Lions, duc(ts) and lip-ties…oh my! [The Final Chapter]

So, last time I sat down to write this post, I crashed our computer :/  However, after thinking we lost all of W’s baby photos, we’re up and running again (with most pictures recovered) on a brand new iMac and, boy, is she a beauty.

But, because I know you’ve been on the edge of your seat wondering how this saga ends, I’ll continue the story where I left off last…a trip to the ENT to have W’s lip-tie evaluated…

As luck would have it, a friend of mine (whose little guy was due the day before W was, and born the day after W!) happens to be a otolaryngologist in Philly.  She answered a ton of my questions, told me exactly how the frenulectomy would be conducted if we chose to have it done…and did all that with far more compassion and charisma than the ENT we saw.  Oohhh, doctors…male doctors…young, new male doctors…young, new male doctors without kids…

Nonetheless, the ENT we saw confirmed W had a moderate tie, though there is no official scale.  He also noted that because a lip-tie often has no impact on the child or the mother, he’d only performed one frenulectomy…but the mother was EXTREMELY happy with the outcome.  He also mentioned that most of his lip-tie patients don’t have a gap between their teeth (a permanent gap between the two front teeth is something a lip-tie can cause)…and little W did.  Again, it’s an elective procedure, so aside from stating the above facts, he didn’t say anything to steer us in one direction or the other.  He did say, though, that if we waited to have the frenulectomy when W was older, it would be a more invasive procedure because he’d likely need anesthesia to keep him still.

So, my husband and I discussed our options.

Given my reoccurring clogged ducts we decided to move forward with the procedure.  Best case scenario, we’d prevent some cosmetic dentistry, expressive language delays and have a better go at nursing.  Worst case scenario, well, there just didn’t seem to be one aside from the 2 minutes of discomfort baby W would experience.  However, we felt it best to do that now while he was young enough to forget it.  While we chickened out from getting the procedure done at the consultation (it’s that simple he could have done it right then and there…) we scheduled an appointment for the following week.  I mean, we had swimming lessons the next day…we couldn’t bear to ruin that for him!

The following Wednesday, bright and early, we headed into the ENT’s office and nervously waited for him to get the show on the road.  Honestly, for as simple a procedure as it is, it was pretty extremely emotionally traumatizing for my husband and I to have to hold the little guy down while all this was happening.  The doctor and his nurse assistant swaddled W while I held his feet down and my husband held his arms down.  We’d agreed that my husband would be the one to “watch” and reassure W face-to-face so that we weren’t both upset.  They started with a quick shot of lidocaine and epinephrine to numb the pain and help with bleeding.  They let that take effect and in about 30 seconds they put a clamp on the skin to cut off the blood supply.  In another 30 seconds or so they were ready for the snip…and just like that, with a pair of scissors, it was done.  He then cauterised the would with silver nitrate and it was over.  Sure, it was over in less than two minutes…but it’s quite possibly the hardest thing in the world to hear your child scream and know you are the cause of that pain 😦

Within a minute of the procedure, baby W had calmed down and was nursing peacefully…every once and while pulling off the nipple to fiddle with his still-numb lip.  It was hard to tell whether or not the procedure had impacted his latch just yet, as I didn’t want to flange his lip.  I still haven’t really fiddled with it yet, or tried to inspect it, since it hasn’t been a week yet.  (We head into the doctor’s this Wednesday for our one-week follow-up to make sure all is well, though I’m expecting it will be given what I can see – a super happy little guy!)

The only sign he’d had anything done?  A bit of swelling and traces of black/silver on his upper lip from the silver nitrate…

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For all the time I spent researching, reading and worrying about whether he had a lip-tie and whether or not we should correct it…it was over in an instant.  But, so far, I’m glad we decided to have it done.

Sigh.  Another milestone in the book: his first procedure/trip to the doctors.  And, like most milestones, baby W seemed to be far more fluid, resilient and unphased with the event than we did.  Funny thing with milestones, though, they seem to come one after the other and far too quickly for my liking.

Our latest milestone?  W’s first serious cold and cough and ANOTHER trip to the doctor’s office earlier today.  We had a touch and go night last night with some pretty serious coughing and trouble breathing.  Yet again, my heart was in my chest.  Thankfully the doctor said it’s just the crud and nothing more serious.

So, here’s to more Tylenol and Motrin…a Nose Frida, saline spray, Boogie Wipes, humidifiers and steam baths with eucalyptus.

