This morning I read an article by Jennifer Michelle Hite “To The Mom Who Couldn’t Breastfeed.” I am 10+ months from when I stopped trying to breastfeed baby C, and I still teared up. I actively had to stop myself from crying reading her post. The feelings of guilt began rushing back to me, even with the basis of the article being about how we do our best and that is what is good enough, that is what matters!
When I finally went to the right lactation specialist (after completely breaking down in inconsolable tears at Baby C’s one week and then again at four week appointment), she said to me “some people don’t get it. They will continue to tell you try harder, nurse more, pump more, eat more oats, drink more water. It’s like telling someone who is infertile to have more sex, try a different position, lay upside down after doing it. It doesn’t matter what you do and how many times you do it. Every’s body is built differently and some women cannot breastfeed, some only produce a little milk and others have no problem. There is no way to be someone you are not.” She completely confirmed and legitimized my status and feelings – I was/am a low producer and no matter how many breastmilk supplements I took, how many gallons of water I consumed or hot teas I burned my mouth on, I was never going to be able to keep up with my growing babies demands. I had tried pumping and nursing over 8 HOURS a day with Wes some days and I still just was not keeping up with him.
I recently had a conversation with a friend who went through the same problems, the same struggles, and she said “with our next baby, I think I am not even going to try…” She had a guilty look on her face, as if searching for my reaction, approval from another mom who went through the same thing. Once upon a time, I would have said something like “you should just try anyway! It might be different this time!” I would have thought I was being helpful, encouraging, pushing her positively towards what would be best for her next (not even yet in existence) baby. I know better now. “I get it, girl. You do whatever is right for you.” That’s what I said this time. We went on to talk through it a bit more, about the struggle, the guilt, the options and simple agreed on that it was hard AF and that was no way around that for either of us.
Sometimes a mama could can’t breastfeed doesn’t want to be told to try harder, it will be different next time, to see this consultant or try that supplement or hear how you overcame the difficulties of feeding – they just want to be told it’s okay. Because it is. Fed is best.
If you are currently struggling with a lack of production or are a mama who has been through that hell – check out Jennifer Michelle Hite’s 20+ Reasons Why Some Moms Can’t Breastfeed.
We have two boys. I love having two boys! I adore having two boys! I’d be over the moon to have another boy one day! It is wild, loud, messy, and full of trucks, cars, trains and efforts to knock things over! But every time I tell someone my two adorable children at home are both boys, they immediately ask something along the lines of ‘do you want to try for a girl?’
This is a decently innocent question. But not completely faultless. I now know something I did not know long ago – before pregnancies, complications, fears and motherhood were a real thing in my world. I now know that I know absolutely NOTHING about someone else’s situation – and it’s really none of my business. To question whether someone wants kids, doesn’t want kids, is pregnant, is having a boy or girl, has a preference for either or will have more children is just way, far out of my dome and overstepping that boundary can be more painful than anyone intends.
I have a friend who has tried for years to become pregnant with absolutely zero results and lots of pain. This story is SO common amongst us. When a coworkers innocently ask her if she wants to have kids she shrugs and smiles “maybe.” That answer, that ‘neutral’ gesture is drenched in mental, physical and emotional agony that co-worker is completely oblivious to.
I have had a friend be asked ‘so when are you going to get pregnant?’ by an acquaintance in a group of people, while she was quite literally going through a heartbreaking miscarriage. In so many cases, couples with no kids desperate want one. Those with one kid have been pleading with the heaven above (and modern medicine) for a second. People with boys hope for girls, and vise versa. Don’t get me – gratitude here is obligatory. There is so much to be thankful for in all of these situations and happiness lies within us – I know, I know. But let’s be real. Asking someone such personal, deep seeded and potentially painful questions should come with more caution, more care.
It feels so light, so happy, so positive – “so do you guys want to have kids?” 🙂 ‘Yes! Of course we have been trying to have kids for years! We have spent all our time, energy, money and sanity on trying to have kids. Our marriage is on the blink of collapse over the issue, as well as my body and soul – but thanks for asking!’ — You just don’t what someone has been through, what they are going through.
I want to have boys. I love my boys and would welcome more boys in my life if that was something I was so blessed to have! Asking if I want a girl makes me feel like I should FEEL like I am missing out, I should need that in my life. Suggesting I should ‘try for a girl next’ suggests that what I have isn’t perfect, isn’t what is both expected and “wanted” by most others.
From now on, I know. I know not to ask, but accept the information given to me with delight or sympathy as applicable. I know not to pry, I know not to suggest. I know not to know.
