Supporting T – Sophie’s Guest Post

Today’s  guest post comes from Sophie over at Mommy Training  Wheels. It tells about the lessons Sophie learned while on her breastfeeding journey with her son. 

Sophie is a twenty something first time mom to Charles (aka: Little Dude). She lives in Quebec, Canada with her partner and son. She is getting ready to go back to work after a 40 week maternity leave. She has always enjoyed reading and writing and says that blogging seemed like a natural step after the birth of her  son. She uses her blog as both an outlet for her and a journal she uses to record every moment she can capture of her son’s life. I strongly encourage everyone to go check out her blog. Thanks again for your contribution to this project Sophie! Enjoy! 

Love, Hugs and more to come later!

Lynn

 

Ah the idyllic scene that comes to mind when one thinks about breastfeeding: A mother, sitting in a cozy chair holding her baby seemingly effortlessly in the cradle position. Her body is completely relaxed as her baby is latched on and calmly sucking away at the breast. Except, it doesn’t always work that way. In fact, in my experience, it seldom actually works that way.

 When I learned I was pregnant, I immediately knew that I wanted to try to breastfeed. Not only because breast was best, but also because it seemed less of a hassle. I mean, breastfeeding is natural, right? That is what they say after all. And when something is natural, it’s easy right, right? Turns out, I was wrong.

 Let me share a few of the pearls of knowledge that I learned through my nursing experience.

 

1. Breastfeeding may be natural, but it definitely is not easy.

When I put my son to my breast for the first time, I struggled. Actually, “struggle” is an understatement. A nurse had to help me. She showed me how to use my son’s rooting reflex to get him to open his mouth wide enough to get a good enough latch. She showed me how to compress my breast with one hand as I brought my son’s mouth towards it so that my son could get a deep latch. She showed me to look at his lips to make sure that they were clearly visible around my breast. I fumbled quite a bit. It was awkward at first, very awkward, to be honest. But I managed, and boy did he latch!

 

2. Breastfeeding can be painful.

I was lucky, my son latched well and quickly. The first few days were more difficult though and with a bad latch usually comes pain. I ended up with bleeding nipples on my second day. They healed quickly (with the help of some lanolin) and, after getting the hang of things, I never had that problem again. Of course, a few months later, my son’s teeth came in and new challenges arose, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed (or healed). I also had to deal with a clogged duct on two occasions but was able to massage it away and was lucky enough for it to not turn into mastitis.

 

3. Your milk may not come in right away, but when it does…oh boy!

My milk came in on the fourth day. By that time, my son was starting to show signs of dehydration. All I did was nurse, nurse and nurse some more to stimulate my breasts so that they would go past the colostrum phase and bring the milk that my baby needed. In the world of breastfeeding, demand precedes supply. The more your baby nurses (or the more you pump) the more milk you create. All that to say that milk coming in = engorgement = ouchie = desperate need of nursing pads!

 

4. You will be hungry and thirsty.

I was never a big drinker, but breastfeeding makes one thirsty, especially in the first months when you’re nursing almost constantly. It seemed like I couldn’t get enough water or snacks to help me through the day.

 

5. What you eat will have an effect on your baby.

You may have to remove some things from your diet. Having alcohol and nursing tends to make your baby sleep less. Some moms do drink before (less than 1h) or even while they nurse, but my little man was always a bad sleeper so if I wanted to drink I made sure to have a bottle of expressed milk for him. Caffeine, not surprisingly, causes even less sleep in a baby. My son also had some pretty gnarly eczema from the get-go. We treated it with prescription cortisone creams and hydrating lotions, but it kept coming back. I learned, when he started solids at 6 months of age, that he was allergic to dairy. When I removed dairy from my own diet, his eczema disappeared within 2-3 weeks. Some moms have to remove even more foods and go on what is known as an allergy elimination diet.

 

6. Breastfeeding is hard at first, sometimes painful and mostly indescribably awesome!

The worst day to decide it’s time to stop is on a bad day. They happen. I’ve had a few myself. There were days where I felt like just popping my son off my breast and popping a bottle n his mouth and being done with nursing. These were days where I was running on too little sleep or when my son had been nursing for hours on end or when I was healing from a bite or when I was just a hormonal mess. However, if I had decided to wean on those days, I would have regretted it. I’m 9 months in now and plan to breastfeed until my son is 1. Then, I will see.

