Friday, July 31, 2015

Unconditional love: a love note to my son

You know you love your son when you want to go to bed so the morning can come sooner so you can cuddle with him. You know that unconditional love when you just want to hug and snuggle with him. You know the joy you feel when you see him grow and discover more and more.

We took logan to the mall tonight and got him a minion from build a bear. I put it in the stroller at his feet and his eyes just lit up. He showed this genuine interest and curiosity in it that made me beam.

There's points at night where fred is taking care of him and I want to do everything. To feed him to bathe him to cuddle him to sleep. I can't wait to play with him in the morning, to just be with him. My heart swells with this love I didn't know I was capable of. I can't wait to watch him grow up and develop and learn. To become a wonderful man I know he will. I love my bright eyes.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Never Again

Never again. That statement came out of my mouth about 5 times yesterday in the span of 45 minutes. Never again was I going to get this out of shape. Never again am I going to let my weight get this out of hand. Never again am I going to be this inactive.

Prior to this pregnancy I was working out 6 days a week hardcore. When I found out I was pregnant, I went to doing light workouts 3 days a week to total inactivity. My diet suffered too. I ate too much, I stopped watching what I ate, I wasn't eating healthy. By the end of my pregnancy, I had gained 86 pounds.

Now a bit of this was bloat from the preclampsia and I lost half of the weight in two weeks. But I still have that other half to lose. I think this is some of my issue with the anxiety and depression. It's hard on your body when you do a 180 like that. Also, there are issues when you are overweight and not eating properly.

If I ever become pregnant again, I'm not putting myself through this again. I will not stop working out, I will not eat too much or so carelessly. I will continue to treat my body with respect. I missed working out. I missed the healthy, good food. I am glad that I am well enough to start doing it all again.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Why I can't enjoy this age

So everyone keeps telling me to enjoy this age. That he won't be this small again, he won't be this cuddly again, he won't be this way again, that it all changes. But I just can't.

I don't know if that I'm not a newborn person or if I'm not good with something being this dependent on me. But I just cant.

I'm looking forward to him being more active. To being able to put him in his highchair and have him watch me while I put away the groceries. I look forward to talking to him and interacting with him, not just holding him and him staring off into the distance. I want to be able to play with my son, crawl around with my son, watch him explore.

Maybe it's hard on me right now cause I'm not well. I have to remind myself of that. I've never been one to look down on people with mental illness or say they aren't sick. Cause they are it's just different then what we think sickness is. But for some reason, I can't get myself to believe that I'm sick. I just wish I was better. I wish I was more like myself. I wish I could stop second guessing myself or looking too much into the future. My therapist says I need to be more present. It's what I have to work on. It's our goal for the next session. We will see how it goes.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Turns out everything isn't ok

So I talked about baby blues. They say if they don't go away after 2 weeks everything is not ok.

About 10 to 15% of new moms have some sort of postpartum depression, anxeity, or OCD. I am one of those 10 to 15%.

It started about two weeks ago. I was having a lot of anxiety with being alone with Logan. I felt like I didn't know what to do, how I would calm him when he was crying, what to do all day with him. I didn't want to go out with Logan because of what could happen. What if he started crying in the middle of the store and I couldn't calm him down. What if he made a mess in his car seat. What if he gets upset while im driving and i cant comfort him. What if, heaven forbid, something worse happened. Mornings brought anxiety attacks because Fred was leaving and I would be by myself again. I was lonely but I didn't want to go anywhere. Nighttime brought thoughts and fears for the night. What if we can't get him asleep, what if he doesn't stay asleep, am I going to get any sleep. What time will he wake up wanting food. What if something happened during the night while I am asleep.

After one particular hard night, we made an appointment to see the pediatrician because Logan had diarrhea and hadn't slept all night. During his check, the doctor was talking to me and expressed concern that I might have postpartum anxiety and I should talk to my obgyn. I called my mom and told her what I was told. She agreed. She said you just don't seem like yourself, you aren't the same person you were before. I talked to Fred. He told me he was worried about me. I wasn't laughing and cracking jokes like I use to. I was the happy person I was before I gave birth and he was worried about me.

