I Have A Daughter

I have a daughter.

She’s f-cking amazing. She’s not even six months old but she’s f-cking amazing.

I am terrified that she will not have rights to health care that will make her feel like a safe woman. I am terrified that she is coming up in our country with a major group of people trying to rob those basic, human, legal rights from her. I am worried that because of this men who are bullies will feel empowered by our government. I am worried that because of this people will stop caring about our girls. I am worried about the power of the Republican Party for this reason. (I am sorry Republican friends I still love and accept you but your party as a whole is very extreme on this issue now and so I will not stop worrying unless you start changing).

I am worried but more so…

Society currently scares me. I have a girl.

Society is obsessed with being thin. Being “hot” having big boobs, having perfect skin, having a perfect ass…a flat stomach, being super-fit, being “perfect”? WHAT IS PERFECT? Last I checked that was pretty subjective. It doesn’t matter though because my daughter is growing up around superficial obsession. It scares me. And it should scare you too. (In my opinion)…

WE NEED TO BE THE CHANGE: Everything you say and do- she hears and takes to heart. So change it! Start the change in her house…one by one we can make things better, girl by girl…

-Do not talk negatively about your body around your daughter. STOP IT!

-Do not diet or talk about dieting in front of your daughter (just show her moderation, healthy eating and exercising habits).

-Practice positive reinforcement about her body “look how strong you are” “look how good you are at doing that” etc. Also you and your partner should talk about each other in that way in front of her.

-Tell your daughter she is beautiful. DO NOT OVER CORRECT ON THIS ISSUE- SHE NEEDS TO BE TOLD SHE’S BEAUTIFUL, SPECIAL, SMART, CREATIVE, THOUGHTFUL, INSIGHTFUL, COURAGEOUS, FUNNY, COMPASSIONATE…from you. It’s never too early to start this. I do it now. It’s been part of the song I made up to put her to sleep. It calms her and she totally listens. “I love you Aviva, yes I do, I love you Aviva..yes, it’s true…I love your nose, I love your toes…I love your eyes, I love your smile. I love your laugh, I love your heart, I love your thoughts, I love your soul. I love your insides, I love your outsides, I love your everything…yes I do… ”

So while we work on all of the above we need to try to also combat the issues with in us that make us feel shitty and keep us from being an awesome mom-woman-example to our daughters.

Some thoughts on this from a new mom who’s postpartum and still wants to party life up, but has had a LOT goin’ on…

HERE’S THE POSTPARTUM SUCKS PARTY…

  1. THESE ARE NOT MY BOOBS!!!! (Yeah dude…these are your boobs. check yourself before you reck yourself…these…your post nursing boobs…are YOUR NEW BOOBS! (Hello 32D good-bye 34G) and then it’ll hit you how MUCH MORE AWESOME THESE NEW BOOBS ARE! You don’t have to put them in 3 bras…and a work out bra. Nope! They’re cool on their own. Remember that from, before you were pregnant? I know it seems like forever but yeah…So much easier and way more fun!
  2. MOM NEEDS LOVE TOO! Okay so you’ve had your baby and you’ve been living for, breathing for, dealing for this person 100% since they arrived. It’s the best thing ever ever ever but it also zaps you of “you” so let your partner step up and give you some love…go get a Mani Pedi, blow out, massage, go out with a friend…let the person who doesn’t take care of this baby full time step up for a couple hours and give you some “you time.” P.S. This is not gender specific…if you’re a stay at home dad this pertains to you…. if you’re in a same sex relationship-this pertains to you! This means the full time person needs/gets to have a break. The whole fam will be better for it, trust. 😉
  3. USE YOUR TIME WISELY… so the baby is taking a nap? Here’s what that looks like (and this grants you freedom post bed-time to: have dinner/take a shower or bath/ take a breathe/ have a cocktail/ really shave and put lotion on/lay down/sleeeeeeep, HAVE SEX!!!!)

-Do laundry (or start it at least- you can always finish it after they go to sleep)

-Make or organize dinner

-Do dishes, bottles, etc. organize feedings for when they wake up

-If you’re on formula- pre-make it and make bottles for next 20 hours or so

-Clean house/clean yourself!

