Posted in Being a Badass Mama, Breastfeeding, recent posts

Mothers are mothers; regardless of their homes

I woke up this morning and read an article that got my blood boiling. The entirety of the article that you can read here basically sums up to a mother being asked to cover at the homeless shelter she was living in. She responds with her legal rights. And the IHS employee threatens to refuse service to her. The mother states she feels discriminated against and controlled. This is wrong. On so many levels.

IHS released this statement:

“IHS really does take the health and safety of our guests and our staff seriously and we really wanted to just jump on it,” said Connie Mitchell, the IHS executive director. “This is an opportunity for us to learn more and to really share with the community that we are about being proactive and about being helpful to our community as well.”

I’m glad they’re getting a head start to tackle the issue. It makes me wonder how many times this has happened before.

What do you think about this situation?

Cheers

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Posted in Being a Badass Mama, Breastfeeding, Co-sleeping

I left my heart upstairs.

Sometimes parenting is joyful. At times dreadful. Rarely quiet, at least in this house. Whether it be the joyful laughter of Cheeks discovering a new way to chase the cat, or her cries of frustration. There is noise. Until there isn’t. The moments leading up to “NightNight” in our house are slightly frantic. We search for the cream to put on her tush, the diaper we swear we put right beside us, the perfect Jammie’s. But all too soon she and I are in bed. She is nursing, staring at me. Sometimes mumbling. Other times unlatching to gleefully say MAMA! But always, after a few moments that sometimes stretch into an eternity her eyelids flutter. They close. Her breathing deepens. She sighs. My nipple falls from her mouth. I quietly scramble to get out of bed. Eager to enjoy some grown up time. Yet, the silence when I go downstairs is deafening. We find ourselves wishing she was playing in the other room, or wanting desperately to show us something. But our angel is silent. And somehow, that’s louder than her most frustrated cries. In that instant I miss her, just as if I had been away for days or months. I feel like I’m missing a piece of me. And I realize. I left my heart upstairs.

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Posted in Being a Badass Mama, Breastfeeding

I Finally Feel Like a Mother. (My Birth Story)

My birth story is fairly simple. An induction that went as smoothly as it could have! I was beyond excited to meet our daughter. She is my first child. I was scared shitless of labor. I literally had nightmares about it. So when it came time that Sunday evening to jet off to the hospital I was borderline puking. I made the hubs stop on the way for popcorn chicken and mozzarella sticks. So we added heartburn to the mix. We checked in and my nerves tripled. Once Cervadil was in place it finally hit me. We’re having a baby. I was all smiles. And then I remembered this pesky little fact..I have to push this baby out of me. Talk about buyers remorse.

So here’s where it gets foggy. I remember taking Ambien. And then getting injected with Nubain when the Ambien made me hyper. Then I crashed. I woke up at 7 am the next morning. Exhausted. Fully contracting and only at 2 cm. This is when it gets fun. They start the Pitocin. Holy hell. That freakin hurt! I remember being administered Nubain a few more times during the day. Each time I fell asleep immediately after. And I got emotional. Horribly emotional. I progressed rather quickly for this being my first baby. I had my water broken at around 3 in the afternoon. I’d say within fifteen minutes I was asking for an Epidural. Not because of the pain. But because I was scared of the unknown! I remember kicking my husband and grandmother out of the hospital room. My grandmother kept patting my knee and foot. And with the Epidural that felt horrible! At 5 I felt the pressure. I then labored down for two, almost three hours. At 7:45 p.m. I stared pushing. At 7:51 p.m. My 7lb 19 3/4 in baby girl was born. She latched right away.

I didn’t tear. I didn’t bleed a whole lot. Breastfeeding was fairly easy to master. And yet I feel so incredibly guilty. I am missing chunks of my labor. And what I do remember is terribly fuzzy. Because I was so drugged up, it took me almost a month to have that moment with my daughter where I fell in love. Instead when they laid her on me, skin to skin I felt nothing. For two days afterwards I was a robot. I nursed her. I stared into her eyes. I felt nothing but a void in my heart.

Breastfeeding saved me. It forced a closeness and a bond to form between my daughter and I. Even though my nipples cracked. And bled. Even though my breasts were as hard as rock. And horribly painful to the touch. Those moments in the first few months are precious to me. When I latched her on, and looked at her tiny wrinkled body, into her unfocused bright blue eyes; I slowly warmed to her. Each time we nursed I loved her more and more.

