Month 14

Dear Benjamin,
You have now turned 14 months old. And, with the new month, comes a new milestone: Walking! You are no longer just taking a step here or there. You are walking (running?) all over the house and are just going, going, going. Your Gram has been sending me videos of you moving all over the place, and it’s adorable. You are apparently moving so much, that after a while, you’ll wear yourself out, and then climb onto the sofa with your blanket to take a bit of a breather. It’s adorable!


I’d say within the last month you’ve become really attached to your blanket. Before, you liked it, but now, it must go where you go. You need it for naps and nighttime, and you want it within crawling/ walking distance of you too. So that when you need a break or a snuggle it’s close by you. I can’t tell you how happy I am that you’re attached to your blanket. It warms my heart that you love it so, especially knowing that it took me close to six months to make it. I view this as a mom victory.


Your Physical Therapy is going well. They’ve knocked you down to just twice a month, which is awesome. Your therapist is slightly concerned about your left leg, and how you don’t seem to bear as much weight on it as your right, and that your left foot rotates outward when you’re walking. So, we have a few exercises to do with you to help with that – mainly getting you to move laterally more and more. But it’s something we’ll have to keep an eye on.


You’re starting to become a pickier eater, which I’m not loving. Last night, you hardly ate anything, and then would only eat if you and I were sharing a plate. And after a few minutes of that you still weren’t interested in anything we had for dinner and I ended up having to feed you yogurt just to get something in you. I don’t know if this is a new phase you’re going through, or if it’s because you have molars coming in, or what. But, I hope it passes quickly.


You’re still nursing, but pretty much just twice a day. Once in the morning before I go to work, or first thing in the morning on the weekend. And then at night you’ll nurse to sleep still. I love this time with you. I love the snuggle and the cuddle and the laughs we share. It’s amazing, and I hope it continues for a while still.


You are really LOVING books right now. You will pull one from the book shelves and track it to where ever there are people so you can hand it to us to read to you. Right now your favorites include:

Moo Baa La La La

Brown Bear

Happy Hippo, Angry Duck

Snuggle Pupply

The Hungry Caterpillar

and that’s just to name a few. You love books and love having them read to you. Last night, you just kept handing me Brown Bear to read over and over again. You smile and laugh so much when reading, I hope you keep this passion for the rest of your life.


I love you so much Benjamin. You have brought so much and love into my life. I cannot begin to explain to you how much you mean to me. The words just aren’t there. You are my everything. I want you to always know that your mother loves you, and would do anything for you. Know that I think you’re amazing, compassionate, special and so much more. I feel lucky that I get to watch your grow and develop into the person you’ll be. I love you baby.
Momma  

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Month 12/ Year One

Dear Benjamin,

You are now a year old!  I seriously feel like I just wrote your 6 month letter, and I can’t believe that you just had your birthday.  You turned one on June 19, but on the 18th, I found myself super emotional, to the point of tearing up several times.  I just kept thinking that, a year ago on the 18th I was in labor with you.  I started having regular, but FAR apart contractions around 4:00 in the afternoon.  I realized that I was in fact in labor at about 10:00 pm.  We got to the hospital around 2:00 in the morning and I was 8 cm dilated.  You were then born at 4:23 in the morning, in a tub of warm water.


You are talking and babbling all the time right now!  You can say:

  • mama
  • dada
  • stop (dop)
  • no
  • night night (nye nye)
  • cat (tat)
  • hello/hi

You are starting to really use the baby sign language.  You can sign:

  • milk (although, we think you do this for “food”)
  • all done (but you don’t do this that regularly
  • water

We’re working on a few others, and I’m sure that you’ll pick those up soon as well.


You’re doing so well in your PT!  So well in fact that they’ve dropped you down to just twice a month, instead of once a week.  You’re crawling, and cruising, and getting into everything that you can possibly try and get into.  Right now you love to take the sheet trays out of the cabinet, and push them around on the kitchen floor.


You absolutely love the pool!  We got a membership there for the summer, and you love to cruise around the edge of the pool, and you’re pretty fast too!  You’ll also crawl up and down the ramp into the pool, and we have to really watch you because you’ll crawl until you’re almost under water – you just don’t seem to know when to stop.


You are also really trying to be more and more independent.  You want to do things yourself and you don’t want anyone or anything to stand in your way.  For example: you’re trying to put your food on a fork and feed yourself with it.  It’s adorable to watch you pick a piece of food and place it on your fork, and then try to turn and maneuver your fork into your mouth.  The down side to your newfound independent streak is that it also applies to you wanting to crawling into the dishwasher; to pulling the childproof plugs out of outlets; to chewing and pulling on electrical cords….and when we try to get you away from those things, your temper checks in.   And you have a TEMPER.  When you get upset or angry you scream, cry, throw things, collapse on the floor and kick and your legs….you have perfected the 2 year old tantrum a year early….