You get me- get as much done while they nap as you can so that when they go to bed at night you can try to have a life. Even if that means curled up under a blanket in your PJ’s watching TV. Just do what you can do to set up some chill out time each day. This will make you feel human.

  1. TELL ME WHAT YOU NEED! You and your partner need to communicate. There are so many more new things to be on top of now.  You need to check each other about what needs to be done and when. You have to be each other’s checks and balance system.
  2. LET IT OUT: Find a way that’s healthy to let your emotions, frustration out. If you need to dance intensely (what?) around the living room and then stay up way too late writing, to alleviate stress- do it. (Not that I know from that I’m just saying…as an example)… Play drums? Ride a bike? Surf? Meditate? Whatever it is- do it. Let it out or it’ll come off on your kid, or partner and no one wants that in the world. We need to practice maximizing love export/import.
  3. EMBRACE YOUR POSTPARTUM BODY: If you are a stay at home mom like me chances are you are CONSTANTLY moving: you’re bouncing him/her, burping him/her, dancing, moving and grooving, holding, rocking, multi-tasking all the time…you do not stop. Okay so you probably lost weight this way- but if you didn’t it’s also because you’re still nursing (mine ended 8 weeks post) or for the sheer fact that every single body is different. This includes the body you started out with and the body you now have several months after giving birth. This is mine. I took this in the bathroom mirror at 3am. This is me 5m postpartum. It’s not my best photo. I didn’t try to make it look good (I even have a line from my sweats on my stomach, my hair is up still wet because I didn’t have time to tend to it today, I’ve had a whole day of eating and what not….this is just REAL). This body has had nothing but hard times with nursing, had to stop after 8 weeks, had a c-section, had retained placenta and a D&C to remove it at 7 weeks postpartum. I look at my “new and temporary” body and think:

 

-My breasts don’t fill out my bra the way they used to, but they still look good naked and I’m feeling lucky about them because they fed my baby and gave her my immunity. (Give yourself props for things- it’s okay to say- hey- I LIKE THIS- MY BODY DID GOOD)! Society teaches us to hate ourselves but that’s not okay- this is an activity of love….go take a postpartum selfie and try to like some things you see!!!

-I look at my c-section scar (not featured as it’s too low) and I just feel so grateful to have been able to give birth to my daughter. I’m in awe of her daily and to me, she’s a dream come true and a miracle all in one. I look at my scar and just feel love for her and proud of my body.

So let your postpartum body make you feel good! You gave birth to a human, you did that with your body- YOU ROCK! I am in awe of what my body went through and amazed by how it’s thriving even though I don’t have much time for it these days and with all honesty, have NOT made getting toned back up a priority. My daughter is. All day. That’s just me. Luckily I kind of work out all day while I take care of her because I just do it that way. 😉 I’m getting back to pilates and that’s a gift my husband is giving me in that he’ll be the child care for an hour on the weekend while I go love on my body a bit. This is ALL about me feeling good and not at all about looking a certain way. I feel better when I got to pilates classes- end of story. The focus here is on how I FEEL.

-Get it on. You need to let your postpartum body be sexual no matter what it looks like. You are now a MILF- OWN IT! Feel so sexy because of what that body did! If it feels or looks weird don’t sweat it! It’s so hot to your partner because if you feel empowered about it- they will in turn connect with that and focus on how sexy it is that you’re their baby’s mom. Oh my gosh seriously- it’s the sexiest thing! Don’t knock it till you try it!!! 😉

I have a daughter…..I will do everything in my power to keep her safe, teach her right from wrong and support her to be whomever she feels she is. So that’s #7. Treat your child the way you wish life treated you. This includes trying to protect her rights as a woman- that is part of keeping our daughters safe and treating them how we would want to be treated (with respect and as equal humans to men). This is the best party you can create: An everyday celebration of your child…Show then how you celebrate yourself and they’ll learn to do the same and not hate themselves.

This is all a huge gift…mommy. Enjoy it. Party on!

XO- The f-cking proudest mom ever baby….

