I’m Terrified to Nurse My Son

It’s true. After 6 months of a successful breastfeeding relationship, I am now scared to nurse my baby, and here’s why.

Over the past several days his eating habits have changed. He was getting distracted and it was hard to get him to latch on for any length of time, and I get that. He would eventually settle and eat. He is also VERY interested in solid food, and it seems he would rather eat that.

But now? He’s teething.

I am honestly scared to death to put my nipple in his mouth, because I know as soon as I do, those sharp little barely-there teeth will feel like daggers crushing the most sensitive area on my body. It takes everything in me not to scream at him every time, and it’s literally EVERY TIME he nurses these days. I was legit sweating this morning when it came time to feed him because I was so scared, and he bit me THREE TIMES.

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Disclaimer: not my actual baby

I suppose I could just pump and bottle-feed him, but I pump all day at work and would just rather not. Plus, when it’s early in the morning and my breasts are engorged and he’s crying, who has time for that?! I just hope he stops teething soon, because my poor girls have had enough.

He also has a hard time taking a bottle because he chews on that too. His milk intake has drastically decreased over the past few days, but he is still content and has wet diapers so I am hopeful everything is still ok.

*Sigh*

This is just another one of those wonderful phases that will come and go. I just hope it goes soon!

My Worst Day of Parenting (so far)

Over the weekend we were shopping at our local Wal-Mart. We were perusing the garden section when we realized it had been a while since our toddler used the bathroom, so my husband asked him if he wanted to go potty. He said he didn’t have to go, so we said “I think you better try and go just in case.” To which he again said no, then took off running away down the aisle.

My husband went after him (I had the baby in the car seat). I continued browsing, assuming he’d catch up to him and bring him back to where we were. A couple minutes later I get a call on my cell phone and it’s my husband saying he can’t find him. Now the panic sets in.

I immediately think he probably went to the toy section so I head in that direction, looking down every aisle on my way there. No sign of him. I get all the way down to the other end of the store, and he’s still nowhere to be found.

At this point my arms are on fire from carrying a 20 lb baby in a car seat, so I head to the cart corral and get another call from my husband. He says he still can’t find him, so we decide to tell the managers. I put the car seat in a cart, and at this point I am in a full sweat, but mostly from panic not exertion.

I walk the length of the store again, yelling my son’s name. Still nothing. By now I’ve gone through all scenarios: he’s hiding in a corner with wet pants, kicking a ball around the store, or someone’s taken him. My mind dwelling on the last one.

Finally, I see my husband again and he says they found him. A wave of relief comes over me and I follow him to where they have our son. We come upon him surrounded by 5 or 6 managers, holding one of their hands. I am so happy to see him! He looks a little scared, but otherwise ok.

Apparently a woman in the store saw him wandering around and brought him to the service area. He told her he was lost and she asked him his name. One of the managers told me all of this, and she also said she asked him his parents’ names and his last name, and then I realized we don’t ever really say those things to him. We’ve told him his last name a few times, but never told him our own names. He’s only ever heard other people call us those names, but to him we are mommy and daddy.

It seems silly, but now I realize how important it is for him to know this. Once we are in the car, and after letting him know how scared he made us and what a bad idea it was to run away, I tell him “I am your mommy, but my name is Brooke. If someone asks you what your mommy’s name is, you say Brooke,” and he repeats my name. I do the same with daddy.

It’s a small thing really, but one I hadn’t given much thought to until I was put in this situation. Of course, now I realize how important a thing it is, and I encourage you to do the same if you haven’t already!

For those who might be thinking “Wow, lady, keep an eye on your kids!” I want to tell you that it took all of 30 seconds for him to disappear into that store. He was right there with us, and then he was gone. It could happen to anyone, and unfortunately this time it happened to us.

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Run fast, little one, but always stay close.

I am writing now two days after it happened, and I am still shaken up, but so very thankful we found him safe and sound. Things could have gone very differently, and that outcome is not lost on me. I am reminded how precious and loved that little boy is, and so grateful for that lady and the mangers at Wal-Mart for immediately springing into action. They had all hands on deck for us. It was a day I will never forget.

