Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Breastfeeding Sucks.

Warning: Some Content in the following post may be unsuitable for people who don't like talking about cracked nipples!

That's right, I said it. Breastfeeding sucks. That was one of the greatest pieces of advice I ever picked up as a new mom.

Let me back up just a bit. For me deciding to breastfeed was never really much of a decision. I knew I was going to breastfeed the moment we decided to start trying for kids. When I finally got pregnant I bought all the books, read every magazine article and even took a breastfeeding class at the local clinic. I was going to be the best breastfeeder EVER.

As it turned out the books, the class, and all the magazine articles left out a number of things. What all those great breaftedding articles didn't talk about was my 30 hour labor and my 10lb baby boy. They neglected to mention the effect that a 30 hour labor and the horrific tearing that took 20 minutes to stitch up would have on my ability to sit down and breastfeed on the early weeks. Or how that discomfort would make it harder for my milk to let down so the feedings would take even longer.

They said my nipples might crack & bleed. They said engorgement may cause a little "discomfort." What they didn't say was that the pain involved might actually make me forget about the pain of childbirth.

These resources also listed some of the pitfalls of breastfeeding. Like mastitis, thrush and the continuous leaking from my beasts. They didn't explain how excruciating these things could be, especially when they all happened to me one right after the other.

Needless to say in those early weeks of motherhood I was feeling pretty beat down by breastfeeding. I felt like I was doing something wrong. I also felt like I couldn't get a break. I really wanted breastfeeding to be this beautiful and mystical experience for me and my son. It just wasn't working out that way.

Then somewhere along the way I came across a blog post online, I don't remember where exactly now. But in this post the woman said, "Anyone who tells you breastfeeding is easy is a big liar! But if you stick it out, it gets better."

And I did stick it out. Thanks to ice packs, lanolin, antibiotics and ibuprofen my problems passed. And breastfeeding did turn out to be one of the best things I ever did. I went on to breastfeed my son until he weaned himself at 14 months, even pumping for a whole year once I went back to work.

When I had my daughter a couple of years later I breastfed her as well. Oddly enough other than gritting my teeth through some sore nipples, it was pretty easy the second time around. Then again I think the breastfeeding Gods owed me one.

So why tell this story almost 6 years later on my blog? Because somewhere out there is a new mom with cracked nipples and a hungry baby. And she's feeling like maybe, just maybe, it's just too hard.

Well honey, it is hard. In fact it sucks. But it gets better. And it's worth every ache and pain.

Posted with LifeCast

Sunday, June 14, 2009

What we Learned This Year

This weekend I've been jammin to the Rent soundtrack. And the title song, Season's of Love has got me choked up more then once in that time. The main reason of course being that my son just completed Kindergarten, And not to be out done, my daughter completed her first year of tiny tots. It's been a good year. We've all learned a lot. And in the vain of Rent I give you my list of what we've learned in these last 525,600 minutes. Well a little of what we learned this year.

1. Cheyanne learned to write her name.

2. Patrick learned to read.

3. I learned that PTA moms Rock.

4. On January 20 both kids learned what inspiration looks like.

5. Patrick learned that Karma means, "Good things happen when you do good stuff and bad stuff happens when you do bad stuff"

6. Cheyanne learned that when cats hiss, a scratch is soon to follow.

7. I learned that I can't do everything, but I can do all right.

8. Patrick learned to count to 1,000.

9. I learned that my dad is stronger than cancer.

10. Patrick learned to ride his bike without training wheels.

11. I learned that Allen only gets better with age.

12. Cheyanne learned that no matter how much she thinks otehrwise, she's not always in charge.

13. Patrick learned that he's a descendant of a President, and that Abraham Lincoln was a "good man who got killed by some pretty bad people."

14. I learned that T-Ball can do more for the soul than I ever thought possible.

15. I learned that life really is about doing what makes you happy. Anything less is just teaching my kids a bad example.

16. I learned that there is no one cooler to hang out with than my kids.

17. I learned that my family makes award winning scarecrows.

18. I learned that we do know how to grow a great garden around here too.

19. I learned that you don't need money to have a great Christmas.

20. Cheyanne learned how to swing on her own.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

One for The Girls

Some people may have read the odd article by Naomi Wolf regarding the Power of Angelina Jolie. There's no need to get into why that makes so little sense when the awesome Julie Roads did it way better than I ever could on her blog. Go read her post now, because the following post was completely inspired by it.

Over the last year that I've been blogging, on twitter, on facebook, and basically just building a network online, I have met so many amazing women. Some I've connected with as friends, some professionally, and some I totally disagree with but have miles of respect for. And it's these women I pictured in my mind as I read Julie's post about Angelina Jolie.

These women I interact with on Twitter and the ones I work with and all the ones that I know in real life and keep in contact with via Facebook.

Women who make me laugh, make me cry, and inspire me each and every day. So to you ladies, I raise a glass to all of you. You who I chat with on twitter. You who I work & collaborate with on different projects. You whose links I "like" and whose status I comment on when I'm reading stuff on Facebook and whose blogs I comment on. In fact if you're reading this, I'm talking to YOU. Naomi Wolfe should take a look at ALL of you to see what true female icons look like. And if any of you are wondering, simply look in a mirror.