Motherhood is tough. Motherhood is messy. Motherhood has kicked my booty. The first few years are some of the hardest. So much crying (both me and the babies!) and the never ending cycle of feed, burp, change diaper, rock to sleep, over and over and over and over. Then there’s the whining, the tantrums, the constant questions, the potty training, the messes…it’s enough to drive a person completely crazy or send them into a dark depression!
So what gets us through it? (Besides lots of coffee and wine.) What is the light, the breath of fresh air, the hope for all the lonely, tired, lost mamas out there?
It’s our village – the group of women and men surrounding us, lifting us up, encouraging us, and helping out during some of the most difficult years of our life. Every mom needs her village, and I’ve been so blessed with mine. There have been so many people over the years who’ve been a rock, a shoulder to cry on, an inspiration, a light.
And I just wanted to take a minute to thank them.
Continue reading “A Love Letter to My Village”
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He was 4 weeks early and I never made enough milk after trying countless strategies to increase my supply. I wanted to breastfeed so badly and although I knew how blessed I was to have a beautiful, healthy son, I couldn’t get over the emotional aspect of not being able to exclusively breastfeed. He was supplemented from the beginning in the NICU and eventually quit breastfeeding at 5 months after he realized the bottle was faster and easier.
Looking back, I really believe now that my low supply was the entire reason I ended up with postpartum depression. I felt like such a failure – my body let me down. I also felt judged by others and felt like I had to defend myself every time I pulled out a bottle for Graham. (In hindsight, no one cared how I fed my son. During Graham’s entire first year of life, I only had one instance of someone judging me and making me feel guilty about not breastfeeding.)
After I came to terms with the fact that I was never going to produce enough milk for Graham, I started thinking about what I would do differently when I had a second baby. I was SO determined to make breastfeeding work the second time around and dreamed about sharing my success story of exclusively breastfeeding a second baby. Breastfeeding was one of the things I most looked forward to when thinking about having another child. After my failure with Graham, my heart just couldn’t heal – every time I saw someone else breastfeeding, I was sad. As my friends had babies and were able to breastfeed, I was happy for them. I truly was. But my heart still ached. Why wasn’t I able to produce enough milk? Was it because Graham was early? Was it because I wasn’t able to hold or feed him for 12 hours? Does my body not respond well to the pump? Do I have insufficient glandular tissue? Was it because I was on birth control for so long? Is it a genetic issue? Hell, was it the type of deodorant I was using during pregnancy?!
Well, the second time around I had a beautiful, term, perfect baby girl. And…I was STILL not able to produce enough milk.
But even with a low milk supply, Maddie nursed until she was 17 months old. And I couldn’t be more proud of what we accomplished.
Continue reading “Successful Extended Breastfeeding with Low Milk Supply”
To my big one-year-old:
On September 2nd, you turned a year old. Happy birthday to you! How can you already be one? I feel like it was just yesterday we were heading to the hospital-I was worrying about how they were going to laugh and send us home because there’s no way it was already time for you to come…
Your birthday was bittersweet for me. I love this age. You are so much fun right now. We play and sing and laugh and read and color and dance – I love seeing things through your new eyes. But I miss you as a cuddly, snugly baby. The rare moments when you fall asleep in my arms now, I kiss your sweet lips over and over and over – risking waking you up. But you’re too busy these days for kisses and snuggles.
I had no idea how much I would love you. How breathing in your baby smell when I sniff the top of your head would make my heart swell up and tears come to my eyes. How kissing your pudgy cheeks just makes me want to kiss you again and again and again until you get annoyed with me.
And when you do get into a snugly mood – oh how I cherish it. Those wet, slobbery kisses. Your soft little hands holding mine.
No one told me how hard your first birthday would hit me. I want you to grow and learn and become a goofy kid and eventually a mature, responsible adult. But I wish you could stay my baby forever. I didn’t know it would be this hard to watch you grow up.
I love you so much Graham. I hope you always remember how much I love you.
Who met at a party….
Fell in love…
(December 24th, 2004)
(October 20th, 2007)
And lived happily ever after!
(Honeymoon – October 2007)
(Moving into our Atlanta apartment Jan 2008)
(The day we moved into our own home – December 2008)