You’re still nursing!  We’re down to just three times a day.  Once before I go to work, when I get home from work, and at bedtime.  You still love it, and ask for it all the time.  You’ll pull at my shirt, or stand in front of me and sign for milk.  I don’t want to say no to you, so any time you want to nurse, I will cuddle you and nurse you.


I’m not sure if I mentioned before, but you LOVE to dance!  If music comes on, you start moving to it.  You’ll bounce in place to the beat, clap your hands, twist side to side, throw your hands in the air (like you just don’t care).  It’s adorable.  I hope you keep it up!


You and your brother had a joint birthday party this year at the Splash Park.  It was amazing!  You had such a great time playing in the water and watching all the big kids run around.  You were crawling all through the splash pad, and getting soaked, and you were loving every moment of it.  I made a cake for you, and a separate one for Henry.  Yours was a chocolate cake with strawberry buttercream frosting and a batman logo on the cake.  You loved that cake, and happily gobbled up your dessert as fast as you could.


This past year has been amazing!  It really and truly has.  I cannot believe how fast it has gone by, and how much you have grown and changed.  You are an incredible boy.  You bring so much joy and laughter into my life.  I’m trying to soak up every moment and savor everything that I can.  You make me laugh and smile every day.  You warm my heart, and have taught me how to be a better mother.  I love you with all of my being, and I always will.


Keep growing, and dancing!

Love,

Momma

Breastfeeding Judgement

Over Memorial Day weekend, we went to my in-laws for dinner and to hang out with family.  Our original plan was to hang out there during the day and then for the boys to spend the night there, and for J and I to have some nice adult time together that evening.

In all of our haste to get out the door on time, we forgot to pack the cooler of breast milk for Benjamin.  So, J ended up driving 45 minutes home to pack it up, and then driving 45 minutes back to his parent’s house.  When we realized we forgot it, several people tried to tell us that Benjamin didn’t need it, and we shouldn’t worry about.  J and I ignored those comments, and J headed home to get the milk.

During the time that he was gone I was asked by 5 different people (mother-in-law, father-in-law, paternal grandfather and grandmother in-law, maternal grandmother-in-law) how long I was going to breastfeed Benjamin.  Each time, I gave the same answer: “well, I nursed Henry until he was two, so I think I’ll try to do the same thing for Ben.”  Each time I’d get a “harrumph” in response.

A little while later, while J was still gone, I overheard my FIL, and GFIL talking about how it’s wrong of me to continue to breastfeed my son this long.  That it’s gross, that I should get over myself and just stop.  That I’m doing it more for me than for my son.   They even went so far to say that I was having a “junior moment,” whatever that means.  Best I can tell, I think they meant that my arrogance and shortsightedness are getting in the way of me seeing what the “right” choice is.  They were talking about me and my choices across the table from me, and never once thought to include me in the discussion.  I knew that if I piped in, that it would only end up in an argument.  But as I sat there, feeling ostracized and judged, I seriously thought about packing both my boys up and leaving.  If J and the car had been there, I might have.

I comprehend that they don’t understand my choice, but they damn well should respect it, and me.  I don’t understand why they can’t see how well Henry is doing, and how healthy and strong he is.  I’m not saying it’s all from breastfeeding, but I think it played a part.  Why can’t they see how well Benjamin is doing, and factor the same things in?  Why can’t they do a modicum of research to see that breastfeeding can make a difference in Crohn’s Disease, which runs rampant on that side of my family.  Why do they continue to judge me and find my decisions lacking?

Hypocrite 

Yesterday on facebook I shared an article from Scary Mommy about the reality of a working and breastfeeding mom and how that reality is at best difficult, and at worst fucking awful. It hit very close to home for me. I’ve worked full time with both of my boys and I’ve had to pump milk for both of them while I’ve been at work. Having to worry because you’re sitting next to doors that don’t lock and anyone could come and open it and see you pumping in a storage closet. It’s so hard for me to relax enough to get my milk to let down when I’m constantly hearing door knobs rattle, while I loudly shout “occupied!”
Anyway, back with my first kid, I had to drive 5 minutes down the road to another building to pump milk for my son. So, what should have taken my 30 minutes (set up, 20 minutes to pump, and break down), ended up taking closer to 45 because of traveling, and I had to do that 3 times a day (one of those was my lunch break though). Anyway, my employers – WHO WERE MY INLAWS didn’t like how much time time it was taking away from my desk (despite the fact that I got my work done anyway) and they wanted me to either stay late, or come in on Saturdays to make up the time I spent pumping during the week.  

