and when I continued to offer he looked up at me, leaned in real close, and bit me!
OUCH! He has teeth! So I'm really done this time. Done. Done. DONE!
I have a new found respect for my pump now. At least it doesn't bite.
I hear you, Gabriel, loud and clear. I promise to only offer mommy milk in a bottle from now on.
This post is part of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop. This week's topic is pumping. Take a peek at some of the other posts below, and share some BFing love!!

Why I'm Moooing

This post is my contribution to The Breastfeeding Blog Hop hosted by Life with LeviThe Slacker Mom, and Diary of a Devil Dog Wife. This week'ss topic is pumping. Feel free to link up, and please visit the other blogs listed below to share some BFing love!!

Life With Levi

From the beginning, I didn't find breastfeeding all that difficult. We did have some latching issues in the hospital, but with the help of a nipple shield we got off to a great start! My milk came in (phew!), his latch caught on (finally!), and I reached my first initial goal (3 months). Success!
While pregnant, I had decided that love it or hate it, I would at least nurse for 3 months. So when that milestone rolled around, I set my next goal- 1 year. Things were going so well that I knew I'd make it to a year easy. Then it hit- the nursing strike. No matter what I tried, my darling little 4 month old screamed bloody murder at the sight of my breast. Everything I read said to be patient and keep trying...but not to be pushy. So I'd offer, he'd scream, and I would give him a bottle. My breast pump became my best friend, and I felt like a failure. I reminded myself daily that he was still getting my milk, and that was all that mattered; my broken heart felt otherwise. I missed the emotional aspect of nursing, and felt like i should be mooing as I pumped away my day.
During the month and a half I tried to work through the strike, we had just a handful of nursing sessions, each in the bathtub. I know the warm water relaxed both of us and calmed the mountain of stress I was carrying on my back. I could tell he found comfort in nursing, and that made our situation much harder on me. I considered our tub sessions a step in the right direction, but it wasn't long before they became screaming sessions instead. I finally decided that a month and a half of being rejected was all I had in me, and threw in the towel.
I realized though that since I'd already been pumping that whole time, there really was nothing keeping me from continuing. After doing a little research online, I was quickly empowered by the number of moms committed to exclusively pumping. (which is how i was introduced to Life with Levi's, Jen!)
Gabriel is 7 months old now, and I'm as determined as ever to make it to one year! Now that I have a good routine, and have become creative with when and where I pump, it's really not that big of a deal. I enjoy knowing I'm doing the best i can for my son. Sure I still feel a little like mooing.
That feels better.