Sometimes I don’t like Breastfeeding

Let me start by saying I am so grateful that my body is producing and providing for my baby. I am so grateful we have had a fairly smooth nursing experience. I am so grateful to get to bond with my baby by feeding her this way. Breastfeeding is glorified as this always beautiful, lovely, magical thing. Sometimes it is, but sometimes… I get jealous of formula feeding moms.

I know that as a new mother breastfeeding can be one of the many important things you can do for your baby. I know that there are immense benefits such as passing antibodies and providing a balanced mix of nutrients, even to the extent of the baby’s saliva communicating what it needs at different times in their infancy. It’s connected to higher IQ scores in certain studies, better bonding, and fewer ear and respiratory issues according to WebMd, and as confirmed by The American Academy of Pediatrics helps reduce the risk of SIDS.

Sometimes I don't like breastfeeding.JPG

BUT

I never know how much I’m actually producing, I have to trust my body to just make exactly what my baby needs and maybe a little extra. While a firm believer on letting babies eat whenever and however much, I don’t get that visual confirmation that baby has ate X amount. If I’m going to pump I have to hope that my body will compensate if baby decides to be hungry again shortly after, but again have no guarantee.

I have to constantly be aware of what I’m putting into my body, too much caffeine, spicy foods, or even veggies and fruit could upset a little ones tummy. Certain herbs can pass through to her and potentially cause harm. If I get sick I have to be wary of cold medicines as they can dry up my milk and or pass to the baby.

My breasts are not mine, they are not my husband’s, they are our daughters. So after giving birth, I didn’t really get my body back, I’m still sharing it with my baby. Along that same line, unless I manage to pump any excess, I am still attached to my baby 24/7 for the next however long. If I’m in the tub for the first time in a week for some much needed mommy time, face mask applied, bath bomb fizzing, favorite song on, and baby calls… I’m hoping my bath water stays warm.

My clothes are limited to what can be easily removed for that 24/7 access to my daughter’s meals, and what conceals my less then sexy breast pads, as well as any surprise minor leaks.

I cannot diet or do intense exercise. I have to eat and keep my carb consumption higher in order to keep up a healthy supply…that mystery supply that I can never know how much I am making, makes sense right?

So, that baby weight that isn’t magically melting away with breastfeeding isn’t really going anywhere.

I will be the first to admit that when my daughter pulls away from my breast, fussy for whatever reason today, it’s always a thought that crosses my mind, wouldn’t it just be easier to formula feed? When I see that crisp cold energy drink or quad shot iced coffee in another mother’s hand when I was up feeding baby every hour and a half last night, I think about how nice it would be to have that extra boost to help me fold that mound of laundry. When my week has consisted of a four year old with a million questions about everything climbing on one side of me while I’m nursing baby on the other, and my get away is speed  grocery shopping, the thought of being able to have someone else feed my baby so I can get my toes done and go on a date with husband sounds like pure heaven.

HOWEVER

I know that by choosing to be a mother I chose to do the best for my children with what I have in each and every situation. With my eldest my body stopped producing enough around the 2-3 month mark. So the best decision I could make was to supplement and then switch to formula, so my baby could grow and get the nutrition she needed. She is smart, and vibrant, and formula feeding her is not something I regret.

In this situation, my body is maintaining my supply well. Baby is growing and healthy. She not only is getting the nutrition she needs but extra things like antibodies that protected her when the last bug swept through our family.

So my decision is clear, I will put aside my selfish woes and cravings for that quad shot caramel machiatto and just have a cup of coffee. I will wait to try and burn that extra little bit of baby fluff off with intense exercises and work on maintaining and staying active. I will reheat bath water or just take showers. I will buy clothing that I can still feel attractive in that hides my nursing pads. Lastly, I will continue to pump so that maybe someday soon me and my husband can go on a date that lasts longer then an hour, after I’ve gotten my toes done of course. I will breastfeed until our situation changes. Because in our situation breast is best, for now.

What choices have you made about feeding your little? Have you made choices that are hard for you but best for baby?

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Unspoken Gratitude from a Postpartum Wife – A Letter to My Husband

Dear Husband,

I know that when you come home as of late, you’re never exactly sure who you are going to be greeted by. It could be the smiling, warm, and loving woman who you chose to marry. It could be the anxious and panicking mess that has come up with a million reasons the sky is falling today. It could be the weepy lump who has found every reason under the sun to feel guilty and lonely. Or your most favorite, you could be greeted by the frustrated, annoyed, about to go postal crazy lady.

Well let’s admit it, all of these are a crazy lady. They are me.

And from all those, I want to take a moment to express my love and gratitude.