Pregnancy May Be Addicting…

It’s a funny thing about pregnancy and labor. When you’re going through it (at least for me) it wasn’t very fun, but then afterwards you miss it.

After I gave birth to my son, I was so relieved not to be pregnant anymore! I don’t miss the worry I felt the entire time–Is he ok? Is he going to have a birth defect? What if something goes wrong?–or the awful hip pain I had. But I do miss his little body moving around inside my belly, the excitement and anticipation of it all, and the miracle growing inside me.

What I miss most is the actual labor part. I won’t say labor was fun! But it was just such an unknown adventure and the anticipation leading up to FINALLY meeting my baby was just crazy.

And the pushing! Oh the pushing. Imagine being constipated/feeling like you have a piece of poop coming out of your butt that won’t move! Most. Uncomfortable. Feeling. Ever. But I miss it! I must be nuts. I seriously felt like a rock star after giving birth. I’m still so proud and glad that my body did everything it was supposed to do, and that I was able to deliver my baby without having a C-section (he was kind of a big boy, so they kept saying it might come to that!).

Now I might be a little obsessed with my pregnant friends and labor. Every time someone goes into labor it brings me back to when I was in labor myself, and I just know what they must be going through and how amazing it can be.

When we left the hospital I said I wasn’t going to be back for a lonnnnnnnng time, but now I think I want to have another very soon! It won’t happen though, as my husband and I have a plan for when we want to try again, but I look forward to when it does. If it does. I hope it does. I am grateful that it has happened once, if it turns out to be my only time. ❤

 

love being preggo

The Skinny

Since I had my baby 6 months ago, I’ve lost a lot of weight. I’m talking more than baby weight. I now weight less than I did before I got pregnant. I know you’re probably thinking lucky you! or bitch. But it really isn’t all that great. I’m concerned.

My pants no longer fit. I look stupid in clothes. I have no ass, making it uncomfortable to sit down. I’m always tired and always hungry. And, as I posted before, can’t run very far anymore.

So I went to the doctor. I thought it was just from breast feeding/pumping, and that my baby was just taking all of my nutrients. I also figured I was just tired all the time because my baby still gets me up at least once a night. Well as it turns out, I most likely have hyperthyroidism. Which explains the weight loss, the tiredness, and the inability to run more than a single mile. Basically my thyroid is overactive, making my metabolism super fast and I have too much (or is it too little?) thyroid stimulating hormone, or TSH.

I am scheduled to see an endocrinologist, but I couldn’t get an appointment until mid-August–on my birthday. What fun! Until then, I guess I shouldn’t run, which sucks because I’m set to run a half marathon in October.

I did some research, and it turns out that this is common after pregnancy, and it could turn into hypothyroidism (basically the opposite) and then clear up on its own. I’m bittersweet about this find because a) I don’t want to gain a lot of weight, and b) I would be happy if it cleared up on its own, preferably soon.

So I guess I just have to wait and see. I should also probably stay off the internet, too, because now I think I might have cancer/am dying. My friend is going through the same thing, so I’m going to tell her to see her doctor. If you are going through something similar, I suggest you do too. Better safe than sorry!

Tips for Traveling Without Baby While Breastfeeding

This past week I went to Detroit for 3 days and 2 nights on business (glamorous, I know). I was super nervous about being away from my 5 month old baby and having to pump and store all my milk plus take it on a plane.

Here are some things I learned that might help if you have to be away from your baby while traveling:

1. Call the hotel and request a refrigerator and make sure you tell them it’s for breast milk (if there won’t already be one in the room). I did call the hotel 2 days before I left and requested a refrigerator. The woman on the phone told me it shouldn’t be a problem. Upon arrival at the hotel, no refrigerators. They told me they would bring one to my room as soon as one became available. Great. I called the front desk 3 times that day and never got one. Finally the next morning I called again, still nothing. I went to the front desk and told the woman I needed it for breast milk and to please let me know when one was available. I ended up getting one about an hour later. I think because I finally told them what it was for they realized my dilemma. I was keeping my pumped milk in a cooler with ice, but ended up throwing away 33 oz because it was in the cooler overnight and I didn’t think it was fresh. Bottom line, tell them what you need the refrigerator for!

