September 25, 2014


People ask us all the time how it feels to be parents and I always say the same thing, "Crazy. Amazing. Fun -- we get peed and puked on and it's totally OK!"

I really don't mind when my baby pees in his bath water, or down my shirt, or across the floor as I carry him to the bath, or in my face when I can't resist kissing his tummy during a diaper change. Though it is gross (I'm not that crazy), my baby's pee is the least gross kind of pee there is. I swear.

You really know it's love when you don't mind some puke and pee.

I also have a whole new interpretation of cannibalism because I could eat my baby any day of the week. He is so sweet and delicious looking that sometimes a million kisses are just not enough. I have to have a whole foot and one finger, right now or I might die.

And, oh my goodness, you should see the way he smiles and laughs at people and then hides his head on my chest.

Or, when he is tired and you try to get him to look at you and he just turns his head side to side, ignoring you.

When he cries for an hour at bedtime and you have to shut the monitor off to handle it, and then all of a sudden he is out cold. You smile at how well it went and go look at him in the crib just as he flops over on his back and opens his eyes one more time and smiles at you as if to say, "Haha, I got you fucker."

Or, when you try to give him kisses and he tries to eat your face with his slobbery, little mouth.

Oh, and he sits up now! Babies have this remarkable way of getting you to clap and cheer like a freaking lunatic. Your eyes get all big and you talk to them like...a baby. We all know what that sounds like, right?  And when he topples, it's even more adorable.

But, the absolute the baby giggle. Mack's even sounds like mine, except it's adorable. And without a snort. Though, I have heard him snort.

These are just some of the best things of my new life that have me giddy with love and excitement...and all those things that people love to hate on.**

But, it's the other side of things that can be really hard to accept some days.

The side that is still trying not to feel left out of my old world. I was very naive in thinking that I would still be able to play sports a few times a week, or use free tickets to the comedy club on a Thursday night, or make it to book club for happy hour, or even the one making plans for everyone else.

It can be lonely sometimes, and frustrating. When you just want to go to dinner or not rush around Target so you can keep to the feeding and bed-time prep schedule. When you work SO hard to figure out a schedule that really helps your baby grow and be happy, you get really anxious about straying because you see the effects for days. 

Some days it is hard to accept my new identity because my old one seems too lost and far away. I was comfortable in that old skin. I knew what I was doing, what I wanted, how to have fun and let go, and had the security and means to be a little selfish. Now my selfish ideas revolve around wondering when I can sleep rather than returning a phone call or trying to meet a friend for dinner. Now, every day is filled with what ifs and then what ifs to those what ifs. 

Becoming a parent has been the best thing to ever change us, and also the hardest. No one really ever tells you how bad it can really feel at times, especially those first 3 months. No one tells you how dark some of those beginning days can be. It's definitely a topic that you are careful about who you say that around. No one admits to those things out loud. Some people are too judgmental and others really can't understand because they haven't been there.

I'm here to tell you that you can admit it, and you should talk about it, and know that you are not alone. But, also know that feeling that way does not mean that you are selfish and ungrateful, or that you don't love that tiny human with all of your being. You have been thrown to the wolves with 5 billion people and websites telling you what is right and offering advice, and then saying to just trust your gut and you will figure it out.

If I have learned something though, it is true that you will figure "it" out just as it's time to. All babies are different no matter how many times your baby gets compared to other babies. And, as soon as your baby knows that you figured them out, they will have something new for you to tackle. That is the only thing you can count on. But it makes you laugh and reward them with more snuggles and kisses for being the cutest and smartest baby alive.

** Don't you hate those people that always post on Facebook the annoyances of all the babies and weddings in their newsfeed? See ya ahole, not sure why or how I am friends with you, but you have been removed.

September 11, 2014

Why I took my boobs back.

Boobs and breast pumps. 

(That really caught your attention, right?)

Well, I took mine back -- my boobs, not my pump -- I don't think the store would take the pump, though I'd gladly get rid of it. 

That little chant that I used to find hilarious (read Things I've learned), yeah, it became my arch-nemesis. 

Pride kept me going when I would hardly pump half of what my kid demanded. I'd sit by lamplight in a locked room at work, trying to relax and envision the milk-rivers of my past. I would watch Mack videos and look at Mack pictures. I would cry, stress out and feel guilty. I even brought a blanket to the room to rest my head on while I would try to relax enough and maybe even doze off and wake up to magic milk. I didn't want to quit. 

I was determined to supply - even when I had to supplement with formula. It made me feel better knowing that I could still give him half of me (breastmilk) and by doing so I could make it last longer. I built my freezer supply back up and kept chanting and pumping. 

I could say that I didn't want to quit because I didn't want to pay for formula. But really, it was my crutch. And, it is so much easier to whip a boob out at 2am rather than making up a bottle. But really really, I didn't want to quit because I wanted to win. I wanted Mack to win. I would not be defeated by the pumping game, or my job, or the call of freedom.

But, I did feel defeated. It was exhausting pumping before bed and in the middle of the night when I work at 6am, and taking 2 breaks at work.  And, it was stressful not getting enough for him and still being told how down my numbers are at work (really I can't hate on this balogna because I did work less, I was away 5 hours a week to try and provide for my kid, why should they care about breastmilk).  And then there is the planning that it takes to go away. The stress caused by not being able to feed him and put him to bed at the one time of day that I could feed him directly, and help my body understand what we needed, was torture. Really the list of stressors goes on and on, and maybe I brought them on myself. 

Shit. Is. Hard.

Then I quit. Gave up. Stopped. Whatever you want to call it. 

And the first full bottle of formula that Mack had...he couldn't have cared less, and I bawled. 

Part of me was hurt that he didn't mind where the food came from -- he is such a greedy little nugget. 

Part of me was - is - proud that he is so strong, trusting and determined.

I no longer feel defeated, though. I feel blessed and proud that I could give him all of me that I did, for as long as I did. I never really had a goal or length of time that I planned to breastfeed, but I feel like I exceeded most expectations, and, I have definitely won. 

Definitely, definitely, won.
And this video is certainly entertaining, if you like spit and adorable baby chatter.