Unspoken Gratitude from a Postpartum Wife

Thank you for telling me I am beautiful, even when I am still in the same t-shirt and basketball shorts I was in yesterday, and especially when I haven’t brushed my hair or done my make up in three days. It reminds me that I am beautiful, but that I deserve time to get dressed and make myself presentable too.

Thank you for kissing me when you get home from work, even when I haven’t had time to brush my teeth yet. It reminds me to brush my teeth, and that I deserve love and attention too.

Thank you for always correcting me when I call myself fat, and reminding me that I just had a baby 2 months ago when I say I am doomed to be squishy for the rest of forever. It reminds me that taking care of my body is a priority too.

Thank you for listening to my crazy ramblings about how I can’t do anything right, or that I am a bad mom, or that I feel guilty for not going back to work, and thank you for not trying to fix how I am feeling, just listening and telling me it will be okay and giving me a hug is almost always just what I need. It reminds me that even Mommies can have grumpy days and throw tantrums, but that they don’t last forever.

Thank you for helping to fix the dinner I was fixing for you when I have to drop everything to nurse and comfort the baby. It reminds me that I am not in this alone.

Thank you for still grabbing my not so firm bottom and expressing want of me. It reminds me I’m a woman not just a walking bottle/chicken nugget cooker, and that no matter what my brain says you do in fact still want me and only me.

Thank you for telling me you love me, for saying hello multiple different times in the day, and winking at me. It reminds me that you are still in love with me, and that even in my postpartum haze I am still madly in love with you.

My hormones have given us both a run for our money. But I do not exaggerate when I say that without you I would have lost my mind. Thank you, for so much more then what I have listed. Thank you for being you. Because by being you, you have reminded me that I am me.

You are my rock.

Love,

Your adoring and kind of crazy wife.

Healing with Love and Simple Chicken Noodle Soup

Over the course of the last two weeks every member of my family has been sick.  Whenever someone starts with the sniffles my thoughts go immediately to a savory herbal homemade chicken noodle soup, with the thick, lovingly misshapen, doughy noodles my mother made for us when I was a child. And my text goes out to her 5 seconds later, “I know I’ve asked you this a million times but what is your noodle recipe?”

Her response is always the same but I never seem to write it down. I get too excited about making something comforting and warm for my family and the text gets lost in history.

But that’s the ironic part, the noodles are what made the soup stand out in the history of my childhood. Watching Mom rolling the dough covered in flour, pulling the sticky bits off her hands, knowing that even if she salted the broth a bit too much one time, or the noodles didn’t cook all the way through the time before that, that soup was full of her love for us, so it was always the best.  

I want my family to feel that way about all my cooking, but most of all my chicken noodle soup. So here I am writing it down finally! I’ll let you in on the easy noodle recipe passed down through my family, as well as what I did this last time around to my simple soup to make even the stuffiest member able to taste the delicious broth.

 

 

Homemade Noodles

Noodle Recipe

2 beaten eggs

1 cup flour

¼ tsp salt

Combine salt and flour. Make a slight well in the flour and add the eggs then combine. Add more flour as needed to be able to handle the dough. Roll flat to desired thickness with PLENTY of flour and cut with a pizza cutter, I try to stay at about ¼ inch thick but am never exact, just remember the thicker the noodle the longer the cook time. Cook 15- 20 min in boiling water then add or cook directly in the soup.     

 

Veggies for Simple Chicken Noodle Soup

Simple Chicken Noodle Soup

1 ½ – 2lbs of boiled Chicken Breast

6-8 Carrots

1 Onion

Bundle of Rosemary, Sage, Thyme

4 tsps Chicken Bouillon

5 cups Water

Bring water to a boil on the stove. While water is boiling dice, slice, or cut up veggies to your families prefered size. Add bouillon to the boiling water and bring down to a simmer. At this point I added my carrots to make sure they cooked all the way, onions, and herbs to start infusing the broth with their flavor. Remember that stuffiest person? This is where we are thinking of them. I already had my chicken pre-cooked from a previous meal so I diced up my chicken and added it so that it too could start getting exposure to the herbs.

Now, I am a chronic crock pot user. Having a new baby it’s awesome to get things ready whenever I have a second and then be able to walk away and let dinner do it’s thing. You don’t have to do this – if you go the non-crock pot route I would suggest covering the soup and letting it simmer for 45 minutes or until the carrots are soft, then head to the noodles step.

Simmering Simple Chicken Noodle Soup

If you are going the crock pot route go ahead and move everything into it at this point. Set it on high if you’re aiming for soup in 2-3 hours and low for soup in 4-6. I made my noodles and put them in the fridge so that once the crock pot contents were hot enough and we were close to dinner I could add them to cook, if you do this MAKE SURE THEY ARE DOSED WELL IN FLOUR or pulling them apart will be awful.