Snotfully yours,

MomME

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10 New Baby Must Haves

Bringing Home Baby: New Baby Must-Haves
Our neighbors and our best friends both welcomed baby girls this past week!  So exciting.  I couldn’t help but reminisce about W’s arrival and the terror excitement we felt about bringing him home.  And, of course, the few items that we relied upon to get us through the first sleep-deprived, adrenaline-fuled and bursting-at-the-seams-with-joy weeks.
Simply put, new babies eat, sleep, poop and cry.  As a nursing mom, here is what made my world go ’round…what I actually used…every hour, every day…after bringing W home.
[Oh, and also.  These would make for one heck-of-a-baby-shower gift.  Toss some of these items in a cute storage bin or basket along with a bottle, pacifier or diaper she didn’t register for (see below for why!) and she’ll be calling you Week 1 thanking you for the most-used-baby-shower-gifts.  Ever.]
  1. Nipple cream: the LC  (mommy-blog-o-nym for Lactation Consultant) recommended I nurse, then rub expressed milk on my nipples, let ’em air dry, then apply the nipple cream…and procede to let the boobs hang freely in the open.  My cracked bloody nipples finally healed at about Week 3!  I used Lansinoh or the Medela brand, but I hear that MotherLove is awesome, too!  I used their More Milk pills to help with milk production.
  2. Hydrogel pads – these felt OH SO GOOD.  They were about the only thing I let touch my nipples in the first three weeks.  See my hospital bag must-haves for other medicine-cabinet needs post-baby.
  3. Snacks – Remembering to eat is harder than you think in the first few weeks, but if you’re nursing, it’s critical.  I lived on Larabars (super healthy, fill you up, minimal/whole ingredients and delicious flavors like Cherry Pie and Coconut Cream Pie), bananas, cheese sticks and the meals my neighborhood made for me!  I made little snack baggies and kept them beside my bed to munch on while I was nursing in the middle of the night…I was always STARVING (and I still am…)
  4. Water bottle Camel Pack: the second W latched on to nurse I was ravenously thirsty.  Instantaneously.  And obviously, I’d forgotten to get water before getting set up amidst pillows and the boppy.  Next baby, I’m forgoing the water bottle and just wearing a camel pack.  Sounds easier 🙂
  5. Boppy: in my first two weeks with W, I was nursing 9-12 times a day for about 30 minutes a session.  That’s a lot of time sitting and nursing.  The more comfortable you are, the better for you and baby.  So, find something like a boppy that works for you!
  6. Nursing/Cozy Tanks:  see above.  You’re pretty much nursing all the time, so find some tanks that are fuss-free and comfortable (even with nursing bras, I never used the snap function – I just wore bras and tanks and shirts with a stretchy enough neck that I could just yank it down over my boob…still do).  My nipples were pretty sore, so super-soft material was a must.  I usually just wore my underwear, a comfy tank and a cozy robe from Brookstone…it seemed to go well with the bags under my eyes…and made snagging a quick nap less of hassle since I was already in my PJs 🙂
  7. Plain onesies: you can never have too many white onesies.  At the rate W pooped through his diapers and clothes, we were changing these things a few times a day.  I was all about easy, and this is where that started.
  8. Zippered, footed sleepers or elastic bottomed dress thingys: add a cute footed onesie (with an adorable face on the butt and feet) to a white onesie and we were dressed and ready to go.  Why they EVEN make baby clothes with buttons baffles me.  There’s nothing worse than trying to change a diaper at 3am, bleary eyed and sleep deprived, and trying to line up 12 teeny-tiny buttons over teeny-tiny squirming arms and legs.  Nope.  Zippers are the best.  And, W didn’t just sleep in these.  He wore them 24/7.
  9. Something to wear baby with – Ergobaby / Moby:  in the 4th trimester we spent most of our time cuddled together, both day and night.  But, for the few hours here or there where my arms needed a break, the Moby I borrowed from my neighbor was a perfect way to keep W close, snuggled and have my hands free.  We now use the Ergo, and in hind sight I probably would have used the baby insert much earlier.  Because it’s so versatile it can be your carrier from birth to 45lbs.
  10. Something to put baby in – Rock N Sleep:  For an off-the-body place to let the little one sleep, the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper was AMAZING.  It’s SO simple, but the slight incline and deep seat really hugged W when I wasn’t, and he spent a ton of time checking out the scenes from this little yellow seat, napping and sleeping.  Before he transitioned into his crib, this was the only place he’d sleep!

