About The Whole Breastfeeding Thing…

My body decided to round out World Breastfeeding Week (yes, it’s a real thing) with a nice case of mastitis which is a breast infection caused by a blocked duct.

I had it back when Declan was about two months old and both times it has sucked.
But I’ve got some antibiotics and should be better in a few days.

Anyway…

I always teeter totter back and forth on discussing my views of breastfeeding on here because the whole topic is so controversial.

But in honor of the week I decided to woman up and do it.

I’m going to calmly tread into the storm that is nursing and hope that everybody walks away with the right message.

image

As a mother who has been breastfeeding for over a year now I am obviously a huge advocate for doing so.

You just can’t deny the science, the health, and the bond attached to it.

But I don’t post links about how mom’s who formula feed are lazy, selfish, and poisoning their children.

I don’t ever say things like, “breast is best”.

And I never take or post nursing selfies.

I’m not trying to be glamorous or admirable or to stick-it-to-the-man when I nurse.

image

I do it to nourish and bond with my child.

The end.

There is no other reason.

It’s not about feminism to me, it’s about me and my son.

Primitively speaking, this is what I was designed to do.

Culturally speaking, I was raised to know that nursing your child is a good thing but so is being respectful to your environment.

More than that, nursing is a very special and personal experience for me.

In the home I grew up in, my father would have been absolutely mortified if he had walked in on me changing or seen any private part of my body exposed.

I was taught to treat my body as a temple and to guard it from the sick world we live in.

I treat my son’s body with the same respect in that I never post nude photos of him on the internet, no matter how adorable his little toosh may be.

My breasts are more than just boobs to me.

They are a part of my temple and they do more than just entertain my husband.

They nourish my child and provide him comfort.

It is such a beautiful thing and I can see why mothers want to share it with the world.

But for me personally, that beauty is something that should be protected.

I guard that beauty with my life because I want to preserve it and keep it safe.

I have nothing against a mother who proudly displays her breastfeeding in public.

Feeding your child is nothing to be ashamed of.

But I want to make it known that just because I choose to cover up does not mean that I am ashamed.

I will feed Declan whenever, wherever.

But I will do so proudly covered up.

And I shouldn’t be looked down on by moms doing the exact same thing as me just because I choose to do so.

I mean, really?

Being a mom is like being in high school all over again.

Only this is an all girl’s high school that has over 85 million women in attendance and all of their periods seemed to be synced.

It’s time to stop mommy bashing.

Why do we care so much either way?

Does it really ruin your entire day if you see someone nursing?

Is it the end of the world if you cover up your baby for five minutes while they eat?

It’s not okay to make other women feel like less of a mother for doing one or the other.

Talking down to people doesn’t make you an activist but it does makes you an asshole.

Nursing is not easy and I commend the women who have kept with it but I do not blame the ones that didn’t either.

Formula or breast, covered or uncovered; are these the type of things we want to teach our children are the most important?
I want my son to be kind, patient, and courageous.
I fear that in an effort to stand up for what we believe in sometimes we end up teaching our children hate and intolerance rather than love, respect, and kindness.

We deserve to feed our children however we see fit as long as our child is not in any harm from said methods.

I believe that my mother did her very best to raise me and loves me just as I love Declan.
I do not think she is less of a mother or lazy or careless because she chose not to continue breastfeeding past 6 weeks.

Don’t let your legacy be the way you shamed other women

Breastfeed or not, covered or uncovered, homemade food or pre-packed.

Being a mom has no instructional manual and we are all just trying to do the very best we can.

I hope you teach your children to speak, act, and live from a place of kindness.

Because not a single one of us is doing it all right.

And every single one of us deserves some slack, especially from one another.

Failure To Thrive

20140204-173805.jpg

I really expected to come to this space today and tell everyone about how great Declan’s doctor appointment went.
So much so that I even booked my monthly massage for today, knowing I needed it after the long week.
But by 10:30 am I was canceling that appointment and getting directions to the hospital that would become our home for at least the next 24 hours.

This morning around 4:00 am Declan woke up crying.
He was burning up so I took his temperature and it read 101.9 degrees.
I decided to draw him a bath to help cool him down.
He was noticeably uncomfortable and all he wanted was for me to stand and rock him, so I did that until 8:30 am when it was time to head out to his doctor appointment.

