Monday, September 29, 2014

Adventures in Breastfeeding #8: When The Well Runs Dry

Baby Girl is fast asleep after a nursing session.
At eight months old, I can proudly say that my little one is still breastfeeding. She also takes a bottle at daycare, with one formula supplement bottle, while I'm at work. But that is slowly changing. My stress levels are higher, and her nursing demands are lower. Despite best efforts, and her ability to draw forth an incredible amount of milk from me at night, I can see the end coming soon.

I don't want it to end. I know that I wasn't going to breastfeed after she turned 1; I'm only protected by law for pump breaks until the child is a year old, and assisted living homes are so on demand and hands-on that I only get 15 minutes as it is. There are days when I have to choke back tears because, despite my teas and water chugging, I can only bring out 4 ounces total. The challenge is real, my friends.

I'm satisfied, slightly, by the fact that she eats three meals a day. Fruits and veggies, with some baby yogurt to help with the protein, on top of what I am able to give her through nursing. But I still feel like I am letting her down, because my supply is just not there.

For the past few nights, we've done our cuddle/nursing sessions, this time with their ending on a sour note. She always pulls away and cries, then roots around for the other breast. I know that two breast feedings are a good thing. To me, they feel like I'm not making enough.

When the well starts running dry, and stress runs high, things can get rough. I try to freeze what I can, so that when I'm not able to make anymore milk, I'll still have some for her. I will do the best I can, and she'll love me no matter what.

We just might have some issues with trying to latch-on through my shirts, instead of taking a bottle from Mommy.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Pinterest = Panic Attacks?

Hi, my name is Em.
I am addicted to Pinterest.

Facebook may come and go, but give me an electronic way to be a hoarder, and I'm all for it. I mean, where else could I keep all these awesome things I want to do, where they would be safe from children?
When I was first introduced to Pinterest, it was before Baby Girl got here. I hadn't even thought of being pregnant, actually. It was just an app that a friend suggested I download to 'keep my ideas in order' as they came to me, because while you're desperate to keep awake on third shift bed watch, you're willing to do anything.
So, I started off simple: Things I want in my closet, things about gardening, things about homesteading, and cute things for Beans.

After I became full-on pregnant, my board themes changed from gardening and homesteading (which are still a deep seeded desire) to healthy pregnancy tips and losing the baby weight. I'd like to think that Pinterest helped me with my desperate need to nest, and the overwhelming fact that I had been out of a job for two months before my due date arrived.

Now, I'm on Pinterest when it's 6:30 at night, and Baby Girl is nursing herself to sleep while we cuddle in my bed. Delilah is already in her PJs, and watching her shows/playing her video game until the area wide curfew alarm sounds at 8:30 p.m. (Otherwise, she doesn't have any say in what's on T.V., and I usually make her play with Baby Girl or outside)
I scroll through my 'Pin Feed', and feel odd pangs at certain images of what mommy and baby/kid are doing. 'Great ideas for things to do when the weather sucks and your kids are driving you nuts'. AWESOME! I'll keep that for the one day a week I have off of work, and there's four feet of snow outside.
Or, I'll do what I always do, and run errands until I'm exhausted, and keep appointments until dinner time.

The other day, I ran across an article about why Pinterest is awful if you're a mommy. I was intrigued, because pinning was my way of relaxing. It was my escape! I could read articles, look at pretty clothes, and oogle pictures of far off destinations that I will never reach, and I could do it all silently, as to not disturb anyone. But then I read the article, and those weird pangs came back.

"Pinterest has one simple message for mothers: You’re not doing nearly as much as you should. It snuck into our lives masquerading as a useful resource. It hypnotized us with images of brownies baked on top of Reeses cups and then blindsided us with a list of crafts we will never complete. We need to destroy it. With fire."

I may scramble for my Pinterest to get ideas about what to do with my kids, or fix for dinner, or organize my budget...

Ah, crap. It's still convincing me it's useful, and all some of the articles do is make me feel like a piss poor parent; there's always some DIY project or cute outfit that I could get my hands on if I just had the time to learn to sew!

That gal's right. Let's kill it. With fire.
In fact, I think I'll pin the article for my followers.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Keyboard Confessional: I Don't Want To Be Wonder Woman

Lately, I've been busy. Like,  near-exhaustion, no time to eat, what is a shower,  busy. Then again,  September is usually my busiest month. School starts for Beans, work usually picks up for me,  and things just generally seem to pile up quickly, until October, when we've had time to readjust our schedules.
This time is no different,  with a tiny exception. Make that a 17 lbs, 26 inch long exception. Baby Girl doesn't necessarily throw a wrench into my plans and habits,  but it's more like things pile up faster. Let me lay it out,  for better understanding.
My job is physically demanding, and high stress,  but gratifying.  I love what I do, truly. It's very difficult to decompress after hours,  especially when you only have the 20 minute drive home as 'alone' time. I try and sing along with the radio, or call my brothers (yay bluetooth!) and talk to them. But it doesn't feel like it's enough; as soon as I hit the bridge that goes into town, my focus is on the clock. Will I have time to swing by The Cave and give hubby a smooch? Am I going to find a parking space in front of the school so Beans will see me, and not go back inside and wander the school hallways? Can I hit the baby-sitter's in time to not get charged another hour? (She's pretty lenient on this anyway, but I still worry) OH MY GOD I HAVE SCHOOL WORK DUE TONIGHT BECAUSE IT'S WEDNESDAY/FRIDAY/SATURDAY AND THE GIRLS WON'T BE IN BED TIL 7 AND I HAVE TO BE IN BED BY 9 WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?! #studentmommypanic
And I forgot to set out my dinner to thaw/The crock pot wasn't even plugged in. Guess it's spaghetti night again.


It's come to my attention that most of us Working Mamas, whether it's from home or away, put too much on our plates. And it's not like we don't -try- to delegate! On the days my husband watches the girls, absolutely nothing gets done around the house. Nothing. And he says it's because he was so preoccupied with them that he couldn't do anything else. And nap time? That was his reward for giving them all his attention, so he played video games during downtime. I can get mad,  but that gets me nowhere. 

So, why do we feel like we have to do it all?

Seriously. Will the world fall apart if we just let things go? All I know is I just took about 30 minutes of time away to write this, instead of one more list, or cleaning one more dish, or folding one more pair of underpants. And now I feel better! Not really.