You can make your noodles now or if you made them ahead of time like me you’re already set.

Cooking the noodles is easy-peasy. Pull the noodle you need and drop it in! I try not to stir them in until they’ve been cooking for 3-5 minutes to make sure the dough stays in it’s shape. After all the noodles are added I’ll do a about a 15 minute simmer to ensure there is no raw centers to my noodles.

Remove the stems of the herbs you have used! We learned this the hard way as husband choked on a rosemary sprig that had been tucked under his veggies that decided to unfurl in his throat last week. Oops! Sorry hun!

Serve hot!

 

And there you have it, a simple soup that is sure to leave your family feeling loved and taken care of, whether on a cool fall evening or in the throws of the plague. What are some of your family traditions involving food? Do ties to your childhood affect what you cook for your family now?

3 Amazing Resources for Pre & Postnatal Fitness

Prenatal and postnatal is one of the least properly informed topics women encounter in the fitness world. Articles swing from discussing the need to drop your training routine completely or how to continue being a 10k champ up until the day you deliver. I was so confused when I started doing my research after finding out I was pregnant. I had spent the last year lifting weights and playing soccer, I had lost 35 lbs and gained muscle mass. I wasn’t going into my pregnancy hoping not to gain any weight, but I wanted proper information on how to preserve as much of my strength and endurance as I could. I also knew that keeping myself strong and healthy was going to give me and my baby a better birthing experience.

The point of view and focus on two key factors played into my feelings of credibility to any sources I came across, the first being Diastasis Recti and the second being pelvic floor protection. Diastasis Recti (separation of the abdominals – many times what gives us the belly pooch) is a serious threat to moms, there are numerous health risks and about two-thirds of pregnant women have it. Your pelvic floor supports the bladder, uterus, vagina and rectum. Obviously an area worth protecting and avoiding any unnecessary stress or damage to approaching birth. Proper care during and after pregnancy can aid in avoiding, avoid worsening, or help with healing damage that occurs with both of these.   

 I spent a good three weeks sifting through the interwebs, and consulting back and forth with my husband (who is a Certified Personal Trainer) on his opinions of what I was finding.

Fear not! To save you, my fellow mama’s, the grief of having to do the same I will share with you the three good resources I did find.

  1. www.girlsgonestrong.com

The first place that I stumbled upon with information that was concise and knowledgeable on both factors was Girls Gone Strong. Simply searching for the keyword prenatal brought up options of exercises that are challenging but at the same time protective of a mama’s body. Girls Gone Strong gives options for each trimester protecting your abdominals and pelvic floor. I referred back here frequently when I had questions about what I was doing in my pregnancy, and when it came time to start my postpartum work this was my first stop.

Girls Gone Strong Workouts

  1. www.jessiemundell.com  

After exploring their prenatal workouts I kept seeing the same author, Jessie Mundell. I emailed Jessie about my frustrations and she was quick to get back to me. Shortly after following her through Mundell Lifestyles, Jessie announced she was pregnant too, a few weeks ahead of me!

Jessie offers a free 4-week Workout System for Pregnancy and Post-Pregnancy right on the front page of her website. All of her information and tips went right along with the workouts I was doing in pregnancy, and still do now that we’ve had our babies! Protecting my core and floor is number one!

Mundell Lifestyles

  1. www.pregnancyexercise.co.nz/

The third place I found good information happened through instagram. An account for Lorraine Scapens by the name of @pregnancyexercise. I loved being able to see her tips and reminders about the importance of staying active in my pregnancy, she too stresses the priority of my core and pelvic floor. Now I love seeing her reminders about the value of my recovery and giving myself time to heal, building back up to where I want to be and not rushing!

pregnancyexer
With these three great sources I was able to take care of myself during my pregnancy and now continue doing so after with full confidence! In a future post I’ll dish about the workouts I actually did and didn’t do during my pregnancy in each trimester, as well as what routines I’ve been doing since having my baby and how that’s working out for me. I also signed up for Jessie’s free 12 days of Christmas Core, I invite you to join me and I can’t wait to share my experience with you! How do or did you handle fitness in pregnancy and postpartum?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Funny-Family-Thanksgiving-Pictures-11

Thanksgiving is a time most of us spend with our families. Between stuffing your face with turkey there is bound to be gobble about politics, as well as whispers about the black sheep of the family. Dirty looks and jabs will be exchanged between competing members. And surely at least one comment about someone’s weight. Here’s wishing you and I luck over this holiday weekend, may the dysfunction and debates not drive us to making national news in a murder spree this year!

Chocolate Sugar Body Scrub

With the holidays approaching I found myself dreading the thought of entering the shopping malls, driving through the insane traffic, and fighting crazy bargain lady for the last of whatever item she had her eyes on, and doing all of that with my littles in tow. So I remedied that this year was the year of making! I was going to DIY some presents and save myself and my kids the hassle of dealing with mankind during this joyous season.