On Friday Declan had gained 2.5 oz but today it showed he had lost 1.5 of those ounces and only gained 1.
The doctor made the call, gave Declan some Tylenol for his fever, and sent us on our way to in-patient care at a sister hospital.

I cried on the phone to my husband but after I let it out I felt much better about everything.
Obviously the last thing any parent wants is to have their child hospitalized.
But worse would be him not being hospitalized and missing something serious.

We arrived around noon and they began taking vitals, blood tests, etc.
His fever briefly broke but came back again a few hours later.
Meeting with the pediatrician here really eased my mind.
She has continuously mentioned to us that he is such an active happy baby and she really doesn’t think anything is wrong with him.
But to be sure she is covering all angles and ordering any/all tests.

20140204-203052.jpg

So that’s where we are now.
His reason for admittance is “failure to thrive” but everyone here seems to think he is thriving just fine.

20140204-203413.jpg

I’m currently cuddled up in a hospital bed with him and despite everything I feel blessed.

Blessed that I have a husband who loves his family so fiercely and has been nothing short of amazing all day despite being exhausted himself.

Blessed that the nurses and doctors are taking the time to be thorough rather than shove this weight issue under the rug just because it would be easier to do so.

And blessed to have such a wonderful support system.

Without even saying a word I received numerous texts with people checking in because they knew Declan’s appointment was today.
Thank you for loving my son.

They are doing a respiratory viral culture, heart scan, and nutritionist consult in the morning.
Fingers crossed that we will be discharged afterwards.

20140204-205041.jpg

Until then, good night world.
We’ve had a long day.

That’ll Teach Ya Not To Buy The Cheap Diapers

My life is composed of more than just growing a baby, even if it may not seem like it anymore.

And now that I’ve said that I don’t know if it was to convince you or to convince myself.

I never understood before how pregnancy could be so time consuming, so life consuming.

It’s similar to getting married, only in my case, with a lot more breakdowns and hurdles to jump.

I spend a lot time thinking about the cute clothes he will wear, the stories I will read to him, the games we will play, and the adventures we will take together.

But if I’m being totally honest I think about much more than that.

I wonder if I will measure up to the incredible moms I know already.

I think about how I will respond when he won’t stop crying for hours at a time.

And I contemplate what he will say about me when he is older.

Will he tell his future spouse that his mom was great or instead that she fell short?

Raising another human being is serious business.

And there are so many things to think about in terms of newborn babies that it can be very overwhelming.

Breastfeed or no?

Cloth or disposable diaper?

Swaddle or not?

Natural or epidural?

As if one day he is going to tell his kids:

“My mom really screwed me up because she drugged herself up for my birth, used disposable diapers instead of cloth, only breastfed for 6 months, and swaddled the crap out of me.”

[Source]

It’s ridiculous when I really think about it.

To somehow think that my love for him is measured in any way, shape, or form by such trivial things.

A popular one is the big B.P. [Birth Plan]

A lot of people have asked me what my birth plan is and I presume that the closer I get to my due date the more I will be asked this.

My response is simple:

“To get him out safely.”

Whatever has to take place to make that happen I will be prepared for.

That is my one and only concern for the day I give birth to my son.

Their reply is usually:

“Well duh.  But like, are you doing natural, drugs, C-section?”

Tell me, why are we all so concerned with how a woman delivers her baby?

Or whether she is going to breastfeed or not?

Or what brand wipes she uses to clean their ass?

Why am so concerned with what you think about my choices for my baby?

Well guys, I’m not anymore.

And if you want to jump on trampolines and drown yourself in a pool of vodka jello shots while pregnant I will keep my mouth shut as well.

Far too much of our energy is spent judging other people for their decisions rather than focusing on our own.

But maybe just don’t Instagram a photo of yourself on said trampolines with said jello shots and I promise I won’t post myself picking out a breast pump or flaunting which diapers I decided on.

Let’s get back to the basics where a healthy, happy, baby is all that really matters.

[Source]

Here’s to babies and the mamas who do their best.