Life with Two Kids! 

Hi! guess whose back…

A very sleep deprived, loopy version of me! So this is going to be short but I just felt like I had to get some of my thoughts and feelings out there. Life with two kids is like being on that tilt-a-whirl ride where you feel like you just about get your footing and bearings right and then it spins you around once again.

It’s definitely been a balancing act, but I’m blessed enough to have help and it just makes me feel that much more in awe of all the women who do it without any.

I spent the morning browsing through my literature page on Instagram. Clicking through readings, interviews, and other book related appearances. I kind of can’t believe this summer consisted of so much excitement regarding my novel. I feel like all the courage and confidence I had came from my daughter (who I was carrying at the time) because now I can’t imagine being that candid and brave.

I’m so glad I have no regrets regarding book promotion during the summer even though it was exhausting doing so while being pregnant. There were plenty of times I just wanted to throw in the towel and call in fat and pregnant but I just kept going because I didn’t want to look back with any remorse.

I wanted to feel like I did myself and the book justice since I knew once baby was here I wouldn’t have any time to devote to that project.
I look forward to picking back up where I left off but in the meantime it’s all about legos, monster trucks, and baby snuggles in between.

Thanks for sticking by –

I’ll be back in full effect soon enough. ❤️

Bottling it all up: My battle with breastfeeding

I was super prepared. I had it all planned and organized. I would breastfeed until I saw that first tooth come in, and then it was bye-bye boobie. But, there was a different plan in store for me, one that involved blisters, agonizing pain, and harsh guilt inducing lectures from nurses frequently visiting my rapidly weight dropping newborn.

At first, everything went beautifully. He was born, I latched him within the first thirty minutes and we just clicked. I was like okay what’s all the fuss about that was a piece of cake. Then in came a nurse fresh into her shift took one look and said “oh no no that’s all wrong you’re going to need a nipple shield” and sent my husband off to find the first of many breast feeding aid contraptions we would soon be on the quest for. He came back with it and she opened the package handed it to me and said “Here use this.” I tentatively asked “Um doesn’t it need to be washed and boiled first.” She rolled her eyes and responded “No, just run it under some hot water it’s fine, it’s new out the package.” My gut told me this wasn’t right but my exhausted and aching self just went with it anyways. My son made a face and scowled at his first introduction to plastic within an hour his life. But we carried on that way but it wasn’t going quite as smoothly anymore.

He nursed on and off for a few hours then it was time to call in the family. We held off on the phone calls because we wanted just a short while to sink into our new roles and absorb the chaos that had just ensued. Then came the slew of visitors into the late hours of the night and my son slept for hours but everytime I would ask if I should be doing a feed again the rotation of visiting nurses would say “Oh no newborns usually go about a period of six hours without eating. Their tummies are tiny yet.” Whether that was right or wrong I don’t know but I do know that the more I had tried in that first 24 hours the better we would’ve gotten at it as a pair, onlookers present or not.

A few days and several frustrating nursing sessions later we arrived home to a house full of visitors and I sat there exposed and bare to people I had only met a handful of times because our room was much too warm for me to throw a blanket over us to cover up. Not to mention it takes time to get the baby latched on properly so fiddling with trying to keep yourself covered and keeping the baby on and AWAKE was a real struggle.

The next week was horrible. We had been told he was near dehydrated and loosing too much weight so we had to really put him on a strict around the clock feeding schedule to get his weight up. Problem was about two minutes in to the feed he would fall fast asleep all snuggled up and cozy. The nurses told me to wake him with a cold damp cloth and keep on feeding. So one feed would blend in to the next and soon all that was left was a extremely skinny baby and one exhausted and desperate new mother.

We took him to the doctors for his two week checkup and he said plain and simple “stop all this nonsense. Formula is not rat poison. Pumping doesn’t make you any less of a good mother. Take a break, get his weight up, and end this exhausting madness.” And just like that I felt like I had been released from my inner turmoil and battle of breastfeeding hell.

I’ll admit it to you all breastfeeding was absolute torture to me. I shudder at the memory. Seeing my “breast friend” pillow makes me cringe as I remember the days I was pretty much a zombie sitting uncomfortably on our rocking chair torturing the poor child to keep on nursing. And then came our final nurse visit at home and she said “you don’t have enough milk. He’s just been using you as a pacifier for hours.” I glared at her wondering why it hadn’t dawned on her before to let me in on this possibility.

Once it became common knowledge in my family that I had low milk supply came the countless suggestions of how to get it up. Well if you REALLY love your child it will just come in. Lay him on your chest and just be patient. DON’T give the bottle. Yeah, okay, tell that to the kid who had now learned the joys of easy flowing milk from our bottle feeding sessions. He was having four oz from the bottle after “nursing” with me for fourty minutes. Clearly he was getting close to nothing from me. But it made no sense to me since he was flourishing in those first few days and I absolutely knew the colostrum was there at that time, so why no milk?

