Yeah, I couldn't give it up. I decided to hold off on quitting time for one day - I work 8-5 tomorrow, so I will already be missing her morning feeding, and I will be home too late for her pre-dinner feeding. So, it's a perfect day to give up the boob. Plus, I got to really cherish the last time today...it was more annoying than ever, and I kept thinking, "OK, we are sooooooo done with this."
I can't believe I've gone my entire mommy-blogging life without discussing one of the most touchy topics of all. They say that opinions are like assholes - everyone has one. And when it comes to talking about breastfeeding, this is certainly true. Should women breastfeed in public? Will a formula-fed baby have a lower IQ? Should a two year old still be breastfeeding? And on and on and on, ad nauseum.
Yes, I have opinions and personal beliefs. I believe every mother should breastfeed, unless they are physically unable to do so. I believe that breastfeeding for the first year of life is sufficient, as I think it is kind of creepy to see a toddler sucking on a boob. I also believe that breastfeeding, particularly the first two months of it, is the most difficult thing for a new mother to endure, in terms of mental and emotional stress. And I believe that my breastfeeding stress was a main contributor to my post partum depression / baby blues.
I am VERY thankful that my body was able to do what it was designed to do. I had very little nipple pain, almost zero leakage, and an ample milk supply. But still, in the beginning, OMGTHETORTURE. What? You just spent thirty minutes on my boobs, followed by another twenty minutes - you CANNOT be rooting on your father's face AGAIN. Seriously kid? OMG I'M GONNA THROW YOU OUT THE WINDOW. Yeah, that was me for a good solid month. Being strapped to the couch or the rocker, on constant boob duty, I was miserable. But never once did the thought of quitting cross my mind. For me, that's not an option. As a mother, the one and only thing I'm 100% responsible for is to feed the tiny human. I didn't choose this, evolution did. And my boobs worked, so no, quitting was never an option. That being said - every woman must do what is best for them and their baby. I will never think less of any mother that decides breastfeeding is not going to work for her. Happy mom and happy baby is really, really important and if feeding formula makes everyone happier, then go for it. Maybe I should have quit, maybe my PPD wouldn't have been so severe. But I already felt so guilty for not being totally in love with my newborn, I don't think I could have also handled the guilt of choosing not to do what my body was designed to do.
We started incorporating formula into Addy's diet at the end of February - when she was almost four months old. I was very reluctant to do this, but my supply was slowly decreasing, and Matt really wanted me to be able to leave the house without worrying about pumping enough milk to replace what he used. He wanted to alleviate some of my burden, and he pushed and pushed until I finally gave in. For a couple months, the only formula she ate was at bedtime, and I continued to breastfeed the rest of the time. When she started sleeping through the night, my supply took a nosedive in response to the decreased demand. At this point, I am breastfeeding only once a day - when she wakes up in the morning. She is barely getting anything, so I feed her some fruit and a bottle about an hour later. The breastfeeding session is extremely annoying and rather painful because her attention span is really short, and she prefers to look around the room instead of eat. So she'll be sucking away, then all of a sudden whip her head to the other side, but she doesn't let go. FREAKING OUCH. And now that she's teething? Yeah, apparently it feels good to kinda chew on me.
So...my first blog post about breastfeeding is also most likely my last. I've decided to quit cold turkey. When she wakes up tomorrow, she's getting a bottle. Truly, honestly, this makes me very sad. There are actually little tears forming as I type this and make it true. Breastfeeding, to me, is such a huge part of my identity as a mother - as her mother - because no one else can breastfeed her. Anyone can play with her, change her diaper, give her a bath, comfort her if she's sick. But the bond that comes from breastfeeding? That can't be duplicated. I'm going to miss her little hand reaching up to touch my face. I'm going to miss her sneaky little smile she gives, pausing to smile, then going right back to eating. I'm going to miss just being able to sit back and watch her, to study her face and watch her twisting her feet around. Okay, seriously, now the tears are flowing.
You might see a post from me tomorrow saying I couldn't give it up.
In 2005, I spent five weeks abroad, traveling to London, Paris, and Rome. The entire trip was an amazing experience, one that I will always cherish. Four of the weeks were spent in London, attending Huron University for a small portion of time, and exploring the city the remainder of the time. I have been fortunate enough to travel many places over the years, but London...London has my heart. It's this massive city, filled with way too many people, right? But it feels more like home than anything I've known. Its parks are beautiful and peaceful, its streets are clean and orderly, its character is both boisterous and charming, and its mood is happy and content. Since the day I left the city, I've dreamed of going back. Unfortunately, this is the closest I'm going to get for now...
You see, that is the logo of the London Tube System. The names of the stops are in the blue bar that spans across the red circle. Upon approaching each stop, a pleasing British voice announces to the passengers, "Mind the gap between the platform and the train." It sounds so much more polite than "Watch your step." And it's just one tiny memory of London out of thousands that I will never forget.
I purchased this onesie from a little souvenir shop located near the University. It says 'Mind the gap". I bought it assuming I would never have kids, but on the off chance I did, I wanted to preserve this little memory. The onesie stayed in its packaging until I was about eight months pregnant and began preparing the clothing for the baby, and I've been patiently waiting for her to be able to wear it. Today was six years and one month in the making, and it was totally worth the wait.
I'm so proud and happy to be celebrating Father's Day with Matt - a wonderful man, boyfriend, and father. All you need to do is watch him for two minutes with Addy, and you will clearly see how much he loves being a dad. Their bond is amazing. And yes, he's wrapped around her little finger.
A couple weeks ago, Matt informed me that I can be kind of scary, and he really stresses out anytime he needs to ask permission to do anything that will leave me on baby duty alone. So, I decided to give him advanced permission for some relaxed time away from home...