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All You Need Is Love

10676358_10152707350929086_4485169029334586016_nOur daughter is four months old now. The depth of emotion felt in these past four months has far surpassed anything I’ve ever experienced in life. We’ve been through so much and I feel like each experience deserves it’s own blog, but since it’s taken me this long to have time to write I think I should try to sum things up in a way that will be helpful to other women who may experience the same thing. Okay so mamas…future mamas…listen up! Some of this I hope you get to experience because it’s AMAZING and some of this I hope you never have to go through. It’ll be obvious which is which. 😉 Here goes!

Pump It:

Our daughter couldn’t latch. We tried everything under the sun including seeing many lactation specialists. Eventually and very soon after her birth I started to pump. I had to. I pumped exclusively and although I continued to try to get her to latch, I had to bottle feed her my breast milk. Thankfully (and remarkably- you’ll find out why later) I was able to get her 2 full months of exclusively breast milk. It wasn’t easy but I was totally committed to it.

Pumping exclusively sucks. It’s SO hard. I had nothing but problems. I had clogged ducts. I had clogged nipple pores. I had HORRIBLE pain. It took me forever to let down and my pumping sessions would sometimes take 45 minutes- and hour plus,  8-12x a day. By the time I finished pumping and feeding her it was time to pump again. I couldn’t leave the house I was so tied to the breast pump.

There were times when I was pumping that my supply was good and then times it was average. Eventually it took a nose dive and I will be forever grateful for the good periods where I produced enough to have extra to freeze (as we used it later once I had to stop).

I felt like a complete failure because I wasn’t breast feeding Aviva. I would cry all the time when someone would ask me about how breastfeeding was going or sound shocked or sad for me when I told them what our situation was. I had a “plan” to breastfeed her for one year. There’s a lot of societal pressure to breastfeed. It’s currently “in” and there have been waves over the last century of it being “in” our “out.” The reality is that as long as your child is thriving…it doesn’t f-cking matter if they’re being breast fed or not. Seriously- it REALLY doesn’t. So ladies….if this is happening to you please just know that if you TRY- you’ve succeeded. It’s not always on you how it turns out. Sometimes things are just out of your control. My daughter is amazing. She’s a total love. She’s super connected to me and totally obsessed with me but she never latched. Point being- it made zero difference in how connected we are or the love felt between us. Also, she’s just as happy (if not happier) enjoying a bottle of formula as she was breast milk.

The Bottle: A Trial and Error Story

When you have to try bottle feeding super early like we did it’s not easy. We tried a bunch of different bottle systems until we found one that worked. The trying part is tough. It involves what looks like choking, spitting up, painful gas, sometimes just plain spitting it out. The one that worked, well it worked until it stopped working and then we tried another system that hadn’t worked for her before but now that she was older and more evolved, seemed to be magic. Now we’re trying another nipple with that bottle system because she’s getting older and we’ll have to see how THAT goes. Point here is- try try and try again. Trial and error is the name of the game! You can’t give up you will find something that works. Do not get too cozy with the thing that works though because it may not work tomorrow. You have to be like water. It flows and gets where it needs to go. Be water mamas. Be water….

The Perfect Formula:

It doesn’t exist. Our baby is now on formula. She’s on her third type of formula since we had to start it. She’s always been on organic formula but because of constipation issues we’ve been trial and error-ing this as well. Finally she seems to be okay on this one. If you have to have your baby on formula and are like me, you want the safest, closest to breast milk, most non-gmo, organic option possible you will end up with about seven options. Within these seven options there’s a ton of good vs. bad and none of which has yet to be scientifically proven either way. You could make yourself CRAZY trying to make the right choice. I did. That said I finally just had to choose and then when it didn’t work for her tummy I chose again and then again a third time. So long as your baby is happy and gaining weight, growing and thriving…you’re making the right choice. There’s probably no difference between all these formulas at the end of the day but just do what you feel is comfortable for you in your heart. That’s all you can do as a parent, as a mother, I am learning. Once you’ve made a choice- let it go and just see how it goes. Be water remember? Flows…gets to where it needs to go.

Trust Your Body:

Our bodies are truly amazing. I mean- we make humans! How amazing is that?!?! What’s also amazing is that when something isn’t okay- our bodies give us clues and signals to let us know.