To ease myself into the world of crafting the first item I made was a simple Chocolate Sugar Body Scrub. This process was so easy that with pre measured ingredients I would have trusted my four year old to make this.

Here’s what I did:

Chocolate Sugar Body Scrub DIY mixIngredients needed

½ cup of Sugar

½ cup of Raw Cane Sugar

1 tbsp Cocoa baking powder

¼ cup olive oil

1 tsp vanilla

This fills about 2, 8oz jars

  1. Combine all dry ingredients, do your best to make sure the cocoa is well mixed with the sugars. DO NOT USE EXTRA POWDER. You (or in my case my mother-in-law) will turn brown. Not so much fun…
  2. Add oil and vanilla, again checking the cocoa is well mixed and hasn’t formed any clumps.
  3. Spoon into container of choice.
  4. Seriously that’s it. You’re done.

Chocolate Sugar Body Scrub DIY

I used this in the tub to test my product (making sure I won’t be turning my mother-in-law brown for Christmas), and holy moly do my legs feel amazing! I found variations of the recipe everywhere. For example you can use coconut oil instead of olive, you can add chocolate shavings for aesthetic, but every recipe cautions against using more cocoa baking powder. Try the alternates out! Let me know how your scrub feels and smells, or if the receiver of your gift enjoys it!

Negotiating with a Terrorist

Never did I ever think that I would be faced with someone trying to break me, to force me to do what they want, using torturous techniques to try and get me to give in to their demands…meet my four year old daughter. Since the age of two and a half my daughter has been determined to see me checked into a mental institution. At that age she was asked not to return to a daycare, and had babysitters asking me if she had been screened yet for developmental disabilities. She is perfectly fine may I mention. Due to her flamboyant stubbornness and determination to conquer, every 6 months or so me and my husband have to revisit and restructure our family rules and consequences as to best suit whatever form of mental warfare the four year old is bringing to the table.

Most recently we realized that we were falling into the trap of empty threats, too many bribes, and being worn down by whining and bartering. Every parent I think is guilty of this a little bit… If you don’t get tired and agree to extra screen time just so you can have a cup of coffee in peace then you must have magical powers.  As well as, a hefty dose of back talk each day was leaving us frustrated and quick to react with raised voices and more empty threats. I knew this had to be addressed and quickly if we all wanted to survive.

So in a place of neutrality (the breakfast table) I met with the opposing force. I asked my daughter to tell me what she thought our house rules were. We also discussed the house rules that I knew were there but maybe as a four year old she didn’t realize were actually rules. That was a light bulb moment for me, how could she follow rules that she didn’t know? After making a list of rules together (she wrote the number of the rule) I laid out for her the set consequences that would happen when rules were broken. We discussed how if the consequences happened it would be due to a choice she was making.

Here are the House Rules for The Momffice Clan:

Our House Rules

Our Consequences

I would suggest tailoring these to best fit your child individually, think about what they would see as a real consequence. 

Every time a consequence is chosen by not following the house rules, Mom or Dad explains why the consequence is happening and that she has chosen the consequence by doing/not doing  _____.

1- Deduction of screen time

We use 15-20 minute intervals because we try to limit to 3hrs a day. If we take away hours the time is gone before we know it.

2- Twenty minutes of being “grounded”

The word timeout doesn’t work for us. This is where the four year old sits on her bed, no toys, no books. We do this if no screen time is left OR if the behavior is bad enough that both parties need a break from the warfare. Time can be less for less serious things, but time can also be added, or her time starts over, if a tantrum or back talking occurs after the time starts. Time starts over if she is caught playing. This is the reset button we have found works the best for her.

3- Grounded

The end all. When the parents have given every chance to reset and the screen time is gone, or when we’ve been called losers and screamed at for the whole drive home from a pick up from a friends house because she wants to apparently live with them. This is where she sits on her bed for the rest of the day. She is allowed to use the restroom and if she can maintain good behavior during she can join us for our family meals…where mom reminds her that she loves her and wishes she wasn’t grounded because she doesn’t like it when she is.

It’s been an adjustment for all of us, husband and I have to make sure to be mindful of our execution of the consequences, and follow through for this process to work. However, it has completely eliminated any reason to raise our voices. Of course she is adapting and trying to find new ways to get us to give into her demands at times but we are holding strong. After all, we don’t negotiate with terrorists…unless we really need five minutes with a cup of joe and some sanity.  

I hope this post leaves you inspired or provided some light bulb moments about rules, like it did for me. What do you do to provide structure in your home for your children? Have you found something like this or of your own design to be helpful as a teaching and growing method?