2. Bring a cooler as a carry on. You are now allowed to bring breast milk on an airplane without having to worry about the 3 oz rule. I ended up with about 80 oz and had no problem getting through security. I did bring ice packs with me that I kept in the hotel freezer. Breast milk is fine in a cooler with ice packs for up to 24 hours. I also asked if the people at Caribou Coffee could fill my cooler with ice once I got through security and they kindly obliged. I carried on my cooler and my breast pump. You can carry on a breast pump and it does not count as a carry on because it is considered a medical device. Also, the cooler not only kept my milk fresh, but it kept my travel beverage cold too, bonus!

3. Get a battery pack. If your pump does not have one already, I would recommend getting a battery pack for those times at the airport, convention center, wherever that there isn’t a private room with an outlet. This brings me to my next tip.

4. Have no shame. It would be nice if every place had a clean family bathroom or private room specifically for nursing mothers, but unfortunately this is almost never the case. I ended up having to pump at the airport in a dirty family bathroom next to a used needle dispenser in Detroit that smelled like 10 people took a shit in it. I also had to pump in the regular women’s bathroom in a stall while sitting on the toilet because the family bathroom was occupied and I didn’t have time to wait or I’d miss my flight (I had already waited 10 mins and no one came out of the locked room). Luckily the stall had a broken lock. I know you’re thinking um, why was this a good thing? Because it might not be as dirty as the other stalls because women might have used the ones with locks over this one (at least this is what I told myself). I was able to keep the door closed by hanging my heavy cooler behind the door.

5. Don’t stress out. I was very nervous about a) having a place to pump when needed, b) carrying on breast milk without issues, c) having a place to store my expressed milk, and d) being away from my baby for the first time. As long as you aren’t afraid to ask questions (Is there a family bathroom here? Can you keep my ice packs in your freezer?) and can relax enough for let down, you will be fine. I wasn’t relaxed until I made it through security on the return flight, but now that I know what I know, my next trip (which hopefully won’t happen for a while, and preferably when I’m done nursing ) will be a piece of cake!

I hope you find these tips helpful for your next trip away from baby. Feel free to post in the comments anything I missed or if you have questions!

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Being A Mom is Terrifying

For 9 months you worry and hope and pray that your baby will be ok. As soon as you see the positive result, you become a shield. You do everything you can to protect the little life growing inside you. You read books, forums, and ‘google it’ to make sure you aren’t doing or eating anything that might compromise the birth of your child. Even after he has successfully entered the world, you continue to worry. You will never stop worrying for the rest of your life.

All we can do is cherish every moment we have with our children, and thank God every day that they are healthy.

Some moms and dads aren’t so lucky. Lately it seems, and maybe this is because more and more of my friends are becoming moms, that there are more sad stories about children with disease, accidents, and abuse on social media than there have ever been. My heart aches with each post, but I can’t help but read them all. I just can’t imagine going through what these parents have gone and are going through. How they find the strength to continue on with their lives afterwards makes them all my heroes.

Some recent stories of note are:

This one about a 4 (recently 5) year old with a rare brain tumor. He passed away 2 days ago and inspired this post.

A mother whose water broke at 18 weeks, but she somehow made it to 25 only to have her baby die hours later.

Twin girls are born early when a mother develops a rare pregnancy-related cancer. She got to cuddle them days before her battle suddenly ended.

A 3 1/2 year old boy runs out to retrieve his frisbee and his hit by a truck and killed. His moms best friend shares his story here.

I could go on and on. This is why being a mom is terrifying.

I’m sorry if this post and the above made you sad, but I just couldn’t help it. I hug my baby every night and smell his little head and I am so happy he is here with me and I with him. I just can’t imagine anything like that happening to our family. If you are currently fighting a battle of your own, I am thinking of you. If you have already suffered, I am thinking of you. If something happens to you down the road, I will be thinking of you.

Hold them close. Play with them. Watch them. Kiss them. Love love LOVE them. Because you just never know God’s plan.

 

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