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Archive for the ‘breastfeeding’ Category

Today was one of those rare days in Houston at this time of year: There was a breeze with just a touch of cool, but the air had a latent heat and the sun was shinning. It is the kind of day made for Jimmy Buffet or Bob Marley and some frosty margaritas or good beer. We usually have a few, precious few, of these days before it gets so grotesquely hot that no one, not even the bugs, venture outside. The boys and I spent the morning at a friend’s house, playing in the sprinklers and enjoying the day.

While I write this, I am uploading some pictures of Gideon coloring eggs and I realized that I take a lot of pictures of him in underwear and nothing else. I would not be surprised if the internet thinks that I never dress my child. He does occasionally wear clothes, but he would go naked all the time if it was socially acceptable.

Before we had Washington, I was warned that going from one to two was hard. I started to be a little worried about my ability to cope, but I am glad now for the warning, otherwise I might have wondered who stole my easy, biddable child and replaced him with an argumentative, uncooperative toddler.

Gideon is a great kid, but he is almost three and the main employment of a three year old is figuring out what they think, what they can do, and what they can get away with. Having a smart almost three year old means I also have to content with his highly rational reasons for why he chose to do whatever thing he was not supposed to be doing. We have spent the last month in power struggles with Gideon over the silliest things. Unfortunately for Gideon, he is not in charge of this house or himself even for most things, and it has been a hard lesson for him and a harder lesson for us to continue to enforce.

I have, many days, vacillated between wanting to beat him or wanting to cry at the futility of parenting. (no, I do not beat my child though some days, I really want to!) With a lot of prayer and some careful time spent doing more activities with Gideon (that is all he really wants anyway, a 24 hour play-mate mom), things are improving. He still has his 3 year old moments, he is three after all, but we have more good days than bad now.

Wash is still a pretty wonderful newborn, sleeping and eating night and day away. He is such a different eater than Gideon; we are just starting to get into our groove. I love having a nurseling again. His legs have fattened up enough to start wearing his cloth diapers, thank goodness, and I am very happy about that as well.

Being momma to two boys has been interesting so far and I expect it will continue to be even more interesting as they both get older.

I snapped this last weekend when Ries and Wash took a snooze on the couch.

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In the past few weeks I have been thinking about the state of pregnancy, mostly because I am now pregnant enough that it effects what I can physically do. At 28 weeks, there is no doubt that there is a wiggly person in my belly, making it hard to tie my shoes. All in all, I have easy pregnancies. I do not get overly sick and I feel pretty good. That being said, the second time around is just not the same.

The first time you are pregnant, everything is amazing and wonderful. Your growing belly is exciting. You do not know what to expect at all and so it is all great, even the random pains.

The second time is pretty blah. I already know how this works. While I do feel wonderfully fertile, I am no longer amazed by my growing belly. It is a bit grotesque in some ways. I am annoyed that I get out of breath so easy, that it hurts my belly if I bend over too much, or that putting my head anywhere lower than my shoulders results in instant heartburn. I still love to feel him move around, but Brother (the baby’s prename thanks to Gideon) likes to poke me in uncomfortable places in a way that Gideon never did. One of my ankles swells, just one, and my hips are sore.

It is hard to chase a 2.5 year old with 14 extra pounds in the middle of my body. Overall, it is just more tiresome this time around.

I wish I could have a pint of good beer with my husband some evenings and I am more irritated about that than I was last time. While the end result, a sweet baby, is definitely worth all the little annoyances and I do not mind having a great diet to give Brother the best possible start, I am not sure I want to do this again.

I am looking forward to Brother being here. I am looking forward to breastfeeding again. Giving birth and feeding a baby from the power of my own body makes me feel very powerful and productive. I love that part of having a wee babe, so if we could just rush forward 12 weeks (and the house would magically be ready) that would be great.

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Ries sent two breastfeeding articles to me yesterday and I thought I would pass them along here. Good maternal care, which this study says is directly related to breastfeeding success, should be important to every woman and everyone who knows a woman. In March, a study was published that brought light to the fact that the United States C-Section rate was up to 32%. Amnesty International puts us behind 40 other countries in terms of maternal care. When I heard this on the radio last month, they also said that the study found that the C-section rates for minority women were even higher.