Enjoy your precious new baby, mama!  And remember, keep it simple 🙂

Yours truly,

MomME

PS – I didn’t include things like a carseat, diapers/wipes, bottles, pacifiers or crib/co-sleeper/basinette because those are either obvious, optional or a personal preference.  You might choose to do disposable diapers or cloth…or co-sleep or put your baby in a basinette for the night…or give your baby a pacifier or not…or try a bottle at three weeks…or earlier…or later.

For what it’s worth, here’s my two cents on all of the above: before you invest in a whole bunch of anything, try them out and make sure you and your baby like them.  We made the mistake of registering for a bunch of bottles that, in the end, W didn’t take to.  Same with pacifiers.  It took some trial and error (and swapping with my other mommy friend) to find the right fit.  We also bought a co-sleeper that we used once and hated, which seemed like a waste.  If you have the chance to borrow from a friend to try it out, do it.  If you can live with baby for a bit and then decide what you really need and want, you’ll save some money!

Hospital bag must-haves

Hospital Bag Must-Haves

When I packed my hospital bag (obviously a month in advance), I packed with my idea of “labor” in mind.  What happened next was, as you might know from my previous post, an entirely different reality that required a different wardrobe.  (Not that I packed high heels or anything, but I didn’t end up wearing much of anything I packed…much to my hubby’s chagrin after he hauled everything into the hospital on that frigid morning.)  So, when my neighbor asked me to send along some thoughts on hospital bag must-haves (she’s due in a few weeks!), I was so excited to share what I would have done differently…and what I actually used.  With a few more friends due in the coming weeks, and to remind myself whenever Baby #2 comes along, I wanted to get it all written out.

For the list-lovers, here it is in a condensed version.  Below is more of an explanation why I think these are helpful items…so read, digest, modify and decide what’s best for you.

Hospital Bag Must-Haves:

  • Juice, coconut water and/or Vitamin Water*
  • Tylenol and ibuprofen*
  • Stool softeners*
  • MediPlast*
  • Ultra-thin pads*
  • Tuck pads*
  • Coconut oil*
  • Vaseline*
  • Nipple cream*
  • Hydrogel pads*
  • Medical Info (keep a folder ready to go with your insurance, any necessary paperwork, your birthplan if you have one, etc.)
  • 4-5 pairs of comfy pants (again, this is in the event you dirty a bunch!  You might only wear 2 pairs…lucky you!)
  • 4-5 nursing tanks with shelf-bra (if those aren’t comfy for you, pack some nursing bras and cozy, long tanks)
  • 4-5 cozy t-shirts (VS makes a burnout, v-neck cotton T that I’m obsessed with.  That’s what I wore the whole time I was there.  Super soft.  Awesome.)
  • 4+ pairs of roomie undies (you’ll be shoving pads and ice-diapers in there…so space is nice…but the hospital undies are AWESOME.  Mesh boy shorts.  Score.  And I’m NOT being sarcastic here.)
  • 2 sweatshirts/long sleeve shirts (again, layers are KEY – you have no idea what you’re going to be in the mood for!)
  • 1 cotton robe/wrap sweater (I wore a super-soft, short robe the whole time I was there.  Loved it.  Got it at Target.)
  • Socks/slippers/flip flops or all three.
  • Bathing suit (if a water birth is in your birth plan…)
  • Any other clothing articles you love ❤
  • Toiletries: The usual suspects and I especially loved my Dry shampoo, Baby wipes, Face wipes, Gum/Wisps, Chapstick.  I brought my favorite BB cream, a bronzer, brown eyeliner and mascara – think 2 minute application when your 5th visitor is on their way!)
  • Misc. (it’s up to you from here on out…pack cameras, phones, chargers, books, games, iPads, whatever!)

*These are items I’d recommend stocking the medicine cabinet with BEFORE the baby arrives!  No fun having to make a pit-stop on the way home from the hospital.

Get now and keep on hand: Some liquids and medical supplies.  

If your water breaks, the person on call will tell you to drink a glass of juice, lay down on your left side and count the baby’s kicks and movements.  They want you to get 10 kicks in an hour to make sure the baby isn’t in distress due to your water breaking.  We don’t really drink juice at our house so we didn’t have any…thankfully, my grandparents had just sent Florida oranges so my hubby juiced some fresh OJ, made me toast and peanut butter while I relaxed and counted kicks.   Ew.  I was also all about the REVIVE Vitamin Water during and after labor – I cut it with water, so a few big bottles lasted for labor and my post-baby stay at the hospital.  While on the topic of food, mind you, about 1 hour after my nice little morning snack I was puking up orange juice, cinnamon raisin toast and peanut butter all over the hospital floor…so, maybe pick a snack that’s bland but filling – you’ll need energy but no thanks to OJ and PB puke.

