Taking some time for me

After my meltdown last weekend, I actually had a good week. I decided to just go with the flow and not have any big expectations of myself. I focused on smaller tasks rather than taking on anything huge (meaning: laundry was an accomplishment). Wyatt and I even managed to sneak in a few walks in our neighbourhood since we had some way above seasonally average days (+3 degrees Celsius ).

Things are better with Mike. I keep focusing on how communication is key even more so now that we have a child. I have to laugh at today though. Mike was solo parenting for 3 hours this morning and 1 hour this afternoon. When I returned home between outings, he told me, “You better be nice to me. I changed like 35+ diapers and played with him constantly between naps. He did sleep for most of the time you were gone though“.

Right… You mean you did exactly what I do every day of the week… except you probably had it easier because it sounds like Wyat napped like a champ today. 🙂

I am enjoying my moments of Mommy freedom. Since the first night I left him with Mike and a bottle, I’ve escaped a few more times to get my hair cut/coloured, attend a fertility yoga class, participate in a Chakradance session, get a massage, and go to our local infertility support group meet up. Even if it’s just an hour or two every couple of days, its allowing me to feel more grounded and return to myself.

I don’t regret waiting til 3 months to offer a bottle. We still have a strong breastfeeding connection, but I do appreciate the fact that he will take it if I’m gone. I also learned that I am a supreme pumper. Each time I’ve pumped, I’ve been able to get between 5-7oz. I split it into 1-2oz bottles/bags. Wyatt won’t take much from a bottle right now. The most he’s drank in one sitting is 2 oz. We’ve had to toss some milk due to this, so I’m really trying to freeze as much as I can and only leave 1-2 oz fresh in the fridge. Mike can thaw more if he needs it.

What breast milk freezer bags do you prefer? I’ve been using the Medela ones, but I’m almost out. I’m open to trying a different brand if anyone has a recommendation.

I’m only comfortable with Mike or myself feeding Wyatt right now. I really want Mike to be able to develop that bottle bond with him before we introduce anyone else to the mix. I have left Wyatt with a close friend and my mother-in-law for about 1-2 hours at a time. My mother-in-law seems more comfortable with him as he gets bigger. I’m still processing some of my own emotions about my relationship with her. Small doses are better for me for now.

Overall, I’m glad I decided to try the bottle as I do think it was time for some “me” time. I always stress the importance of self care during fertility treatments, but I think it’s just as important once you become a Mommy. Healthy, happy Mommy = healthy, happy baby 🙂

It seems every time I get caught up reading the blogs, you all go crazy and write like 1 post a day for 3 days straight. I am looking forward to catching up during Wyatt’s nap time over the next few days.

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Who’s so big?

Tomorrow Wyatt turns 3 months old… Well actually today as it’s past midnight. As usual, I’m writing this in the dark on my cell phone while my boys sleep beside me.

We’ve made huge strides these past few weeks. I feel like I know my son better and better each day. Then, he surprises me with a new milestone and I’m shocked at how fast he learns and changes each day.

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We started Mommy and Baby yoga two weeks ago. Our first afternoon class coincided with nap time. Although it wasn’t an epic fail, it did mean a few minor meltdowns. This week we switched to the morning class and Wyatt was happy the entire time. I successfully managed to do a few poses and stretches with him glued to my boob. It’s funny what you consider a major success as a Mother.

In this week’s yoga class, we practised pulling the babies up to a sitting position and proclaiming, ”Who’s so big!?!?”. Well, my little man must enjoy the encouragement because that evening upon receiving my hands he pulled himself up. He’s consistently done it each time I offer my hands to him since then. Yeah, he’s so big now.

Today,  we ventured out to a local babywearing group meet up. I am very happy that my friend encouraged me to attend. It’s really nice to meet other Moms. We visited our local museum which I had never been to. I carried Wyatt in my brand new Girasol ring sling – a rainbow sling for a rainbow baby. I just received it this week. So far, it works well. The museum visit was our longest stretch in the ring sling and even he fell asleep in it.

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This week,  we also used the Ergo for a winter walk. I didn’t think my stroller would make it after a snowfall with unshovelled sidewalks. Wyatt was so calm, yet curious of everything to see in the neighbourhood. I enjoyed some time outside since the weather was closer to 0 degrees and sunny. I never saw myself as a babywearing Momma, but so far, I’m loving it. The closeness is what makes it so special.

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We reached another major milestone tonight. I left Wyatt for 4 hours at home with his Dad to attend my monthly Splurge group. To date,  he’s always attended with me. Mike successfully gave him 2 pumped bottles with a bit of resistance. He takes it, but with a bit of a fight to get him started. What are your thoughts? Should we continue with the Calma nipple until he gets used to it? Or try another kind?

I did better than I thought I would with leaving him. I texted Mike a few times to check in, but I wasn’t really worried. This actually surprised me, but I guess it shows that I trust my husband as a capable father.

I arrived home to find both of them asleep. I pumped my right boob to make up for the bottle feed and managed to get 4oz in about 10 mins. I hate pumping, but I usually can pump a decent amount. I still hope to primarily breastfeed, but it’s nice to know that pumping for the occasional night out is an option.

Once Wyatt realized I was home, he had a cry and a big feed, then easily went back to sleep.

