Friday, June 21, 2013

a mom's style

Gone are the days of the high-waisted, mom butt jeans... and if you do see a mom wearing them, well they are probably vintage 501 Levis and she is probably a hipster. Being a mom does not immediately turn you into a frumpy, short-haired, floral mu-mu wearing woman anymore!

We moms are hanging onto our youth! We are hanging onto our glory! I can empathize with the high-waisted  jeans... they feel like they hold you in... hold you together after having a baby and a VERY squishy belly. But 501s are not for me. I have a different kind of style.

But now I am trying to define that style.

Immediately postpartum I was VERY aware of the yoga pant uniform that many suburban mothers don. It really did feel like getting dressed most days. But, I wasn't going out into public. I was held up in my little house with a crying baby that would most likely spit up, explode on, etc. all over my dark yoga pants. And guess what? That was fine! It was part of my mom badge.

Now that we are going out in public more, I am finding it hard to dress the person I have become and the new body I have. Monday - Thursday I am fortunate to work in a VERY casual office. It isn't a rarity to find all the people in my department in a T-shirt and jeans. But we often wear fun sandals to counteract the casual. Because the dress code is so lax, I, too, find myself being lax. I put VERY little effort into what I wear, or how I do my hair. Let's be honest, getting ready in the morning is no longer a priority. Sleep is.

I can't think of the last time I straightened my own hair. My hair is the longest it has been in YEARS and it is constantly curly frizzy now.

Friday - Sunday I am home with my family and often don't venture out into the world. My yoga pant uniform is back in full swing. It's too hot to take my little guy to do anything fun outdoors. Anything indoors cost $$$. So, why dirty a pair of jeans that I can wear during the week?

NO! This is the wrong mentality! This is how we slip into frumpy mom-dum! I won't allow it! So what is the plan? What am I going to do about it? Well, I am shopping for staple pieces that are kid friendly and mother approved.

I am now bending over in public to pick up Bear, change his diaper in my backseat, pick up dropped nuk nuks while he is in my arms. My shorty shorts and jumpers are out of the question. My baby is getting heavier and grabbier, strapless dresses and tube-tops are also a no-go. Oh, and I nurse too. So I have to plan for that too! Boobie convenience. It's a thing. (And not in the strapless tube-top kinda way).

So, I have started pinning more for ideas! Here's my board - "Fashion-Able" because even though I am a mom, it's still possible to dress well and look put together. Wish me luck!

Friday, June 14, 2013

The idea of another bebe....

Today I bought a pregnancy test because everyone around me (Pat and my coworker) asked me if I was pregnant. I was showing some of the signs again - strange bouts of acne, strange reactions to metal (my new mother's day ring) and cravings for afternoon milkshakes (Wendy's frostys). These were all VERY present in my pregnancy with Bear.

The test was negative.

While I was standing in the checkout line with the test, a pregnant girl was in the line in front of me with 3 boxes of Reese's Peanut Butter Puffs, chocolate milk and sweet potatoes. It was clear she was having major cravings and she was VERY pregnant.

The poor teenage boy that was checking us out probably had no idea what to do with us. Especially when I told him I would be putting the pregnancy test directly in my purse. I did this for 2 reasons.
1. I didn't want Pat to think I was absurd for thinking I was pregnant again.
2. If I was pregnant, I thought it would be a delightful surprise to tell him on Father's day.

Again, I am not pregnant.

I was so anxious. I sat in the bathroom with my purse and a stick on the floor. It was negative. A sigh of relief swept over me. But, simultaneously, I was missing the baby that wasn't there. I am currently dreaming of a little girl.

But, if our next baby is a boy, I will be well practiced. I love my little boy so.

My mother sent me this picture last month. It is us in the hospital. My little Bear so small.

It makes me feel a love so deep, one that I forgot about. The first meeting of a mother and child. The immediate bond that happens. I can't wait to feel that again.

But let's give it a year.