You should also stock up on items you’ll want when you finally bring baby home.  We had to stop on the way home from the hospital and that was annoying.  I’ll save you a trip: thin, extra-absorbant pads, mediplast spray, tuck pads, Tylenol/ibuprofen, stool softener, coconut oil, nipple cream and hydrogel pads.  These are all essential vag-care and nip-care items you’ll likely want.  Because, I’ll be honest, you won’t do much other than breastfeed and “sleep” those first two weeks…so not much else is necessary.

When it’s time to go / If your water breaks: Comfy Outfit #1

As soon as my contractions started getting closer together, I dashed upstairs and got into my “it’s go-time” outfit.  I would consider setting aside whatever you’re most comfortable in and layer up…because cutting out any and all annoyances (tags, underwire, funny seams, etc.) is key.  With layers you can strip down or bundle up with ease depending on how you’re feeling at the moment.  Next time, I’ll set aside a nursing tank with a built-in bra (I love the shelf-bra nursing tank from Target), a comfy burnout T-shirt from VS, a long sleeve shirt/sweater/zip up, a pair of sweat pants/comfy pants, a pair of grannie-panties and a major pad (I actually have hospital undies left over from baby W that are AH-mazing so I’ll be wearing those for Baby #2).  I mention the pads because if your water breaks, it gushes a bit with each contraction.  I didn’t really think the pads were for ON THE WAY to the hospital so I didn’t have any here, and needless to say, crawling into the hospital with paper towels stuffed in my undies wasn’t the most comfortable thing…but it did come in handy when I pooped my pants WHILE puking upon arrival.  Awesome.

In labor: Comfy Outfit #2  

Again, you never know if you’re going to puke, pee, poop or bleed all over the first pair of undies, pants and shirt.  I did.  However, I just took my pants and undies off when I got there and went the rest of labor with no pants 🙂  While sitting on the toilet…puking, pooping and bleeding…”discussing” pain management options with the nurse (to which I vehemently growled that I wanted an epidural), she then asked if I wanted to labor in a hospital johnny.  I’m not even sure I replied.  I just got off the toilet, leaving my underwear and pants behind me.  I managed to waddle over to the bed wearing only my tank, t-shirt and headband, got on my hands and knees, buried my face in a pillow, and didn’t emerge but to mouth “ice” to my doting husband and to roll over when the doctor presented me with little baby W.  So, you never know what you might want to wear or not wear.  Pants are totally optional, though 🙂  Also, if you’re thinking a water birth or the tub is a possibility, bring a bathing suit top if that’s your thing.

After the baby is born: Comfy Outfit #3 and #4, plus a belly band

My stomach felt strangely hollow and jelly-like after the baby, so I really liked having something tight around it.  I wore one of those stretchy bands that I wore during pregnancy (you know, the kind that hold your pants up well past the point you should be wearing regular pants.)  It worked pretty well, and I think they even make postpartum ones that I’ll probably get for Baby #2.  I also kept on the same shirt and tank top on that I’d come to the hospital in and labored in for that day.  I slept in it, too, I think…But, having another nursing tank, t-shirt, undies and pants/shorts will be a good idea.  Now you’ll start having visitors, too, and your boobs/nipples might be REALLY sore so I just hung out in a cotton robe with nothing underneath.  I could cover up, loosely, if I wanted to.  But at that point, I just kept my boobs out and visitors had to deal with it.  My nipples hurt too much and needed to air dry to heal!

Going home: Comfy Outfit #5 and an outfit for baby 

Again, a pair of comfy pants, underwear, top/sweater/sweatshirt.  I say pack one specific for going home just so you know you have something clean to wear.  Also, bring something seasonally appropriate for the baby on the ride home.  Remember, though, that you can’t put bulky sweaters underneath the car seat straps, so pack a hat and a blanket to put over the baby if it’s cold out.  Also, since skin-to-skin time was so important, we didn’t really dress W in much other than a blanket and what the hospital had for him.  So, feel free to pack clothes for the baby or not many at all!

Toiletries, duh.