My favourite moments over the past few weeks have simply been interacting with him. He truly is such a happy baby. He loves to babble on and on. He constantly smiles back at you. He even started baby talking when I’m singing to him –  makes me think he wants to sing too! 🙂 Breastfeeding has given us a strong bond. I often find myself putting my phone down or turning the tv off just  to be in the moment with him –  our eyes locked and holding hands. There’s so much peace and joy to be found in those moments.

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Baby’s got a bottle

I’m WAY behind on my blog reading. My adorable son is teaching his Momma a lesson in mindfulness. His new fav gig is to hold hands while he’s feeding or napping on me. Translation: significant decrease in time spent on phone, yet significant increase in time spent watching Netflix.

I’m embracing these moments though as I know they won’t last forever especially since…

We attempted our first bottle.

Earlier this week, I don’t know what my kid’s deal was, but he was against eating from my left boob. After a few failed attempts, I decide to pump it off and get Daddy to try to bottle feed him.

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Although this first attempt looks successful, in reality Wyatt only drained about 0.25 oz of which half was probably on his face. We tried again the next night using the Medela Calma nipple and he ate 1oz before falling asleep.

I’m not ready to start a pumping and bottle feeding schedule, but it was a relief to know our attempts weren’t a complete failure.

Wyatt’s boycott of the left boob was short lived. I’m still not sure if it was a teething issue or if he had a slight cold and his nose was more stuffy on that side. Either way, it’s nice to have my milk monster back.

Why do I suddenly feel the urge to burn my bra?

I have a secret longing to be one of those wild and free women who are perfectly comfortable with nursing uncovered in public.

I nurse uncovered at home (yes, even in front of my mother-in-law. Her squirming is usually way more noticeable than she realizes). I nurse uncovered at the homes of friends who are breastfeeding friendly. I nurse uncovered at doctor’s appointments. I’ve even nursed Wyatt uncovered in my car in front row of the parking lot at a London Drugs – and the back seat of my husband’s truck multiple times.

But, I have yet to just ”whip it out” in a public place full of potentially staring gazes like a coffee shop, restaurant or the food court at a shopping mall.

Tonight, we had a large family supper at a Chinese buffet restaurant. Wyatt was perched on a chair beside my husband sleeping in his car seat. When he woke, he simply squirmed and gave me ”the look”.  I just assume that every breastfeeding Momma knows what that look is. My Wyatt gets these soft eyes, opens his mouth and gently moves his tongue to the front of his mouth. Perhaps it’s the same with bottle fed babies?  I insisted that I could feed him there. I had my hooter hider in the diaper bag,  but Mike said he was fine. Mike gave Wyatt his soothie and it tied him over until we left.

I realized this moment felt like a loss to me. Another opportunity to bare it all had passed me by. Honestly, I probably would have still covered as my husband keeps saying he doesn’t want me completely uncovered in front of his family. But, I was potentially one step closer to nursing in public… And one step closer to nursing UNCOVERED in public.

I’ve had large breasts for as long as I can remember (meaning Grade 3-4 when I was the only girl wearing a training bra). I can’t wear a simple V neck tshirt without cleavage. This actually works to my benefit for breastfeeding as the two-shirt approach is a typical staple of my wardrobe.

During my teens and early 20s, I embraced my generous bra size and used them to my advantage (in retrospect, probably disadvantage as I needed more self respect and self love but that’s a whole other topic…). Cleavage was my friend especially if I was headed out for a night at the bar. My gigantic tits got me the attention I wanted at that time. As I grew up and my career progressed,  I covered up more and more. The concept of that cleavage peaking out made me feel slutty. I wanted to be taken seriously, and for a natural blonde with big breasts, that meant keeping the ta-tas hidden. It was a never-ending love/hate relationship.

Even though cleavage has been my friend, I was always insecure about my bare boobs. Just because they looked appealing to the eye when nicely propped up in a halter top didn’t mean that they would have the same effect when naked. In the past 8 weeks, the number of people who have seen my bare breasts has exponentially increased –  even if it is just select friends and family.

When I began breastfeeding, I lost all insecurity around the shape and size of my boobs. It doesn’t matter how big they are or what my nipples look like. What matters is that they are doing a damn good job of feeding my son!  My breasts are no longer merely an overly sexualized part of my body. For the first time in my life,  I feel like my breasts serve their true purpose. I’m proud of the nourishment they provide to my baby. And I couldn’t be happier. I love my breasts. They finally bring me joy.

I want to be comfortable breastfeeding uncovered in public because I want to step out from the girl I was before into the woman – the mother – I am now. Our journey to bring our son into this world is so much deeper than a moment of conception.  It’s a story of acceptance and a big part of that is me accepting myself – big boobs and all!

Mothering is an act of love. As long as the child is thriving, no judgement should be made. I believe woman should be able to feed her child from a breast – covered or uncovered – or from a bottle. The choice is hers, not that of some stuffy old man who has no problem gawking when Momma’s out for a night on the town, but all of a sudden has issues when a tiny human is latched to eat? Come on now…

Besides, my son hates being covered when eating. I want him to know that his Momma loved him enough to do whatever she could to make him as comfortable as he could be…and if that means breastfeeding uncovered in public,  I vow I will do it!

I’m still searching for my tribe. I’ve got a few Mommy friends who breastfeed,  but I want to find my vibe with others who can help me break out of my shell of conformity and into the freedom of motherhood that I’ve worked so hard to get to.

Boobies unite (.)(.)