I made 5 coupons for him to redeem:
- 3 Free Nights (valid Monday thru Friday from 5pm-9pm)
- 1 Free Day (valid on any Sunday from 11am-9pm)
- 1 Golfing (valid on any Sunday with a couple days notice, up to a $40 value)
This was my way of telling him how much I appreciate him and to let him know that it's okay for him to take a break too!
And when we went to Target the other day, Addy picked out a pretty cool and appropriate card for him. When she showed it to me, I busted out laughing in the card aisle. With a little assistance, she even addressed it and signed it herself:
Front: Dad, I wouldn't be the person I am today without you.
Inside: No, really. Thanks for impregnating Mom.
Here's a few pics of the two of them - one from the day after her birth, one from a graduation party we attended on Saturday, and one from the Aeros game today. I love you guys with all my heart and look forward to many, many more years of adventures together!!!
Apparently, a baby isn't allowed in the water until at least 12 months old. At least that's what message I'm getting from the available sizes of swimwear at Target. Not a single thing smaller than 12 months. And it's not like I'm really late getting a swimsuit - there were tons available in every size and style 12 months and larger. Am I missing something? Maybe I should just forget about the swimming diaper too. I'll put her in the pool completely naked and hope she doesn't poo. Something tells me that would be frowned upon.
In other news, Miss Fussy Britches is teething. And seriously, how do I have the only baby alive that doesn't put anything and everything into her mouth? She doesn't care for the teething ring all that much, so I bought her two new teethers at Target (partly because she needs them, and partly because she was really pissed off that they didn't have any bathing suits for her). One is a ball that has all sorts of phallic looking things to chew on, with different textures and whatnot. The other one is like a gummy gel-filled ring of keys, which I thought she'd totally dig because she loooooooves my keys. But will she put them in her mouth? Nope. She just moves them from hand to hand, twists and turns them, and then throws them down. But what's the one thing she did gnaw on today? The edge of my plate. Yes, a regular ceramic dinner plate. What a weird child.
And that, in a nutshell, is a couple of reasons why I'm slightly annoyed today. Lucky for me (and for her), she's on her third nap. If teething makes her tired, I'm cool with that.
The word "No." Said in a stern tone and accompanied by head-shaking. And most often, it is said while pulling Addy's hands away from the vertical blinds. She's already broken one by pulling hard enough to crack the fastener at the top, and she thinks they are reaaaaaaaaaaally cool. Can you guess what her response is after the stern "No"? She pauses, looks at me quizzically, then smiles. And then turns back to play with the blinds.
I get the feeling she's thinking, "Oh mom, you're so funny when you talk like that. Don't worry, you're a newbie. You'll get good at it someday. Hehehe. Until then, I'm gonna play with these fun things that swing back and forth...."
Addy comes from a family with a long musical history - Matt was involved with choir and piano, his mom Karen was an award winning high school choral director, and his Grandpa played the organ (I think). One of Addy's favorite activities is finding ways to make noise with random objects. She also thoroughly enjoys sitting on the piano bench with me, pounding her tiny hands and arms on the keys. So, in an attempt to cater to her desire to make noise, I picked up a walk-a-long musical station featuring a keyboard, guitar, saxophone, and a rattle. It's on wheels too, so when she starts walking, she can push it around and it will play music as she pushes.
May 22, 2011 - The Home Depot, Joplin: As the storm approaches, a team of four managers and associates locate customers and escort them to the training room to take cover. Dean Wells, the Department Head of Electrical, finds his way to the training room, but decides to make one last sweep of the store. At the front entrance, he sees a car pull up - a father and his two children are frantically seeking shelter. Dean rushes them into the store and tells them where to go for safety. A wall collapses, and Dean loses his life. His children lose their father, and his wife loses her husband, one day shy of their 42nd wedding anniversary.
Dean saved 12 people that day. According to his obituary and an article about him, he spent his life helping others. And one site I stumbled upon mentions that his daughter found a note in his desk that he wrote to her, stating that the best way to pass on is by helping others. What a truly wonderful man.
I never met this man, and I've never been to Joplin. Yet somehow, it feels like I lost a member of my Home Depot family. It feels like that could have been our store, or our town, or it could have been my family frantically seeking shelter. Thank you, Dean, for your selflessness and for making the ultimate sacrifice trying to save others. You will be forever remembered.
This week has been an absolutely lovely week. Addison and I have taken a walk in the morning for three days in a row! We live on a street that ends in a cul-de-sac, and on one side of the street, three other cul-de-sacs jut off of it. We walk down all three of them and then loop back around home. It's mostly flat, with a few extended inclines/declines, particularly on the cul-de-sacs. The whole trip is a comfortable 1.5 miles.
We usually walk the side of the street with the cul-de-sacs first, but today I decided to save them for last. As I was on the final stretch of the third cul-de-sac, I felt a tickle on my arm. I look down and see that a bee has landed on my arm. Without thinking, I throw my arms up in the air, try to brush off the bee even though I really don't want to touch it or piss it off, and scream like a little girl. Meanwhile, since my arms are flailing about like a cheerleader on speed, Addy's stroller just goes rolling away, down one of the extended declines, and into the grass. Towards the street of course. So there I was, looking like a total idiot, chasing my baby in a stroller down the sidewalk. Luckily, the grass slowed her down and the episode ended without incident. I'm laughing hysterically at myself and how silly the whole thing must have looked, when I get to the top of the cul-de-sac and see a man outside, who had clearly witnessed the whole thing. And who was it? Remember the guy that offered the first lesson in politeness to Addison? Yeah....he wasn't laughing.
So there ya have it - my first "I'm a total idiot" mommy moment. We both survived, I didn't get stung, and I can already laugh about it. I'd call that a success.