I was already working from 8-5 anyway, and had to leave no later than 5:30 because Henry’s daycare closed at 6:00. Which meant that I needed to spend half my Saturday at work – away from my kid – who I then had to pump for…..the cycle was endless and it caused major tension between my inlaws and myself – still to this day.

Anyway, back to the article I posted, my MIL had the nerve to comment “I admire how strong you are about this. I wish I had your strength!”  

I saw that comment and my blood started to boil. The rage that I felt was instantaneous. How dare you say that after the absolute hell you put me though when I was trying to feed your grandson! You only think it’s admirable when it doesn’t affect you! The moment you were the slightlest bit inconvenienced you wanted me to stop because you think breastfeeding is gross and a waste of time, and that I should have just gotten over myself and formula fed.

How hypocritical can you be?

I want to delete the comment, but I know it would only cause tensions to become worse. Even though it’s been just about 4 years since I’ve stopped pumping for Henry, I’m still angry, sore, upset, and hurt over how they treated me. And situations like this don’t help me get over it any faster.

Mastitis…

I think I’ve had my first case of mastitis. I noticed at work yesterday that I had a plugged duct, so I knew that I’d need to nurse Ben a little more to help get it unclogged. However, around noonish, my body was really starting to hurt. I was having major aches and pains, chills, followed by body sweats. At one point I literally had sweat running down my back and the entire underside of my hair was drenched.
I barely made it to the end of the day, but I went home and put a heating pad on my lower back, which felt really good. I tried to nurse Ben a few times on the affected side (right side), and each time it helped.  

Around dinner time, I hit a major fever. My body felt unbelievably hot, I don’t think I’ve ever felt that hot before. I skipped dinner, because I just couldn’t eat, and instead napped on the sofa with my heating pad.  

Somehow I found the strength to make it up stairs and was able to lie down. I kept oscillating between sweating profusely and freezing.    

I managed to nurse Ben for bedtime, which helped my breast feel so much better. I managed to take 3 ibuprofen, took my temp which was 103.4 and then I went and passed out in bed. 

Ben woke up a little while later, which is abnormal for him, and when he woke up, I got up to go to the bathroom, and I noticed that I had completely sweated through my clothes, as in tank top and flannel pants stuck to me. My sheets and pillow were also soaked through. My hair was completely wet and plastered to my head. Ben managed to put himself back to sleep, and I dried myself off as best I could. And, then I went back to bed.  

Ben woke up again at 12:20, and I got up to nurse him, and again I felt better afterward.  

While pumping at work today, I only got half of what I usually do out of my breast, and I noticed that I have red marks and spots that look almost like bruises. I called my midwife’s office to ask their opinion and they’re calling in a round of antibiotics for me. I’m really hoping that it starts to work soon…This shit is beyond painful.

Pity Party

I feel so unmotivated. Mostly because even when I do stick to my workout goals and calorie restriction, it doesn’t do any good.
I didn’t post a Weekly Weigh-In Thursday last week because I gained weight. And, I was so upset and felt defeated that I couldn’t even bring myself to record it. I still feel defeated. I need to come up with a fitness plan, and meal plan that fits my life, and I’m STRUGGLING with that.

I hate the weight I am right now. I feel ugly, fat and uncomfortable in my own skin. I hate looking at pictures of myself because I think I look like a blob, a blob with 3 chins. I don’t want to take pictures with my kids/husband because they always show (incredibly accurately) how fat I am.

As a working mother of two, I do not have time to exercise more than 3-4 times a week. But, all of the fitness programs that I like are 6 day a week programs(T25, Insanity, Piyo). So, when I fall behind because I literally got less than 3 hours of sleep, or had to take my baby to the emergency room, or have a 4 year old who’s crying because he wants me to spend time with him and not go upstairs to uselessly jump around, I feel guilty for missing those stupid workouts. I feel like a failure, because I should be able to devote 30 minutes a day to me, but it doesn’t ever happen. In my household, I always come last.

And on top of that breastfeeding makes me HUNGRY! I want to continually stuff my face because I feel like I’m starving. I’m not, but I feel like I am. So, when we have leftover cupcakes from baking for Henry’s class, I eat them, and then want to cry because I stuffed my face once again. Showing once again just how much of a failure I am.  

I feel defeated. I feel ugly. I feel fat. And, I don’t know how to fix it.