The Childbirth Connection has a good explanation of why the C-Section continues to go up. I know this is an emotional issue for many. I am just passing along information. “And knowing is half the battle.”

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For Keeps

This happened a couple days ago.

Me (holding Gideon and squeezing tight): I love you, Gideon. Will you be my baby?
Gideon (earnestly with his little cheek next to mine): Yes. Keep you.
Me (melting into a puddle): Aw, Baby. I want to keep you too. Can I keep you?
Gideon: Yes.

I think my heart just exploded.

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Nothing prepares you for being a parent. You may think you know, but you never do until you actually are The Mom. My sister-in-law recently had her first baby, right before Christmas, and all her triumphs and trials have made me remember those first hormone filled weeks of motherhood. Ah, the tears! The smiles! The joys! And then more tears!

The thing that floored me the most was the way being The Mom felt like a cloying burden in those early days. You feel tied down, literally, by the thing on your breast. The knowledge that you, and only you, can care, feed, and soothe this new person is, at times, overwhelming. The whole time you know that you choose this way, this child, this life and still you wonder what the heck you were thinking. Then of course, your baby smiles (or passes gas) and you think the entire world is filled with unicorns and moonbeams.

I am not seeking to dismiss the way Dads feel. In fact, I think the burden of being responsible for a family is pretty big, huge, but as I am not The Dad, I do not know and can only speak for what I felt.

I think all new Moms have to cross the Holy Crap I Have a Kid and Now My Life Will Never Be the Same Ever Until They Are Like 30 and Even Then… River. Crossing that river is hard work. Making the changes to the life you used to lead is hard. Being responsible for the care and feeding of a person is the hardest thing I have ever done, but it also the best thing I have done with my life, will do, in fact.

It is painful and joyful to bring a child into this world. You wonder, at the beginning, if you can ever do that again. Then, with time you know for certain, that the hardest things are also the things most worth having.

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Closed for Business

In addition to being sick, Gideon has had to contend with a major life change. Our breastfeeding journey has come to an end.

Gideon has only been nursing once in every 24 hour period, right before bed, for a couple weeks now. I have noticed that our nursing sessions have decreased in length gradually. I knew that soon he would wean. I guess I just did not expect to be so sad about something I have been wanting as well.

Friday, we settled in to nurse and he sucked a couple times, then said, “Milkies? All gone?” I switched sides and he repeated his question in a sad little voice. Then he said, “Milkies? Eat? All gone?”

Thus began a full on crying, screaming, tears running, and chest heaving session of sadness. He cried and begged for his milkies. I cried too. I wished that I had been able to give him what he wanted, but nature (and my body) have decided that it is time for Gideon to be a Big Boy and for me to move from being a nursing mom to just a mom (until the next kid anyway).

Since Friday, he consistently asks for his milkies at bedtime, especially since he has been sick, but a short bout of sadness and he gets better. I have explained to him that I still love him and that the milkies are all gone. I think he knows, but still asks, just in case.

It seems like just yesterday, we were in the hospital, crying together, trying to get the hang of this new way of eating.

I can not believe my boy is so big. I can not believe he is a weaned boy. He still thinks the inside of my shirt is a reasonable resting place for his entire arm, but I am sure that too will eventually go.

Before I know it, he will be begging for the car keys and arguing about his curfew.

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Gideon is getting bossy for one with so few years, but occasionally, his bossiness is appreciated.

Last night, Gideon and I had finished dinner and I was sitting on the couch. It was about 7:15. He came over, patted my arm, and pointed to his room. I asked him to, “Show me.”

He led me down the hall, pointing. Gideon walked right up to the rocking chair and pointed again.

I asked him, “Are you tired?”
“Yes,” he answered, nodding and smiling.
“Do you want milkies?”
Again, he nodded and smiled.
“You can go to bed if you want.”

At that he walked into the hall, where he could see Ries, who was still eating, and said, “Bye-Bye,” and walked back to me.

I fed him and he was asleep by 7:35.

I think he has us trained.

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