Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Babies and pregnacy talk

So I watched a show a few weeks back about a model becoming a mom. I was struck by one thing she said, "I'm still the same person. The baby didn't change me. I'm still going to do what I did before the baby." Is that possible?

I mean really can you have/adopt/acquire a child and not change anything? Since I gave birth to a child I can only talk from that perspective, I know adoption and fostering are different so I can't say anything about those experiences. So it's not that nothing about me is the same but so much is different. I mean even my body is different. Now I have stretch marks and make milk! I assume that "private area" is different as well. So I'm not the same person physically. At work, I make time to pump. So work life is not the same. At home, I have a baby to take care of so home is definitely not the same! How can anybody have a child and be same after?

Is the baby all I talk about? No, trust me I still bitch about work and things outside of Audrey. But strangely nobody wants to hear that. Before baby people would ask how I was doing now the question is how is the baby. As other mothers warned me, once the baby is here nobody cares how you are doing. While I was pregnant people would ask about the baby and the preparations so the question is do we as mothers get conditioned to talk about the baby by other people or is it just something that we do ourselves?

I have been accused of having nothing to talk about besides the baby. That I'm obsessed with pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding. Yes I am. I've learned a lot about those topics in recent months. It is my current area of research but if I were researching and talking up Slave Era music and talked about it 24/7 would you have a problem with that?

My husband loves to research, he picks a topic and learning everything he can about it. Then he proceeds to teach me about it. While it can be boring to learn about buckeye balls and some kind of condensate, I know that he is excited to learn and to teach so I'm excited to learn and hear him. I don't get in his face and talk about how he's changed and now he's boring. There are people who make their living talking and learning about only one thing, Stephen Hawking comes to mind. People don't get in their faces and tell them they are boring but yet people feel justified in doing that to mothers!

Audrey is my research topic. She is my life's work. Sorry that doesn't fulfill your needs for interesting conversation. But at the same time if you want to know my thoughts on Obama's health care reform then ask me. I also have opinions on Virginia's new governor. I can always talk about Steeler football. And have you watch RuPaul's Drag Race, ask me! Don't blame me when you find the conversation boring, maybe you need to ask more interesting questions.

Mothers aren't boring. We have a research topic that is ALWAYS changing so we always have something new to share. You want to know about other things then ask. I don't always know what is going on in the world outside of Audrey but that doesn't mean I don't care, I just don't have time. Ask, share, and be patient if I'm a little out of date. At least somethings never change. Tiger Woods is still a loving faithful husband and Izzy Stevens is still running the halls of Seattle Grace. Oh wait! I think I heard something on the news about both of those!

Monday, April 26, 2010

1 year since

I have been working on a movie of Audrey for my family. It's been fun to go back over the last year of pictures to see the changes in my life. On Saturday 4/26, was exactly one year that we found out we were pregnant. I still remember that pink plus sign like it was yesterday. I also have a picture of it so I can still look at it! It really doesn't seem that long ago and yet I have a four-month old daughter.

I've also been thinking a lot about the people in my life and out of my life. Audrey's birth has really shaken up my circle of friends. I've been able to reconnect with several college friends thanks to the momma connection. And yet even with a wider circle of friends I feel like I've lost a very important friend along the way. This friend was hurt by my carelessness. I have to admit that my actions weren't fair and were thoughtless. She was newly married and had bought a new house and I should have taken the time to acknowledge it. I know that a simple card was all that I needed but at the same time now that I've had time to process and grieve the lost of friendship I'm kinda glad. I took ownership of the failure and now I'm trying to make sure I don't lose other people that are important to me. I don't think I'll ever get over the attack on my husband, she said he would be a horrible father, nice thing to say to a woman that is 8 months pregnant. But again, if that is how she felt I'm glad she expressed herself rather than continue being my friend and feeling that way. Right?

I miss having friends that are close by. Talking to my best college friend last night reminded me of just how far apart everyone is. The internet makes everything seem close. I have 24hr access to people and yet I don't have anyone to get a pedicure with. It's amazing how lonely I feel sometimes. I'm not overwhelmed by motherhood but I feel physically isolated. I know that I can email with other mommas, I can "chat" with them but I don't have one to just hang with. I'm looking forward to returning to Texas because at least I'll have my family around.

Anyways sorry for the downer of a blog today but it's been on my mind and I just need to write it out.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My left boob is an overachiever

I like to come with funny titles for my blogs. It's almost the best part. Maybe that is why people use Tweeter. Its short and sweet.
Anyways on to today's topic. So I'm pumping and noticing a huge increase in production. Okay so like 2 oz doesn't seem huge but it is. I've gone from 10 oz a day to 12 + oz a day. I'm not sure if Audrey is ramping me up for a growth spurt or if I need to put away the Milky Tea.
It doesn't seem that I have much extra milk since Audrey is eating thur everything I leave for her but I want to reach my goal of 150 oz in the freezer so I can donate and so far I'm at 130. The problem I'm having is that only my left boob is ramping up. I don't think I'm too lopsided yet but I'm starting to get a little self-conscience about it. I can't produce an extra 2 oz out of one boob and it not be noticeable, right?
I'm not sure if that means anything that lefty is out producing righty. I try to feed her off both in a normal switching rotation. I drink my Milky Tea on both sides of my mouth. Both boobs are in a bra. I have no clue why the change! But if I start leaning to one side when I walk I'll blog about it!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

To cover or not to cover, that is the question of the day.

