I have done it! After a first-timer breastfeeding fail with our firstborn, involving the typical “formula supplementation” and subsequent “Nursing Strike,” I was frustrated and saddened by my own lack of breastfeeding knowledge. After a week of tearful battling with … Continue reading
After you’ve finished reading my QT’s, if you’re a mom, or even someone who values personal space, Go check out Jen’s #6 for the week. Ahhh I’d love it. I never have my free space. NEVER. -wait a minute. I do. When I’m brushing my teeth. Most nights. Though brushing with baby in one arm is a frequent occurrence as well. So I’ll rescind to NEVER. There’s a sleeping baby in my lap right now.
Last week consisted of much frustration, a sick baby, breastfeeding problems (TMI warning) but finished off with a beautiful celebration: the dedication of my parish’s newly built church and alter. (possessive of parish= parish’s?)
1. This is nap time at Bumpy Bridge (the name our oldest boy gave our house) on Tuesday:
- Emmett laughing maniacally in his crib while bouncing up and down on his bottom, simultaneously flipping through the cardboard pages of a picture book.
- Lexington prancing on his tippie toes, doing laps around the mattress, bellowing “I HAVE TO DO A PEEPEEEEEE!” as if he needed permission to go to the bathroom. (I’ve had marked discussions with him before, about how if he has to go, to get up and use the toilet. And that he doesn’t have to ask because using the toilet is better than peeing where we sleep.)
- Laying with Collin, trying to nurse him to sleep so I could sneak out and start some fraction of the mountainous laundry which has magically cultivated by itself.
(EVE, Y U EAT OF FORBIDDEN FRUIT, NOTICE NAKEDNESS, AND MAKE LAUNDRY FOR ALL GENERATIONS!?) Collin drifted off for 10 minutes, but then woke up suddenly and began ululating like the little dinosaur which attacks Newman on Jurassic Park (his newfound voice, of which he’s proud) and pedaling his feet in the air so rapidly, the blankets stood no chance of me attempting to tuck him back into a cuddle bug.
Another cup of coffee it is, then.
2. I attempted to wear Collin on my back with the Moby Wrap.
This happened a few weeks ago, and I’d forgotten about it until I found a photo of it on my iPhone early last week.
Me, watching a baby-wearing video on how to wrap your baby on your back, thinking, “easy enough!”.
I get to the point of successfully hoisting Collin onto my back, the wrap properly placed with the middle of it across his back, the rest of it hanging on either side of me onto the floor.
At this juncture, I was hunkered over, saying, “Okay… now what?” whilst the first warning burp was fired: a lovely, wet, gurgle, which boiled, not quite to the opening of the baby’s mouth, threatening the back of my neck.
[Laughing here, but not for long.]
Three curdle-y burps warning my ear canal later, I was still hunkered over, stuck at step one, baby drool drenching the fly aways at the nape of my neck, entangled in a tiny fist, and sweat rolling down my forehead.
I decided baby back wearing is for the double-jointed. For the life of me, I could not work the miles of fabric around my back, laden with baby because my arms would not bend BACKWARD.
3) Collin now has double ear infection. Anyone who knows anything about ear pain can tell you that swallowing is no bueno, let alone drinking through a straw, or in an infant’s case, bottle feeding or breastfeeding. So, Wednesday night, I started getting the rejection. Ahh. It immediately was brought to the emotional state I experienced 3.5 years ago, when my oldest boy went on a “nursing strike”. :
I was a new mom, a new breastfeeder, and had been so caught up with being pregnant and thinking about the presence of my baby, that I didn’t even know to read about breastfeeding and its challenges. ”Challenges” is an understatement. Long story short, He had only been breastfeeding for 3 months when we switched to the bottle. I felt like a failure, I felt a real sense of loss. I felt angry frustration and confusion. I felt like I’d lost a bond with my child. I was depressed and I cried, alone when no one was around, for two weeks when I realized I was finished breastfeeding. Since then, I’ve become borderline psycho about no bottles.
Fast forward past successfully breastfed baby #2 and here we are with #3 who’s ears hurt when he eats. I started noticing reluctance to nurse on Thursday and by Friday, it was full throttle crying. All day. I was so stressed out that I now have clogged milk ducts in multiple places on both sides. The pain of this is akin to an aching, cavity in your molars.
5) I saw the light though. After going through the stresses of baby 1, and the weathering yet peaceful nursing period of my second baby, I realized that fixing this is not going to take a tap of a finger and instant gratification. This is going to take time and patience.
Friday and most of Saturday, I walked around holding baby Collin upright, so his ears wouldn’t hurt from the pressure while laying back (i.e. BREAKING MY BACK AND NECK) and walked, rocked, and bounced on our orange medicine ball until he chose to nurse, for as long as he would do it. It involved a lot of crying from Collin, headaches for me, and no moments to myself. I had to pump -something I really don’t like doing- a few times. I applied heat to my clogged areas (sock filled with rice, microwaved 20 sec). I nearly cried, many times. But today, Sunday, he began to nurse like regular. It was such a huge relief. I probably couldn’t have had the patience to do this were it not for the help of my mom, who watched the older boys one afternoon, and of my husband, who took off Friday to help with the boys and basically clean up after the disaster zone I’d made of the house.
It’s taken three children to realize that, with human beings, there are no short cuts. There are no schedules or equations. Each person is completely different. It’s time. As a Mom, I owe ALL of my time. ALL of my personal space. DARN PEEING ALONE! I can when I’m dead! -and the relief is far more gratifying than the shortcut, which hardly helps in the long term anyway.