So I made an appointment and went and talked to her. I told her about my fears and my anxiety. She said what I was feeling was definitely having trouble. She told me to find some counseling and put me on some meds.

Things are hard but I'm working through it. I might spend most of my days on the couch but I'm hold Logan and taking care of him. I still have panic attacks but I'm breathing through them. It will take some time but I will get through this.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Why I stopped

Why I stopped

I did it. I stopped pumping and have gone to formula feeding. Why did I stop? I just didn't think it was worth my sanity. I was stressing about how much milk I was producing, getting my pumps in, not being able to care for Logan during the day because I was pumping, not eating enough (I have a serious lack of appetite and wanting to eat like I did before I was pregnant. I did a slightly strict 1500-1800 cal diet that was full of fresh veggies and fruits. Not very caloric but it's what my body wanted even with my vigorous exercise routine), bring a slave to a small machine, and always being in pain. I felt inadequate as a mom because I couldn't hold him. I wasn't "sleeping when the baby slept" because I saw it as a chance to pump therefore I was getting over exhausted. So I stopped. I put the cabbage leaves in my bra and packed up the pump. There are twinges of guilt that I'm not making the food for Logan myself but then I look at how much calmer I am and am thankful for that. My dad pointed out a good point today. He said "mom's are made out to be milk cows so their baby's can grow up big and strong. But I was a formula baby and I am plenty big. Moms are more than milk cows". There is nothing wrong with giving formula especially if breastfeeding isn't working out for you. Logan's doctor, along with others like my mom, warned me that breastfeeding might not work out for me because I had a stressful delivery and post delivery and that all would affect my milk production. So I stopped. I didn't need the added stress and there's nothing wrong with it. It doesn't matter where the food is coming from as long as I'm feeding my baby and taking care of him.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Learning to be ok

In the hospital, I felt I was pressured a lot by the nursing staff to breastfeed even though it really wasn't what I wanted to do. But exclusive pumping isn't very easy before your milk comes in. So I tried it, I breastfed. It worked out ok but not really. Logan was always hungry and we were told to supplement because he wasn't peeing. Also, breastfeeding didn't come natural to us. It was hard to get him to latch and most of the time it was only on one side. Also I wasn't producing enough for him to be satisfied. It made things very stressful for me, which effected my production. So when we got home and after he first pediatrician appointment when we found out he was losing a lot of weight, I switched to pumping and supplementing with formula. But I still felt that I should be breastfeeding. I don't like quiting something once I've started and I felt like I was quiting, giving up on breastfeeding. I guess it just didn't sit well with me. A couple of times I breastfed Logan at night because it seemed easier than getting a bottle. Then one day I decided I would breastfeed all day and not worry about pumping. That led to a very stressful day. Logan was never satisfied and he only took two naps the whole day and one was cause we were in the car. Being fully upset, I called my mom who talked me off the ledge. Everything was ok and with all that happened to me post delivery, breastfeeding probably was just not going to work out for me. And that it's ok to pump and supplement, that Logan would still grow up well and what I'm doing is right for us. I need to realize that tings are ok, no life didn't turn out the way I planned and that's ok. I don't need to be a slave to the breast. And yes maybe calling the lactation consultant would help things out with figuring out what's right for us. But I need to figure out what's best for us, not for everybody else and be ok with it.

Monday, June 15, 2015

What I've learned in my first two weeks of motherhood

Here are a few thoughts I've had in my first two weeks of motherhood

• Baby blues are real and exhausting.
I've had a hard time dealing with them. I'm even getting teary eyed just typing this. Most of my pregnancy I had a little voice in the back of my head questioning if we made the right decision to have a baby. Were we ready? Are we old enough? Can we still do what we like to do (work out, do runs, etc)? Should we have done more of what we wanted to do? Should I have waited until I had gotten a job? After Logan's birth those little things came back along with doubts about if I am really cut out to be a mom. Things have gotten better but every now and then they come back. It's so nice to have the support of my husband and mom telling me how great I will be and that yeah I'll mess up but it will be ok because Logan will still love me no matter what.

