Babywearing FTW

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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

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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…

One Month: Tongue Tie

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After 3 weeks of nipple pain, a bout of mastitis, and a visit with my lactation consultant friend, and a lot of Googling, it was determined that Lil G had a posterior tongue tie and an upper lip tie. I hemmed and hawed for about a week, hoping my nipples would heal, and that the ratio of painful latching to non-painful latching would become more balanced, that he’d get bigger, and everything would be peachy…I realized that it wasn’t going to happen. And so I made an appointment with a naturopathic doc who specializes in tongue ties.

I am SO glad I made that decision. Already, only 24 hours post op, the nursing pain has decresed incredibly. Could I finally be healing? And, “oh yes, this is what nursing should feel like,” goes through my mind when he latches on. Sure, it wasn’t a miracle cure, yet, as he needs to still work on his sucking mechanics, but overall I am feeling so much hope for the future of nursing this lil dude. He turns a month tomorrow, and I can’t believe it! Flying by!

Precious Moments

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This picture is how I want to remember Lil G’s infancy. I look at this picture and already want to cry from nostalgia, and I’m still in the thick of sore nipples and sleepless nights and too many crying spells (me). This moment, though. This is precious.

12239279_10100819158676633_6853731273726244885_oThere’s something about a warm baby on my chest that makes me want to write¬†down everything, but the moments and memories from even just one week are already floating away like clouds.

The adjustment to life with two has been much easier than I thought, which makes me afraid for the other shoe to drop and us to spiral into a world of increasing difficulty. I try to push those thoughts away in order to simply be, but the nagging is there, heightened by the fact that at 5 weeks postpartum last time I crashed and developed post partum depression/anxiety/ocd which left me feeling crazy and needing to be medicated.

So far the newest, who we call Lil G, is a much easier baby than his big brother. He sleeps well (enough for a newborn), and is so far handling nursing with my overactive letdown like a champ. Some pain and nipple cracking is happening, and yesterday after his doctor appointment when he was in pain the nursing was really painful, but overall I’d say we’re in a really good place for week 1. I’m nervous about next week, though, when I am tasked with getting both boys ready and out the door to get Potamus to his daycare/school that’s 30 minutes away. I feel like I’m in for a challenge, though Potamus has adjusted quite well to being a big boy and having responsibilities like getting himself dressed in the morning.

But right now, I’m just snuggling with Lil G on my chest, trying to soak in all the newness of this moment.

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