Monday, June 10, 2013

5 months : Emotional Feeding

This post is about breast feeding and milk supply. If that doesn't interest you, please do not feel obligated to read the following:

Growing up I remember hearing that one should nurse for at least 3 months. Doing that will give your baby all the antibodies he will need. This is always what I thought I would do. 'ese days the recommended amount of time is 12 months. After 3 months came and went, I can see why they encourage moms to nurse longer. That is no time at all! Many mama's are unabashedly going even longer! My goal is 12 months, but the idea of weaning is heart breaking. I want my baby to need me forever. Perhaps this is more that I don't want him to grow up? Get bigger? All of the above?

When I first switched to Dr. Leonard while I was pregnant I asked him to recommend a breast pump. I told him I would be going back to work after Bear was born. He said he recommended breast milk for 12 months but often times milk production would go down after moms return to work. He seemed sad that I would be returning to work for this reason. I followed suit but was sure I would have a strong milk supply. 

I have been back to work for about 3 months now. Pumping with my Medela Pump In Style Advanced has been going swimmingly! Until the last 2 weeks that is. I would normally get about 4-5 ounces per session, equaling about 15 ounces per day. This is outstanding for a pumping mama! Many moms are only able to get 2 ounces per session.

Last Monday I became one of those moms. 

This noticeable supply reduction started after our freezer store had been depleted. I should have seen this coming. My growing boy started needing more than than what I was able to pump. He was drinking about 6-7 ounces per feeding at daycare. 

I never introduced Bear to formula as my pediatrician recommended because my supply had been going strong. His idea behind this is that if my supply were to run out, and Bear had never had formula before, we may be in for a world of hurt if he had to quit BM cold turkey and got to formula. And now I had nothing to mix the formula with to ease the transition. We were screwed. 

The constant knot in my stomach for the last few weeks could be likened to getting in trouble by my dad in 6th grade for going to the fair without an adult. I felt guilty and hopeless. So, in true Emily fashion, I Googled it. I needed to find a solution. Come to find out, there are many options to increase a milk supply! There is a thing called "Power Pumping," but I don't have time in the work day to do that. (Ain't nobody got time for that!) Then there are the supplements everyone knows about: Fenugreek and Mother's Milk Tea. Tuesday I went to Sprouts and purchased both. I then took/drank the recommended amount. 

Wednesday, it was a milky miracle!

I got over 5 ounces in one pumping! 

And then my armpits started smelling like maple syrup. Seriously. Maple freaking syrup. (I made Pat smell my armpit just to make sure I wasn't going batty).

That night, Wednesday, Bear woke up at 10:30 for his normal 10:30 feeding. I propped him on his Boppy pillow. He refused me. His screams and wails brought Pat out of bed. I thought maybe he was just overly tired so I walked him around until he calmed down. Then I tried to nurse him again. Full tantrum. At this point, exhaustion and exasperation had set in and I started crying too. He refused me 2 more times and I decided it was time  to use the VERY LAST bag of milk in the freezer. He took the bottle from Pat, no problem. This started to feel very personal. I walked out of the nursery, sobbing, heart breaking.

I moved to the living room and set up my pump. I turned back into the depressed reclusive person I had been all week prior to the supply increase. Thoughts of formula and a distant child, a child that didn't need me ran through my head. I felt like I had let Bear, and myself, down. I didn't know I would be this emotionally attached to nursing. 

.   .   .

Later in the night he nursed like a champ and relief swept over me. The next dayI quit the fenugreek. I thought maybe the smell of the maple syrup or something was freaking him out. 

All this hubbub got me thinking that he may be ready for a little more in his tummy. I gave in to another internal struggle about starting him on solids be for I was ready. I spent my lunch hour buying him what I thought was the best Organic Rice Cereal.

I was discussing it later with my co-worker when our Operations Manager mentioned an article in Consumer Reports about Arsenic in Rice. After reading it, and feeling like I SUCK at feeding my son, I called the pediatrician and asked if there was an alternative to arsenic, cancer-causing, food. The nurse had heard nothing of this report and waited from word from the doctor. He said it was fine to start Bear on oatmeal cereal instead of rice. 

And so, this Saturday morning, we mixed 1 tablespoon of rice cereal with 4 ounces of breast milk and fed it to our little guy. He was confused initially, but then seemed interested enough in it. He opened his mouth each time the spoon came toward him! I have heard this means he is ready for this stage. 

This is but another milestone, among many, that I have to accept. He is growing at lightening speed. Did I mention that he rolled over on Friday???