If I hadn’t breastfed, well honestly I don’t want to think about that.

My daughter is a healthy chunky 22 lb, 26 in baby girl. She is all about boobies. She still has those bright blue eyes, but now they’re focused on a million things at once. She sits up by herself. Throws her toys. Yells and laughs! She owns the house.

And I finally feel like a mother.

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Posted in Being a Badass Mama, Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Sucks

Yeah. It’s true. Breastfeeding sucks. It blows. At the same time it’s a beautiful thing. Why doesn’t anyone talk about how hard it is? It’s a struggle. For some, daily. There are so many roadblocks, and obstacles that breastfeeding women deal with. Mastitis. Blocked Ducts. Milk blisters. Over supply. Low supply. No supply issue, but stressing about it. Lack of poopie diapers. Too many poopie diapers. Not enough wet diapers. Too many wet diapers. Not enough sleep. Too much sleep. You name it, a breastfeeding mother goes through it. We worry about poop, almost obsessively. Don’t even get us started on sleep. Why do we worry about this? It’s bullshit. In the midst of all our worry, somehow we forget to look down and stare in awe at the little miracle our bodies created. And then there is the anxiety that goes with being tethered to your couch, all day. The fear that comes with leaving the house. The fear of being criticized for nursing our children in public. So here is a brief list of things I wish I knew before starting off with my breastfeeding journey. It goes as follows.

-It hurts. Like really hurts. Like tear inducing pain.

-You get super hungry and thirsty while nursing. Stock up on snacks.

-The hormones flow freely while nursing. Do not be alarmed if you soak your baby in tears at one point or another.

-You will be annoyed by the slow motion way your partner changes the diapers you worry so much about, it will pass.

-The stares you think you get while nursing in public don’t matter, what matters is that beautiful baby in your arms.

-Mastitis knocks you on your ass. For weeks. Once the fever is gone the exhaustion sets in, good luck getting out of bed.

-You will fall asleep while nursing, get used to it.

-Once the overwhelming milk supply has regulated itself, you will worry about your supply. Don’t. Stress causes low supply.

-Don’t worry about not showering, it’s over rated.

-You’re going to sweat. A lot. Like a lot a lot. And smell. A lot. A lot a lot.

-Your baby is going to eat. A lot. And use you as a sucking mechanism. A lot. It’s fine.

-Trust your body. And baby. It’s hard. But your instincts will rarely be wrong.

-Cosleeping. It’s easy for nighttime nursing. You get more sleep. Baby gets more sleep. Do it safely. Don’t worry.

-Don’t research everything.

-Have fun. Treasure it. It flys by.

Love you guys! Enjoy your day!

Cheers

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Posted in Being a Badass Mama, Breastfeeding

Nursing in Public and the Military

Nursing in public. NIP. It’s a pretty controversial topic as of late. All over the country women are being shunned. They are being kicked out of store after store. Restaurant after restaurant. Shamed for covering. Shamed for not covering. Asked to nurse in bathrooms.

Federal Law states:

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a woman may breastfeed her child at any location in a Federal building or on Federal property, if the woman and her child are otherwise authorized to be present at the location

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This doesn’t state that the woman is only allowed to nurse in bathrooms. Only allowed to nurse with a cover. This doesn’t state that the woman is only allowed to nurse the way others deem appropriate.

State law varies. Some states protect the mother. Some don’t have specific laws in place.

Nursing on a military installation is completely different. We recently moved onto Fort Meade, MD. Before moving a month ago I had never lived on base before. It’s a different world here. Different people. Different laws. Restrictions.

Some bases will protect a woman’s right to breastfeed her child in public. Some bases won’t. The federal law that we cherish and hold as our armor in case we have to enter battle is wishy washy in this department.

This is something a few women discovered while nursing their children in the commissary at Schofield Barracks, in Hawaii. In separate instances women were approached about their breastfeeding in public. They were asked to cover themselves, or to use the nursing room available to them. Respectfully they denied these requests. They were then asked to leave. One woman in particular posted her situation on the Garrison Commander’s facebook page. The comments from other women ranged from supportive to negative. The Garrison Commander then replied to this post and arranged a meeting with the woman and her husband. His response disappointed a multitude if women. He let it be known that these federal laws didn’t apply to the base he ran, if he didn’t want them to.