Wes is talking SO much now. Unfortunately, he still calls himself “Wefey” which both makes me laugh and slightly cringe at the same time. Baby C is trying to do everything his big brother is doing – he even walked at 11 months (2 months earlier than Wes) just to keep up. I LOVE having two boys so close in age!
My own brother and I are four years apart – he was in the upper grades of elementary school when I was just getting in, we completely missed each other in Middle School, and he left High School after one year of overlap. After that – he was off to college in a different state and then to California for his first job working in reality television – an all consuming industry that kept him from family vacations and some/lots of holidays. I love my big brother – but he was always a chapter or two ahead of me growing up.
I hope my little boys stay close in friendship, as they are in age. You can never predict what the future holds, you can compel two people (even your own two little humans you made) to be close, but you can try to encourage it… right?! I heard my husband telling Wes the other morning (when he stole a toy from his baby brother and then bonked him over the head – great example of this post) – “We are a team! This is your brother, buddy. We are a team!”
We are a team. I hope the kids feel like that – at least with each other if not always us – for the rest of their lives.
I know that nutrition is super important during pregnancy. Every day, I threw down my prenatal vitamins (I really liked New Chapter because they never left me feeling ill but often swapped between that brand and One A Day). But truthfully – I craved Wing Stop. Cereal (specifically Frosted Flakes). Bread. Cupcakes. Ice Cream. Cookies. Crackers. Pizza. Sugar. Carbs. More simple sugars. More complex carbs.
No, not so much fruit. Definitely not veggies. Nope – not healthy meats or fish. Ugh. To this day I feel guilty about the food I consumed while pregnant and ALL the weight I gained. When my husband cooked broccoli and steak for dinner, I kicked him out of the house to eat his meal on the porch…. in the cold. The smell alone threw me over the edge!
I was concerned with EVERYTHING when I was pregnant with my first. But food was so hard to positively manage. I felt sick all the time and felt repulsed by anything resembling something healthy. I worried about the clothing I wore, the chemicals in the plastic holding my lunch, the air quality, the lotions and shampoos I used. But, I could not stuff an omega 3 food in my mouth.Being a mom, even before being a mom, is guilt-inducing. What was I eating!? The only redeeming thing I did? Gulp an ice, spinach, strawberry, yogurt, banana smoothy each morning. I found the Ninja Blender to be the best and easiest for me since it blended in the same cup you can drink from. And lots of water. Lots and lots of water and peeing. Swell has some awesome and super cute stainless steel water bottles.
I also had the worst heartburn you could possibly imagine (it kept my up alllllllll night). My diet was not a helping factor. I do not miss that phase of pregnancy at all! Now, I work hard to show my kids joy in healthy food (though, we are realistic and strictly healthy food does not make it to every plate or snack cut every day).
I packed roasted carrots. Fresh organic blueberries. Peels and chopped organic fuji apples. Chopped up yellow mango. Cold filtered water. And all he wanted was salty, yummy, sweet potato fries.
No matter how hard we try (or don’t) – kids will be kids. We do our best. We try. We can push and model, but sometimes healthy food is a losing battle. @feedinglittles has been a great guide and model for helping feed my two sweet babies. But – I often fail. I try to make mealtimes enjoyable and I don’t want to fight with them about their choices or eating enough at EVERY meal. Will we always feel guilt about what our kids will or won’t consume?!
One day they will be slinging down fast food and liters of coca cola and there won’t be a thing I can do about it! Until that day, I will try and try again! Sundays – we are off to the Farmer’s Market! Wish us luck with healthy and happy meals this week!
Yesterday there was human poop on my kitchen floor.
For real, folks.
Baby C was covered in hives.
I let Wes watch too many videos while I tried to balance all that is life. Sometimes it feels out of control.
There are always moments of happiness and laughter in our household, but there are plenty of instances of frustration, anger, sadness and guilt. I try to remind myself that the days are fluid – it isn’t a good day or a bad day – some windows of time are better than others but overall we are thankful for what we have. Time together. Smiles and good laughs. Good food. A warm, safe home.
Social media can really make ya’ feel crappy sometimes. These beautiful , put together moms and dads, happy all the time in their perfect outfits and their clean houses. But that snap shot is not real, it is not realistic – at least not all the time.
Sometimes there is baby poop on the floor, someone is crying over literal spilled milk, and mom just can’t catch a break.
We did get outside though – and we are so thankful for the nice spring weather! Whatever is going on inside the house – meltdowns and fights over toys – going outside into the sunshine normally makes everyone feel so much better!
Here is glimpse into the front walkway play session where Wes tries to convince Baby C to race him 🙂
Does anyone else ever have days like this?!