Positive Breastfeeding Experiences


Okay, Lil G is almost 9 weeks old, and I’ve got to say, I’ve been eating my words. While I don’t LOVE breastfeeding, I am growing, again, to appreciate the little noises he makes as he suckles happily. The way his little arm flails around as he tries desperately to get as much milk as he can as quickly as he can. And the little sleepy smile he gives when he is finally satisfied.

I’ve got to say that I’ve never had any particularly negative public breastfeeding experiences, but on Monday I had a sweetly positive one while quietly drinking coffee at a French bakery near Potamus’ daycare. There were these two older couples there, the first old man was cooing over Lil G, and I could tell it was genuine in his affection. Lil G was hungry, so I began feeding him under my nursing cover (something I do sometimes, but not all the time), when the second man came up with their order of pastries. We were all chatting and then he asked, “are you breastfeeding?” “Yes,” I said, smiling, and he gave me a big thumbs up as he bit into his croissant.

It was one of those happy little moments of acknowledgment that makes me happy in a world full of negative breastfeeding stories.

Brotherly Love


At 7.5 weeks, I feel like we’ve begun settling into a sweet little family routine. And the love between these two (well, it’s one sided from Potamus to Lil G at this point, right?) is so sweet.

Yesterday I took Lil G down to Olympia to hang out with my bestie. When I came back it was late afternoon, and so we spent some time outside looking at the trees blowing in the wind and feeling the sunshine on our faces. Of course Potamus wanted to snuggle his baby brother and I captured this sweet shot. Be still my heart.

These moments are why people say they’re glad they have two or more kids.

6 Weeks: Twitterpated in the Sunshine


My parents came for a visit. Three nights. They’ve never been allowed to stay three nights in a row before (I have a two night policy for guests, and a two night policy for my own visiting. It’s best to leave feeling like “I wish I should have stayed longer,” rather than “I wish to never see these people again.”), but they recently bought a motorhome and the extra private space provided a nice respite from them staying in our house. Potamus loved going out to the motorhome to play games with them at night, and when my dad needed to take his real estate calls, he didn’t have to do it in my living room with a 4 year old saying “grampy, grampy,” an infant crying, and my mom sighing. It was a lovely visit.

And the sun was out.

Seattle has been unseasonably warm and glorious in the past two weeks, and I was able to get a few lovely shots of Lil G in our backyard. I’m surprised everyday at how much I love this child. It is such a sweet feeling to have again. And a sweet feeling to know that this is the moment, one to never be repeated again. There’s something about it, like the flowers in the background, opening to beautiful blossoms and then dropping off to the ground after their moment of glory.❤

Joy in Comparison

12916097_10100849873349183_6625354155679802775_oOne of my biggest fears in having a second child, is that I would constantly be comparing the two boys. It’s partially why I wanted to have a girl, so that in case the kids were different (which of course they surely would be), I wouldn’t be all like “why can’t you be like your brother?” I was afraid that I would make one child feel less than by these comparisons. I was afraid that I would favor one child over another.

We didn’t have a second kid in order for Potamus to have a sibling, that was an added side benefit. Instead, we had a second kid in order to experience the joy of watching another person grow up to be themself. And boy is this amazing so far. Comparison happens on the daily, but rather than this being a negative thing, it’s like a joyful surprise, the topic of many conversations, and is fully feeding into my desire to watch another small person grow up.

When Potamus was born, it was like falling in love at summer camp: heady, overwhelming, all encompassing. With Lil G, the love was like visiting the ocean on a warm day, vast, and calm, waves lapping at my ankles. I love my boys equally, but the feeling in my body is different. There’s no competition because they are completely different experiences.

The other night Lil G slept for 6 hours at night, which means that I got about 5. I didn’t get more than 4 hours of sleep with Potamus until he was almost 2. Lil G loves a pacifier, and can fall asleep in the swing, and Potamus needed to be bounced on the yoga ball and still sleeps in our bed. It’s not judgment on either kid. It just is what it is, and I’m loving it. I was so afraid of the comparison trap, but instead I’m enjoying it so much. I can’t wait to see who they grow up and experience the ways that they are the same and different.

Babywearing FTW


Of course in my obsession to foster attachment with Potamus (which, let’s be honest, was really in order for ME to foster attachment to HIM), I looked up all the attachment parenting tricks, and eagerly dove in to babywearing. In fact, Potamus slept on my chest or in my shirt for the first two to three weeks of his life, and from then on he was held pretty constantly, either by me, or by Boof when I wasn’t around. I don’t want to think that is the reason he’s 4 and won’t sleep without us…but, I digress.

I used the Moby at first, because when you see mainstream babywearing, the Moby and Ergo are the two go-tos. Baby Bjorn is considered sinful and a “crotch dangler,” but we inherited a hand me down version that Boof liked wearing with Potamus for awhile. But I did the Moby. I found it clunky and hard to wear. Then I used the Ergo, when he was old enough to hold up his head. It was great, except I’m only a shade too tall for it, so it didn’t quite sit on my hips right.