 

9 months! For someone who was planning on going 6 months it is awesome. But I couldn’t have done it if it weren’t for a few key factors:

 

  1. Loads of help: I was always VERY appreciative when my partner, or mother, or friend would bring me a glass of water and/or a snack while I was nursing because I would almost always, inevitably forget to do so myself.

  2. Nursing gear: My partner brought home a Boppy pillow when my son was about 2 weeks old and had it not been for the stitches and the baby attached to my breast, I could have jumped up in his arms from gratitude. I also really appreciated my lanolin and nursing pads in the first few days. I invested in a couple of very comfy nursing bras and tops for when I was out of the house. They made breastfeeding in public much easier and discrete enough for little ol’ shy me.

  3. Support, support, support: Sometimes, I just needed to rant and was happy to have a listening ear. Other times, I was feeling discouraged and needed to be reminded that I was doing a great job, that it was OK to decide to stop breastfeeding, but to wait until I was calm and rested (or as rested as a mother can be) before making up my mind.

  4. Honesty: Breastfeeding has worked out great for me so far and that’s why the people around me encouraged me to keep going when I was feeling down. However, if I had faced major issues and was burning myself out or headed towards depression, the people around me would have been honest and told me that though “breast is best” it isn’t best at all costs.

Supporting T

Dear T,

 Over the last little while since you found out you were expecting Baby L, you and I have had a lot of conversations centering on pregnancy, labor, birth, parenting, diapering, anxiety, postpartum and feeding. Most of the things we discuss we are pretty much on the same page and I can offer you my experiences and thoughts. Except one. There is one choice you are making that I never did. And that’s to breastfeed. I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. In fact I fully one hundred million percent support you in that choice. And I want to see you succeed. I want to help you succeed. I want to be there for you when you are struggling, and I want you to be able to count on me for support in any and all circumstances.

At first I wasn’t sure how I could help you. I can’t relate to anything you are going to be experiencing and, in fact, I don’t even know what I can do that would be helpful vs what isn’t especially helpful. But then I realized, I started blogging back in January and so many of the blogs I read touch on breastfeeding! So, I turned to the wonderful women I have been reading about to give me (and you) some tips/pointers and share their experiences.

I hope to see you and Baby L have a happy feeding relationship, and I want to be there for you every step of the way. Over the next week or so I am going to be sharing the stories and tips that have been so graciously shared with me. I hope they help you on your journey.

To start today, I invite you to check out these posts:

Valerie over at Atlanta Mom of Three shared a post she had written with me. Her post is titled Breastfeeding ROCKS! And in it she shares her experiences with breastfeeding as well as numerous links to websites and blogs to help out in a number of situations.

The second post I really hope you check out was written by Shannon at A Game of Diapers. She wrote a post called Tips for How to Win at Breastfeeding: What the Books Don’t Tell You. It is a very well written post, that was dedicated to me, for this project.

 

I have received a large number of contributions to this project since I put it out that I was looking for help. And I plan to share each and every story that was (and may still be) shared with me. I hope you find information that helps you on your journey.

 

Love, hugs and more to come later!

Lynn

Heeeeeeelp meeeeee pleeeeeaaasseeee!!!!

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I really hope one of my awesome readers can help me. Please please please. You might recall yesterday I mentioned that we are going to start potty training Alex today. Well we started! It started off bad, when I suggested him taking off his diaper and using the potty he had a melt down. So I backed off. A few hours later he WANTED to wear his big boy underwear! yay! I was super happy. So we got him all decked out in his new Cars undies. Then he peed on the floor. Oh big deal, I moved him onto his potty, and explained (for the hundred millionth time) that we have to pee on the potty, not on the floor. Had him help clean up his mess, and put clean undies on. 

Then he peed on the floor again. Went through the same routine. He seemed to get it. He told me he needed to pee on the potty, not the floor. 

Then 2 minutes later (literally TWO EFFING MINUTES) I walked back into the living room to find him squatted on the floor WATCHING himself pee. As soon as he seen me he bolted to his potty. But he was already done. Again we cleaned up and talked about it. Then a did a mommy bad and put him in a diaper. I probably shouldn’t have. But he asked for it and I could tell he was getting upset about the accidents. I don’t want to discourage him from potty training by making him feel bad about accidents… but obviously being as positive as I have been (accident’s happen, it’s okay, let’s clean it up etc) isn’t getting the point across that he NEEDS to pee on the potty and not on my floor. 