I don’t think one single factor can be pinpointed for why those first few weeks turned out to be absolutely horrendously the exact opposite of the picture perfect quiet and serene moments I had envisioned for my new little family. Instead I had a revolving bedroom door, several embarassing moments, and a whole lot of family dynamics that needed sorting out as we all adjusted to the changes that a new baby brings.

This isn’t a post to complain or make you all feel sorry for me or my son. All I felt needed to be said is that sometimes things don’t work out how you expect them to. But all that matters is you try your absolute best and shut out any external influences and just do what is best for your child.

Ultimately I ended up committing to a full time pumping schedule (and still am to date). What you got to know about exclusive pumping is that you are now running on two schedules. You have to express milk the same amount of times and at the same intervals as the baby’s feeds. So for us that was every 3 hours around the clock. That means we were doing an hour to two hour long bottle feeds (my baby isn’t a very enthusiastic eater) and then I would have to pump afterwards – even at night, even when the baby was asleep. That was the toughest. Peeling myself out of bed when I knew I technically did not have to. But I did it. I stuck to it no matter how hard it got. Because I wanted what was best for my child.

Did that matter to anyone though? Did that stop them from passing judgement? No. Try explaining to your 80 year old grandmother that the baby IS being fed my own milk I just require a machine to excrete it because he just stopped latching after one too many bottle feeds. Try explaining to people that it wasn’t a easy choice, perhaps not a choice at all to go this route. And yes I cared about losing that bond. There is no better feeling of completeness of knowing you are nourishing your child directly from your body as he lovingly gazes up at you.

Bottle feeding is not the lazy or easy way out. It is double the work, it is hard and mentally exhausting. As many aspects of motherhood are regardless of if you are breast or bottle feeding.

So there’s my long drawn out story about my battle with breastfeeding. I do have times where I feel like a failure and I know how very easy it would’ve been to be able to feed him whenever wherever. Now going out has so many restrictions. When did I pump last, when am I going to pump next, often conflicts with when his next feed is. A little hard to get much done when you only have an hour in between to spare.

Every day is getting easier though. And I know all this will soon be a distant memory. And when that baby fever hits, and surely it will, I know I’ll forget all this agony and have that idealistic image of me happily feeding my baby without a care in the world once again.

 

 

 

 

 

The Truth About Parenthood

I am brand new to this being responsible for another person’s life thing but in order to survive the newborn whirlwind phase of parenting – one must learn quick, real quick. Here’s a few key things I believe my son has already taught me…

It isn’t anything like I expected. It pushes you to the limits of your patience and sanity and then draws you back in with every tiny smile and yawn. It makes you dig deep into yourself for the strength and courage to keep going and then fills and overflows you with love, inspiration, and awe. It makes you panic, fret, and fear for the well being and safety of your little one and then gives you the strength of a hundred to protect and provide the warmth, guidance, love and support needed.

Parenthood is something only understood when experienced. And is the only true experience which can transform your entire being by combining such extremes as lessons and little triumphs learned along the way.

I have made mistakes, done things horribly wrong, cried and felt desperation for an easier way – but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. That is the truth about parenthood. No matter how challenging it may be at times – you persevere and do the best you can do while loving and cherishing every single moment.

 

Introducing.. My son – the love of my life ❤️

During my entire pregnancy I fretted about what I would teach my child. How I would mould him into the best possible version of himself he could be. Now that he’s here the opposite has occurred. In just one week he has taught me the meaning of love and life. Reached to the depth of my soul to show me what it really means to truly understand the bond between mother and child. He is an extension of me which I cannot believe I ever lived without.

My heart already yearns to freeze little moments in time which I know I will one day look back at and cherish forever. This time is the beginning of something beautiful. The past two weeks have been the most challenging but rewarding days of my life.

Gazing into his eyes is like looking into the tiniest holder of all the love in the entire universe. He is truly something special and I can’t believe he is all mine. I do not feel familiar with the person I was before this – everything still feels a haze and I know I am now forever changed – I am now utterly and solely complete based on this little beings existence. <3

It’s Almost Time…

There are no words which adequately express the feeling of life growing inside of you. Those tiny little kicks, punches, the rolling and pushing, and just knowing that this sweet, innocent, pure little being is a creation of you and the person you love most in the world is something truly miraculous. Two halves combined to make a perfect little whole. It’s an overwhelming and all encompassing powerful surge of love. You feel protective, vulnerable to the unknown, and empowered all at the same time. As time goes on and this child continues to grow, this feeling only amplifies – and when he or she is finally here I just know that feeling of completeness and love will be enough for an eternity. I struggle to find just the right words for this child (me at a loss for what to say – shocking I know) but what I know for certain is that this little one already has a hold of my heart  – now I just cannot wait to hold him or her in my arms.

Here are some images from a maternity shoot I had over the weekend. These moments were captured by Erin Sandhu of EkArt Photography.

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I will be posting my pregnancy story soon amongst other parenthood related topics as well — stay tuned!