How backwards is this? These women, and women all over the world breastfeed. It is a peaceful thing. It is cementing a bond between mother and child. It is a relationship between mother and child. Not mother and universe. So pack away your comments. Your stares. Stop your judgment. Let mothers nurse in peace. Let the babies stare into the loving eyes of their mamas.

And for you outsiders. Get over it. Stop complaining. Stop judging. Stop being so close minded. Open your mind to the love. Open your mind to the bond. You will understand the need someday. Maybe just not today.

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Posted in Baby-Wearing, Being a Badass Mama, Breastfeeding

Inner Harbor

We had a wonderful day with our visiting family today! We went to Inner Harbor, about twenty minutes from our home. We walked around, bathing in the sunshine. We enjoyed Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. We nursed in public. We wore our daughter. She smiled. Giggled. Played. Not a tear was shed. I hope you enjoyed your Saturday!

Cheers

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Posted in Being a Badass Mama, Breastfeeding

Amber’s Story

This is another wonderful fan share! What a powerful story of persevering through many obstacles! You are an inspiration! You are warrior mama! I hope you enjoy!
Cheers

I’ll share mine. I’m 29 and a mother of three. Out of my three kids, my youngest daughter (4mo now) is the only one I’ve been able to breast feed with any measured success. With my son (the oldest -he’s 5), I dried up before I even got started, and no one could tell me why. Three weeks post partum and BAM, no milk. Just done. With my middle child (she’s 2), I was DETERMINED to breast feed. But she didn’t latch well… and I had to have an emergency c-sections, so I didn’t get the chance to hold her for nearly 6 hours after delivery. But I was going to do it, damnit. So I did, I used the nipple covers, I bled, I scabbed, I bled more, I cried, I pleaded, I winced, I thought that I wouldn’t ever get feeling back, I even started to dread it. THEN I started to dry up just 4 weeks post partum. SO I pumped, and pumped and pumped .. 20 minutes after every feeding … teas. supplements. constant blog reading. tips. tricks. lactation consultants (and still they told me that there wasn’t any reason.. but she was SCREAMING after each feeding because she was hungry). I didn’t leave the house. so at 8 weeks I just couldn’t make any more come out, so I dried up again. When baby #3 graced us, I again had to have an emergency c-section, but when it came to nursing I said “if I can, I can.. if I can’t, then I can’t.” … and here we are 4 months and counting. She latches well, she coos, she smiles, we snuggle, I nurse when we’re out, when we’re at friends, we co-slept for the first 3 months, and now she sleeps through the night like a miracle. When I’m not having a good day, I supplement her, but I almost never need to more than one feeding. I don’t let where I am stop me, because I’m thankful that my body is letting me feed my daughter. The moral of my story? Take care of yourself and be honest about what you are able to handle. If it’s not working, then change it, but don’t let misconceptions guide your path. It took me three babies to get it right – but I am so glad I didn’t give up!

-Amber Lynn Wyatt-

Posted in Being a Badass Mama, Breastfeeding

Sarah’s Story

This was a comment in response to my F is for Fabulous blog post. I found it so well written, and inspiring that I couldn’t help but ask if I could post it here. What a wonderful story! You go mama! You are a warrior!
Cheers

I’ll go ahead and share my most recent ‘I’m a failure’ moment to prove that it still happens, even after you’ve been nursing for a good while. I’ve been nursing my son for 19 months now. He is a wonderful little boy, and I love him so much it often brings me to tears. In October, I found out I was pregnant again. I had just gotten to the point where I was really comfortable and confident in my decision to breastfeed full-term (I hate the term ‘extended breastfeeding.’ It makes it sound like it isn’t normal.) It didn’t bother me anymore that people thought what I was doing was strange, or wrong, or damaging my child. I knew deep down that what I was doing was the right thing to do, and I felt really good about it.

Suddenly, at about 13 weeks, I began to dislike nursing. Then a few days after that, I hated it. I really, really hated it. It was terrible. Every time he latched, within a few minutes, my skin would start to crawl and I would get really angry at him. If you can imagine the feeling in your head from nails on a chalkboard as a physical sensation surging through your entire body, that’s kind of what it feels like. I felt so guilty. I was so angry at my little baby boy for what seemed like absolutely no reason. There were a few times I even got the urge to rip him off the breast and throw him across the room. It got to the point where I was even questioning if I really loved him as much as I thought I did. I felt so guilty, and I had no idea what was wrong with me. It was terribly depressing. It felt like this wonderful, close, unbreakable bond I had with him was falling apart before my eyes.