6) Since before I was in high school, our Parish has prayed to be able to build a new church. 10+ years later (that’s a minimal guess), on the Saturday Vigil, I got to witness and, even better, participate in the dedication of our new church and alter.
My parents have contributed much to the preparation and building of this church, and were part of the celebration on Saturday. It was fun to listen to them talk about all of the intricacies involved in the preparation and building of this church, especially about the rehearsal:
My mom told us that aside from a man claiming to want to enter the new church before the dedication in order to pray, instead began shouting, holding up one of the Missalettes (which my mom believed he mistook for the Bible), yelling “IN SHA ALLAH! ALLAH IS THE TRUE GOD!”, and other alarming ramblings which implied he did not like this particular church, and that he was indeed not praying, the dedication went off without a hitch.
7) We could not have made it to the dedication Mass without my mother-in-law and Sis-in-law. They visited early in the day to help dress and feed the boys while I was learning the ways of the Breastfeeding-whisperer. They kept the boys entertained so that I could shower and dry my hair, uninterrupted (an extravagant luxury for me nowadays).
For them I am so very thankful. We made it, notwithstanding Lexington grass-staining the knees of his crisp, clean khakis on our way in, and notwithstanding him also peeing all over one of the brand new toilets and the subsequent wall behind it, the celebration was beautiful. I love the smells of the chrism oil and incense. mmm!
Credits this week go to my Mom for taking the boys, Mom in law for helping us get ready, Sis for her thoughtful gift, and my loving, steady husband.
[My Mom, Dad, & Baby Collin]
Busy I’ve been. I’ve been reading but not taken much time to regurgitate any of my thoughts. And that’s fine.
Now that I’m in the grand third trimester, I’ve finally felt myself motivated to clean and organize: something I’ve not felt even a tiny inkling to do for the previous six months leading up to now. Yikes. So, imagine what’s to be done. I mean.. YIKES.
I wanted to take a moment while having difficulty falling asleep comfortably, to reach out to mommies.
I have a beautiful Cathsorority ( what’s that? http://caffeinatedcatholicmama.com/what-is-cathsorority/) sister who recently posted that for each time she feels the stress or uncomfortable pains of pregnancy, she offers her suffering up for all women trying to conceive or struggling with fertility. Is that not beautiful?
By doing so, my Cathsister is not only praying for others, but taking the focus off of herself: off of obsessing over every little detail of her pregnancy and wallowing in her pity or even the limelight of pregnancy. I believe that by praying for others when we are suffering, God not only hears us -as the Beatitudes tells us- but it can lessen the possibility of postpartum blues. It’s just a thought. No real science behind it other than the realization that when we are busy taking care of or sacrificing for others, we leave little room to feel sorry for ourself. I could be wrong there, but I don’t think it could hurt to think about it further.
Regardless- the reason in writing is because I’m getting less and less sleep. Which I guess is fine because it’s preparing me for the imminent future anyway. However I can’t totally agree with that because depending on the parenting style used, a mom may get just as much or better sleep once her child is born.
Our first baby, I did not sleep. DID. NOT.
Up and down. Up and down. Nursing. Rocking. Laying baby down with the greatest care. Tiptoeing back to bed. Crying. Up and down up and down. Repeat. All night.
Second baby… We coslept and that was the end of the story. No crying. No ups and downs. No rocking. No soaked diapers. No spit ups. I actually woke up right before he would, knowing that he’d stir and I’d nurse him. (there’s actually science behind that! http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/attachment-parenting/4-ways-ap-can-reduce-risk-sids)
After our second child was born, I’d get looks from family members full of pity as they said, “are you getting ANY sleep at all, you poor thing?”
And my honest response was, “I’ve never slept better.”
But as of right now, as my children sleep through the night, I am not. In fact I’m up almost hourly. Yucky.
SO: my intention is to pray for all mommies who are not getting sleep at night. Every hour I wake, I think of and pray for you, dear mothers who are comforting your children. I pray that you’re filled with love and peace as you hold your angel, who wants only you. I pray that you’re given the graces needed to endure the night. I pray that you do get a good handful of hours to rest. And I pray that when the day comes, you find rest at some point.
It is truly a full time job. There’s no clocking out or saying, “I’m gonna sleep this off and recharge.”
It takes all of who you are. What a noble career.
Goodnight -hopefully- know that when you’re up, frustrated or just plain exhausted, I’m praying for you, along with the Virgin Mother and all the mother saints. I’m praying for you, probably while I eat a toasted bagel with cream cheese.
Okay. I breastfed Lexington for 3 months and stopped because I was pressured by family members to start formula. I swore to myself that from then on, I would wage war on anyone who tried to push me to do anything I didn’t want to or wasn’t ready for yet.
I am ecstatically proud to declare that Emmett is almost 7 months old and still breastfeeding!
Just when I started bragging and thinking I am a pro at this… I wake up with a clogged milk duct?!
I read that you’re supposed to massage the area or apply heat… Is there anything else I can be doing???
Is it normal to have this all of a sudden?
I thought a clogged milk duct is something that happens right when you begin nursing, not after you’ve mastered the art?!
Peeps-! Anyone with advice/experience: lay it on me!!
Oh, how I continue to be reminded of how little I know about things. C’estttt la vieee.