Anyone have any tips? 

Love, hugs and more to come later!

Lynn

Random Updates

My wrist isn’t broken! Yay! It’s just badly sprained. And still hurts like crazy. But at least now I know what is wrong with it and the steps to take to make it better! 

This post is likely going to be short. But I wanted to post some random updates on some random stuff. 

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Nick has been switched to Almond milk. We are going to wait a couple weeks and try to reintroduce soy to him. And if we are successful we are going to talk about milk. 

Zoey is three months old. She weighs 15 lbs and 5 oz and is 25 inches long. 

Tomorrow we are starting the 3 days to potty training with Alex. I’m nervous. There will be a post on that once we are done. 

I am failing miserably at the Orange Rhino challenge. I have felt off for the last couple days and have no patience. I have a lot of guilt about that. There will be a post on that when I can type with a little less pain. 

I have ordered all my cloth diapers/inserts etc and I am just waiting for them all to come in so I can start my cloth diapering journey. I am excited to get started and start saving some money!

I have started planning Christmas gifts and budgets for the kids. I am also starting to plan Halloween costumes. Alex and I were looking at them online. I was going to dress him and Nick as pirates and Zoey as a parrot. Alex seen a princess one, and wants to dress up as a princess for Halloween. I support him, and would let him, but part of me hopes he changes his mind when it comes time to actually shop for them. 

I guess that’s it. It’s almost midnight. I need to go to bed!

Oh! And I ordered these for the kids: (I could’ve made them, but with my wrist, I wasn’t sure I would be able to before Fall!) (Not the diaper covers, just the hats!)

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Love, hugs and more to come later!

Lynn

A repost. Just Because I am awesome that way.

Today I am going to post a repost. Because. Well, my wrist is killing me, I’m tired and I don’t want to post nothing. I feel like I am neglecting my few readers. Or myself. I’m not sure. I have been working on my breastfeeding project, so I don’t feel completely useless, thanks so much to all the wonderful ladies helping me! 

So since I have accumulated quite a few followers over the last couple months, I wanted to post my introduction again. Here it is!

Last night I couldn’t sleep. I don’t know why. Kids were sleeping. Hubs was sleeping. Baby wasn’t keeping me up bouncing. But I was awake. So while I was awake I thought about some random stuff. I thought about what to make for supper tonight (tacos sounds pretty good to me). I thought about what was left to do for our pending trip to Winnipeg (more on that later). I thought about what I wanted this blog to be, and I thought about who I am as a Mom. 

I don’t want this blog to become be whining about being a parent and how hard it is. I also don’t only want this blog to focus on the good. In fact I don’t only want this blog to be about my kids. I want this blog to represent who I am and who I become as I walk down this uncharted road. I know millions of people have and are raising kids, which means the road of parenthood could be considered well walked, and I suppose in some ways it is. But no one out there is me. And no one out there is raising my kids. Therefore, for us, it’s uncharted. 

Sometimes it’s going to be posts about my kids (let’s face it, they are my whole world and as a stay at home mom I spend a lot of time with them, making them easy to write about!) Sometimes it’ll be posts about married life (which anyone who is married knows it’s not always a walk in the park, especially when the man you married is military. I’m not complaining, but any marriage comes with it’s share of work!) Sometimes it might be about a new recipe I tried, a new craft the kids and I did, a home makeover project, or even just a random post that has me rambling! 

I won’t lie, I’m not the mom who plans out our whole day with activities. I’m not the mom who takes my kids to art galleries and museums once a week and worries about there being enough culture in their lives. I don’t have a designated hour of the day to teach my kids colors, the alphabet and numbers. I do things with my kids, we bake cookies, color Easter eggs, finger paint, build with blocks, play Ring around the Rosie. I read to my kids *almost* every day. We build with blocks, and run around being silly. I also turn the TV on for the kids and let them entertain themselves while I get a couple things done around the house, or sit on my computer because I need a few minutes to myself. I’m not going to pretend I am perfect, because, frankly, no one is. But I do the best I can, and this blog is going to be my journey! 

So before we start this journey, let me give you a little background on me, and my little family. 