At about 18 weeks, I happened upon a page on Facebook called ‘nursing aversion,’ a term I had never heard before. But it seemed like a perfect description of what I was experiencing, so I clicked on it. It turns out that what I’m going through with nursing is perfectly normal. Many pregnant and tandem nursing mothers experience it. It is nothing more than a perfectly natural instinct that drives mothers to wean their older child before the new baby arrives. And almost instantly, the ‘why don’t I love my baby anymore’ guilt disappeared. Just knowing that there was nothing wrong with me has helped so much in handling the bad feelings I get while nursing.

Basically, my point is that the mothering journey is far from perfect. But letting the lack of perfection interfere with the joys of motherhood doesn’t help whatever issue is presenting itself at that particular point in the journey. Even when some things make us feel like failures, there are so many other things to be proud of. Even though I hated nursing, I still let him nurse. And he was still my happy little boy. And if I had focused on that just a little more, and given myself a little more credit, I could have avoided the entire crisis.

-Sarah E Schnittger-

Posted in Being a Badass Mama, Breastfeeding

F is for Fabulous

I’m four, almost five months into our breastfeeding journey. I thought it would be easy by now. Less overwhelming. I wouldn’t get touched out. My breasts wouldn’t ache. My nipples wouldn’t be sore. I would have a schedule. My daughter would sleep in her own bed. I was wrong. I am touched out. I am overwhelmed. I am tired. My breasts ache. My breasts tingle painfully with every letdown. I get nervous each time I NIP. I’m not sure why. I do it every time we go out. In fact I’ve last track of just how many times I’ve nursed Hattie in public! I’m one of the lucky ones. I’ve not yet had a negative experience while nursing Hattie out and about.that being said, I haven’t really had a positive experience either. I haven’t really had much of an experience at all. Don’t get me wrong, I have had the occasional negative comment from friends and family. But never an attack while nursing. Never a compliment while nursing. I’m not that upset either. I know that not everyone I encounter is so passionate about this. I didn’t think I would be so passionate about this. I am all about boobs. And babies. Babies and boobs. At the same time, my boobs have never been more normal to me. I’ve never had such a sense of purpose. I’ve never been so comfortable with my breasts. They mean something. They feed my baby. I have a purpose. A dream. I am finally going to persevere, use my stubbornness as a positive thing.

Of my many obstacles with breastfeeding I have found one of the biggest to be myself. I doubt myself too much. At every turning point I question my decisions. I wish I could know for certain that the decisions I’m making in regards to my daughter are the right ones. I wish for perfection. I fear screwing her up. I want to set my daughter up for success. During my moments of doubt I realize that it’s not about her. It’s about me.

It’s my fears to become the f word. A failure. I guess if you look at it that way I fail at pretty much everything. I fail to find a good balance between mommy hood and being a wife. I fail to clean. I fail to do laundry. I fail at keeping my composure. I fail at balancing my home life with my advocacy. I fail as a mother. As a wife. And as a friend. I fail daily.

But on the flip side I don’t. If I just change my focus slightly I don’t see a failure at all. I see a champion. A warrior. A person stitched together by imperfection trying her best. I see a mother enthrall end by her child. Not wanting to miss a thing. I see a wife trying to love and support her husband. I see a friend being forgetful. Making honest mistakes. And compensating for them with love.

I see a woman on the floor, trying for hours to make her baby laugh. I see a woman cautiously pulling out her breast, to offer it to her hungry child. I see a first aid kit. I see a comedian. I see a chef. I see a woman of many hats, looking ridiculous while balancing it all. I see a shapeshifter. I see myself. I see you. I see my friend. I see my mother. My grandmother. Aunt. Cousin. Sister. Myself

I try to balance it all. But the thing is….I am all of these things at once. Trying to balance makes me fall. I will not say fail or failure again. Don’t look at that side of the spectrum. Look at your baby, your husband. Love them unconditionally.

Love yourself.

Forgive yourself.

Release yourself.

Give in.

Live naturally.

Cheers

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