• Breastfeeding is hard, pumping is hard, formula feeding is hard
I had this great idea that I was going to exclusively pump to feed Logan. I had got massive amounts of samples of formula so I would just supplement with those but I wouldn't need them. I was pressured quite a bit in the hospital to breastfeed. They wanted to know why I didn't want to and couldn't understand why I didn't. They would spout off all the benefits and I would just sit there and stare at them. See the thing is, I was a formula fed baby. My mom didn't produce milk. All these benefits of breastfeeding that supposedly only come from breastfeed I had too. The relationship with my mom was great, I had a good immune system, all that stuff. Then there were all the videos they showed in the birth classes. Oh breastfeeding is natural, it's embedded in our brains, it's so easy. No its not. At least not always. I'm sure there are women who get it right away and have no trouble but that wasn't me. I had trouble getting Logan to latch and then I wasn't producing enough milk so when he did feed he was still hungry afterwards. He ended up losing 7 ozs in the hospital and another 4 or 5 when we got home. But when we started supplementing and I just pumped things got better. He put on over an ounce a day and was up by his weight check 4 days after his first doctors appointment. OK so all seems good right? Nope. You read all this stuff about newborns only need 2 to 3 ounces per feeding. Well not always. We would feed logan the 2 to 3 ounces and sometimes he'd stop at 2, sometimes at 3, and there would be times that he was still hungry and he'd get 4 to 5 ounces that feed and wouldn't spit up any of it. So go figure. 
When it comes to pumping, I read a bunch of stuff on it. Mommy blogs of people who have done it and I would try the schedule they suggested (pumping every 2 hours for 20 minutes). But then one day I waited 3 hours and forgot about the time and pumped for 30 minutes. And low and behold I got much more milk out. So I ended up switching to that schedule. But the hard part? It's hard to feed and burp a baby while pumping. The pumps just get in the way. So I'm still trying to figure out what's the best to do because I'm by myself during the day and sometimes they both come at the same time. They say make a schedule but sometimes it just doesn't work. There are times I get frustrated with the pumping. I don't get a lot out or Logan gets fussy and wants to be held but I can't because the pump is in the way. I feel like giving up some days and just formula feeding him but then I know the price that has to the pocketbook and I'm not sure we are ready to deal with the financial blow.

• Taking care of a baby is partner work
My husband had 1 week of paid paternity leave (lucky I know) so while he was home sometimes he'd do things like feed and change the baby and sometimes I would. But when he started back at work, we needed teamwork in the morning especially. I know how lucky I am to have a partner who will work with me and help me out. That doesn't see all of this as women's work (thank god for marrying a male feminist!). We worked it out that he feeds Logan and changes his diaper in the morning while I pump and then burp. This gives me time to do the morning pump uninterrupted and him more bonding time with his son. It's all still a work in progress but we are figuring it out. He also made quite the deal with me. If I didn't get stressed out about things not getting done around the house during the day because Logan needs me all day long, he wouldn't get upset or stressed out either. We would work together to make sure dinner got made, dishes were done, and the house got taken care of. I am so lucky to have a husband that is this supportive and helpful, I count me lucky stars everyday.

• Doing things in shifts works best but sometimes you just can't
Sleep when baby sleeps, yeah I get it but I did and it actually just made my baby blues worse. See I'm an active person, I don't like to just sit around, I want to do things. But I spent most of my pregnancy sick and tired and now that I'm feeling better I want to do things even if they are little. Like empty the dishwasher, do the dishes, clean the house, make the bed. If I spend all that time sleeping, I just get overwhelmed and stressed out and start crying again. Not good when you are trying to get over the baby blues. But then there are days that all Logan wants to do is lie on my chest and sleep. So try as I
might it just doesn't happen.     
• When life gets down, just put the baby on your chest
Outside of exercise what helped me with my baby blues was sitting on the couch and just letting Logan lie on my chest. All the worry and pain just seemed to disappear. My puppy would lie at my feet and things would disappear. All the worry and doubt and everything. Sometimes I would cry a little bit and just hold him close. Sometimes the feeling of crying would just disappear. Just hold this thing I didn't know I could love so much just makes it all better.