And then I found a sling.

It was a used sling, and it was great for hitching Potamus up on my hip for walks around the neighborhood. I used it well into his toddler years, and so with Lil G I decided to get myself a sling from the get go. I did a little online research, and went with Tula Baby ring sling, despite its price tag. And I LOVE it.

At first it felt a little stiff, but after I wore it once or twice, I was in heaven. It is so easy to wear, easier than the slightly padded hand me down I had used with Potamus. It’s super easy to put him in it, bee bop around the house or doing errands, and it has been a lifesaver with a 4 year old. I can easily strap Lil G in the sling, and play soccer with Potamus, or cook dinner, etc. While I’m not loving breastfeeding this time around, I’m loving babywearing more than ever!

Step Into the Sunshine


There’s something about a confession that leaves even just the slightest bit of room for a shift. I wrote in my last post, I hate Breastfeeding that the second time around, I am hating the whole breastfeeding process. It felt good to say. And it’s not entirely true, anymore. It was true then. It’s not true today. I’m okay with that.

Maybe it’s the sunshine, or the fact that my nipples are mostly healing, or that it’s week 5 and we’ve settled into a little bit of a routine, but I don’t hate nursing today. I don’t love it. I don’t feel the necessity of it in the way I felt with Potamus. I feel ambiguous about future weaning, but I feel ambiguous about a lot of future events (like him starting daycare at 6 months old). But today I don’t hate breastfeeding, not in the sunshine, in my backyard, with this sweet lil G man.

I Hate Breastfeeding: 2nd Baby Confession

12496528_10100828356823473_3734553706941214189_oWhen Potamus was born, I struggled for the first 7 weeks to get breastfeeding down. I had overactive letdown, oversupply, and there’s a picture that will never make it to the internet where my areola was bigger than his face. It was a struggle, including one 8 hour sleeping stint leaving him too weak to nurse, even with the nipple shield, where I was sobbing and spoon feeding milk into his mouth while Boof was on the phone with La Leche league. Rough.

And then, when I went back to work, he reverse cycled. And until he self-weaned the night before he turned two, I nursed him all.night.long. It was rough. But I enjoyed it, for the most part. It was what made me a MOM, and I fully recognize that all of my obsession with bonding and attachment were due to my own adoption trauma and while I sometimes resented that I was the only one who could feed him, I was also glad that I was the only one who could feed him. I was mom. Nobody else could take that role.

Now, with Lil G, I’m struggling. It feels very reminiscent of the pregnancy, where, with Potamus it was all glowy and mama goddess, and then with #2 I hated it. Having had mastitis, which left me feeling like shit and ramped up my anxiety to almost agoraphobic levels, paired with nipple trauma, a clipped tongue and lip tie, disorganized suck, on top of parenting a 4 year old who is struggling with the loss of his Universe/Mama to the demands of his new brother, I am thisclose to throwing in the towel on breastfeeding. I had already resigned myself to weaning or partially weaning around 6 months when I go back to work, because I loathe pumping, but part of me feels like the women who allow themselves the option of pain meds during labor and then request them 5 minutes in.

Because, you see, breastfeeding the first go round was for me. I was recently talking to my sister-in-law, who’s exclusively pumping for my niece after a rough start breastfeeding, about how I think that is the hardest route to go. And that if I had to pump I would just use formula, because for me breastfeeding was about the ease and the bonding, not about the nutrition. I nursed for me, not for my baby. Maybe that’s selfish to admit, but it’s true. I needed to feel the bond. I needed to be needed in that way. I needed to nurse to make me a mother the first go round.

But now I am a mother. Now, when Lil Go was born, and I stared into his sweet face, I felt the deep love that I knew nothing could replace. I AM his mom. Nothing will make me anything less than his mom. Nothing will take away my deep love for him. And so I stare at the two free cans of formula on the top of my fridge and think…what if…what if?

It’s only been 4.5 weeks with this little guy, and a struggle, so I don’t want to make a decision out of difficulty. I know I will give it more time, but I also want to enjoy my baby, enjoy time with Potamus, and not dread every feeding. I don’t want to plug my ears when he starts his 5th fussing of the night, pretending for just 5 more minutes that he doesn’t need my barely healing nipples. And the thought of someone else in the future being able to feed him, while I’m a bridesmaid in a wedding, or out at a yoga class, feels so refreshing that I want to skip around in the sunshine. Does that make me a terrible person?

Perhaps in 5 months, when I’m truly weaning (currently my goal is to give formula at daycare, and nurse on off hours), I’ll feel nostalgic and sad that I didn’t extend breastfeeding like with Potamus. Or maybe I’ll feel relief. Can I do something completely different with Baby #2 and still be a rockin’ awesome mom? I think so. I love all the moments with this baby…except when he’s attached to my boob…