My husband and I met in 2008 when we were both in the Canadian Forces, we became good friends almost right away, and left it at that since I was in a relationship with someone else at the time. I left the Forces due to an injury a few months after we met and went back home while he finished up his training. After I left, my boyfriend and I decided to go our separate ways, and Hubs thought he would ask me out. I turned him down. Before he even finished asking. I did not in any way shape or form want a relationship, let alone a long distance one. We kept in touch, and he stayed on my mind. In July of 2009, I was out with a friend when I brought Hubs up in conversation. Her reply was ‘you really got a thing for him huh?’ hmm. I hadn’t really thought about him in that way, but I started thinking about it then. He had always been in the back of my mind, and there was something between us even if we hadn’t labelled it! So I decided to call him and ask him out. (I think he was a little surprised!) In October 2009, I moved out east to live with him and make a go of things. He proposed to me a couple weeks after I moved here. We got married April 2, 2010 (I wanted April 1, but he didn’t have the leave to get to Winnipeg in time for the wedding, so I went with the 2nd instead!) A couple weeks later, I found out I was pregnant with our first child. In December of 2010 we welcomed our first son, Alexander Mychael into the world. About 7 months later I found out I was pregnant again. To say I was surprised would be an understatement! In March of 2012 we welcomed our second son, Nicholas Sidney into the world. At this point we sat down and really talked about how many kids we wanted and how far apart we wanted any additional children… so about 5 months after we had Nick we started trying for baby # 3. In August I found out I was pregnant again, this time with a little girl, Zoey-Ann Marie, due in May! We both agreed this is going to be the last addition to our family (children wise, you never know what pets may join us down the road!) and that brings us to where we are now! Hubs is soon to be heading out on a course with the military (well 3 courses back to back) and the kids and I are going to be heading out to Winnipeg to spend some time with my family and have the baby! 

That brings us to today, and right now the kids are waking up and I need to get them some breakfast! 

 

Love, hugs and more to come later!

Lynn

 

Life With One Hand

First, let me say the health care system is messed up. Beyond messed up. I am thankful that in Canada we have *mostly* free healthcare. But sometimes the way it works is mind boggling. When I screwed up my wrist I made the decision to go into my family Dr about it, instead of bogging down the emergency department for a non emergency. (Not to mention I didn’t feel like sitting in the emergency department for hours on end waiting to see a Dr. since, you know, it wasn’t an emergency!) 

So anyways I went into my family Dr, and I got sent for an x-ray. The x-ray technician told me it appeared broken to her, and she would send the results to my Dr for him to send me to the fracture clinic for a cast. Okay. My dr’s office was already closed, but naive me assumed that I would call in this morning, and get the results. Not so. Apparently had I gone to the emergency room and waited a few hours, it would’ve been checked, x-rayed and the cast put on all at once before I went home. Since I chose to go to the Dr (again, it wasn’t an emergency) I seen the Dr on Thursday, got x-rayed on Friday, and my Dr will have the results Wednesday at the earliest, but probably not until Friday. WTF?!?

So until then, I get to leave my wrist in the splint. Keep taking anti-inflammatories. And don’t use it. Really. I have three kids. Under three. And I can’t use my wrist? That’s as awesome as when I was put on bedrest while pregnant and had a toddler. So needless to say, I have been trying to do everything one-handed. Try picking up a 3 month old with one hand. Change a poopy diaper with one hand. Wash your long hair with one hand. Cook. Laundry. Clean. The list goes on.

Hubs is here to help me out. Which is fabulous. I would be so so so lost  without him. But. Still. I’m one of those weird traditional people who believes its mostly mom’s job to cook, clean etc. (except bathrooms. I don’t do bathrooms.)  And I can’t stand sitting around watching him do everything. /sigh/ I should just enjoy this as a break, but he isn’t me and can’t stay on top of everything the way a mom can. I’m going crazy! I hope this all gets resolved soon. I just want to know what’s wrong and have it treated properly. Preferably before something crazy has to happen. Like having to re break it or something. 

Love, hugs and more to come later!

Lynn

Silent (ish) Saturday

My wrist is hurting lots tonight and I don’t want to type much, so I thought I would share this instead:

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Each of my monkeys at 3 months (ish) old. What do you think? Do they look alike? Different? I can’t decide! (Alex is on the left, than Nick, than Zoey!)

Love, hugs and more to come later!
Lynn