While I was pumping I had such terrible breast and nipple pain that often times I would cry. Many times when I would say to my husband things while pumping like “I feel like I’m doing serious damage to my breasts, “I feel like my body is fighting itself” and “It just doesn’t seem like I should be in this much pain.” I also found myself several weeks postpartum still bleeding pretty significantly and still having random shooting pains and cramping. Granted I did have a C-Section but much of the above seemed not quite right to me.

At six weeks postpartum I got heavier cramping and started bleeding even more. My husband had me call the on-call doctor for my OB. She suspected I got my period but told me to go into Triage if I developed a temperature or felt light headed (light headed- something I felt a lot after giving birth). We went to see my OB after that and she also suspected it was my period. She even jokingly called me “Fertile Myrtle.”  I was surprised to have gotten my period given the fact that I was still nursing (pumping, etc). My husband (thank God) pushed for an ultrasound just to make sure things were okay. As it turns out…they were NOT.

Even though we had a scheduled C-Section and this really shouldn’t happen (nor should your baby get cut on her head during a scheduled C-Section which also happened to us and we were STILL in the process of emotionally recovering from and Aviva was healing from)….apparently, I had retained placenta.

It’s a f-cking miracle I even made any milk in the first place. No wonder I had SO many problems nursing and pumping! My body was SO confused! It still thought it was supposed to be pregnant!!! No wonder I was still bleeding and having so many painful issues. I was so lucky we caught this and that I didn’t get a terrible infection or worse. The treatment was to have a D&C. We were SO unhappy with our OB after this, the second complication. Plus we felt she managed us so poorly through both that we decided to get another doctor on board. This took a little time but was handled it before I got super sick. I was starting to feel truly awful.

Trust. Your. Body. Your body knows and will tell you when something is wrong.

So, I had to have a D&C and as it turns out, they had to put me under at a level much deeper than we’d thought which was very scary for both of us. Once the doctor was in, she saw that there was a good amount of placenta there and it was quite stuck so it was good I was out because she did several passes.

(Shout out to my mom who flew in to help watch Aviva and take care of things while I recovered. I’m not sure what on earth we would have done with out you and your loving help. I have the best mom in the world. Period. End of story.)

After the Placenta it’s the After Party:

I can’t confirm or deny that after this procedure I’ll have scar tissue that will cause us issues in the future when we try for another baby. It’s too soon for me to know this. I have to just trust in the universe, as I try to do….that we will be able to do in life what we wish and want, with all the love we can throw at it. I choose not to stress over this and instead focus on my beautiful and amazing love of a child, Aviva.

Also, about 6 days after my D&C, I got Mastitis and after that my milk couldn’t come out unless I manually expressed it into water, leaving it un useable. After that I had to stop nursing cold turkey as I couldn’t get any useable milk out in any way. I used liquid sage drops (natural estrogen) to help my milk stop. Also, ice packs on my breasts and sports bras. It took about 3-4 weeks for my milk to stop trying to come in (when she cried or was on my chest my breasts would still try to fill up and it would hurt).

I don’t know HOW I would have gotten through these rough waters with out my husband’s love and my mom. These two people got me through in so many ways. Other family and friends too, sure but the people in the trenches with me..they gave me the love I needed and more importantly- helped with Aviva while I had to deal with some not so easy stuff. LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED. Truly. And, always.

All You Need Is Love:

You gave birth. Your hormones are crazy. Your feelings are out of your control. Every new mother feels this. Add to that that things don’t go easy….your baby get’s cut/can’t latch/looses weight/has a medical issue/you have a medical issue….IT FEELS SO CRAZY….

WHAT YOU NEED IS LOVE. LOVE. LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED.

You need love from your partner, your family….you need LOVE girl. And oh…my…god…do you need love.

Love will get you through anything. It’ll get you through surgery, complications, more surgery, more of anything. It will get you through. The people who truly love you will show up for you and that is all you need.

I say, when things feel crazy as many moms experience after giving birth…just focus on the love coming in and let it be your fuel because often times you will need it when you start to run on empty…you will need that fuel to keep going.

Note: I have so many blog posts in my head that I have wanted to share but our “stuff” has gotten in my way. Now that things are chilling out and going well I will be able to get back to writing more and I look forward to doing so. With, LOVE, of course. Always.