Audrey hates to eat with anything on her head. So I usually try to feed her without covering up. I mean I would hate to eat with a blanket on my head so why should she? We do find ourselves out of the house pretty often on the weekends so I'm having to eat her in public. Personally, I've gotten over my shyness and besides I have to feed my daughter. Most of the time I can use my wrap to cover my actual breast while feeding so that nothing is placed on Audrey's head but there have been times that I break down and cover the whole operation. It's those times that Audrey eats the least and fights eating. I know she's hungry but she just doesn't do well with anything over her head.
The other day, I was out with a friend and she was the one trying to cover me up. I didn't have my wrap on so I ended up using a blanket to cover up. Audrey just gave up eating. Later that day, after I put my wrap on and used just the side cover, Audrey couldn't get enough. I want people to feel comfortable but I'm getting to the point that I just don't care. Audrey must eat, they don't have to look.
Why are people so scared of boobs and nipples? Everyone has nipples. Just because mine has a baby attached doesn't mean that mine is now dirty or a horrible thing. Men walk around all day without a shirt on (most are super gross looking) and that's okay but if I have a little nipple showing people run. One of Ray's friends barely noticed me feeding Audrey and totally freaked out and ran the other way.
So to cover or not to cover? At this point I find covering pointless. If I cover she doesn't eat so there is no point to covering. I'll keep using my wrap to provide cover but it's just a boob. If you have a problem with it, then you are the boob!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Breastfeeding makes me feel like a slut . . .

Okay not really but at the same time yes really. I don't look at clothes the same way. Now I look for clothes that give easy access to my breast. That's kinda slutty, right?
Before baby, I was a pretty shy and usually pretty covered up. I'm not one to show a lot skin. But now I have to have access to my breasts in order to feed my daughter. It's kind of a mind shift. At first I didn't really think about what I was wearing and then I would be stuck with my belly all exposed because the only way to feed Audrey was for me to pull my shirt all the way up. Even now I catch myself pulling on my shirt to see if I can get a boob comfortably out the top.
After some great advice I wear nursing tanks so that even if I have to pull my shirt up I don't feel all exposed. I'm learning the right things to wear.
What I still struggle with is how to nurse in public. There is a part of me that just wants to let it all hang out and just wipe out my boob and feed my daughter and then there is the part of me that is shy and I want to be discreet about it. But then who am I protecting? Audrey needs to eat and people who bottle feed just wipe out the bottle and don't think twice. Why should I care? Everybody has nipples so surely seeing mine won't be a big deal.
Sometime I try to put myself in Audrey's position. Would I like to eat with a blanket on my head? Heck no. So far I have dropped the blanket cover unless I have a bad vibe. For the most part Audrey's head covers my nipple and I usually use the Moby to cover my boob but not her head. I can tell she does much better that way. I'm pretty good at getting her into position without anyone noticing. I'm pretty bad at putting myself back together without anyone noticing. I seem to my boob just hanging out while I get my nursing pad back in place and my tank back together. I'm getting better and I love breastfeeding. I feel like a mother, a good mother. I might not be a great mom in other areas but at least I know I'm meeting my daughter's nutritional needs, even if it does require a walk on the slutty side. :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Reflection on an answered prayer

This is Holy Week. In case I haven't said it in a past blog post, I'm Catholic. So for me this is a week of church, or really three straight days. I have always loved going to church for the Tridium. I have always connected with these three days of the church year but since last year these three days have a new meaning. It was at Easter last year that my daughter was conceived.
I spent the better part of my time in front of the Holy Eucharist yesterday in tears but good tears. I was thinking about how my life had changed over the last year. I remember that I was also crying last year because I felt hopeful that I was finally going to have a baby. After a three year struggle, we were finally going to see a doctor and work on getting pregnant. We had finally turned it over to God and admitting that maybe we might have an issue with fertility. I remember praying for a baby. I prayed for a baby and a year later I have one. I can almost for sure say that I got pregnant on Holy Saturday of last year.
I"m so grateful for all the changes in my life. It's been hard but I'm glad God that answered this prayer with a baby. I know all my prayers are answered but it felt wonderful to be sitting in front of the Holy Eucharist one year later breast feeding my daughter. I felt like I had come full circle. I don't think I'll ever feel the same way about the Easter Tridium again.
Audrey has been on this Earth just about a year now. I know she's only been breathing about 4 months but she's been here since last Holy Saturday. She's been alive and the answer to my prayer.