Really just pack what you would for any other overnight trip.  The only caveat is, try to bring along items that aren’t heavily scented or, even better, are unscented and natural.  The first hours and days with your babe are key to their ability to “imprint” and that requires their natural scent and yours!  I like to think that’s another reason why I didn’t shower for three days.  Toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash, gum, body lotion (coconut oil would be a super healthy option here, and it even doubles as nipple cream if you want!), face wash (though I’d have gone with face wipes and Jojoba oil if I had to do it again), wash cloth and unscented baby wipes for your body (I didn’t shower the whole time I was there because the thought of getting my stitched vagina wet wasn’t happening, so I “showered” at the sink), shampoo (again, dry shampoo was my saving grace – didn’t shower the whole time I was there…this was pretty scented, though, so for Baby #2 I’m going to try to find a more natural one or make my own dry shampoo), HAIR THINGS – elastics, headbands – whatever you might want for during and after the baby is born.  Nothing more annoying than not being able to find a hair thing when all you want is that god damn hair out of your face.  Ugh.

Stuff for your feet.

A pair of slippers, a few socks…whatever you like on your feet.  Remember you could be in your room or roaming the halls.

Sleep stuff.

Your own pillow, eye mask, sound machine, etc. –  it was really nice to have these things 🙂  I was trying to catch a few winks wherever and however I could, so the comforts of my own pillow, a mask to block out the light if need be and some white noise was GREAT.  The hubby should bring a few pillows, too, cause that hospital pull out bed aint too comfy…

Misc. 

I’ll leave this up to you!  You’ll probably want your phone, camera, video camera, chargers, etc.  I didn’t have time for reading or games, etc., pre-baby…and I sure wasn’t interested in that post-baby!  But, as long as you’re not dragging 3 suitcases to the hospital…better to have more than less 🙂

Happy labor, mamas!  All the mothers of the world are there with you in spirit 🙂

Yours truly,

MomME

If you found something else super-helpful during your labor and delivery, please comment!  The more experiences the better.

ME-juvination

In a world where technology and connectedness trump simplicity and solitude, we’re far more concerned with the battery life of our gadgets than we are with our own battery life.  Why aren’t we as religious about recharging ourselves as we are our precious iPhone or video baby monitor?

I mean, being a life-sustainer (aka mom) can be is hard work.  It is downright exhausting and often anxiety-producing to have a little, precious, breathing, growing human that depends on you…to survive24/7.  But just like the stupid video monitor I can’t live without, I need to recharge every once in a while, too. This past weekend I did just that.  I recharged with a weekend full of what summer in Maine is about.  Call it a ME-juvination.  And it was a beautiful thing.

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The little sister and her boyfriend were home from NYC for the weekend, so we dined on delicious homemade pizzas, wine and ice-cream sandwiches on our back deck at dusk while W slept.  I had an extra glass of wine and said eff-it to pumping. Freedom.  I also ate so many ice-cream sandwiches I thought I was going to puke.  Reckless.  We ate stupidly expensive and awesomely delicious lobster rolls at Fort Williams with W’s Great Grandmother.  Timeless.  We went swimming off the dock at Sebago Lake under the hot summer sun.  Refreshing.  The hubby stayed home with W so I could go to dinner with my family.  So, I drove to dinner by myself with every window down, the sunroof open and Pop2K BLARING on the radio while I screamed lyrics to songs from way back when.  Giddy.  The hubby stayed home again with W so I did the same thing on the way to lunch the next day on the deck at Portland Lobster Company, where I drank cold beer and ate friend Maine shrimp while grooving to Lyle Divinsky.  Soulful.  As the band played another set, I looked out onto Casco Bay I took a deep breath.  Mindful that my soul was full.  Exhale.

And I couldn’t wait to get back to my little love bug ❤

So here’s to being as anal about my own battery life as I am that stupid video monitor.

Yours fully,

momME

G is for gratitude

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Though the title is sarcastically crooned to the tune of the annoying alphabet CD that W loves (if you’ve been in my car you probably still have nightmares thinking about it), I really mean it – “G” is for gratitude.  That is, the immense gratitude I have for the phenomenal women in my life.  Ya, there are a lot of sacred bonds in life…but when I’m running low on sleep and and I can’t sing another round of the ABC’s, nothing is more important than the bond I have with the women on this journey with me.  From my own mum, to my boobie group mamas, my neighborhood ladies and my girls…you ladies are the shit.  Srsly.

Though we may not see each other every day – nap-time routines seem to trump coffee dates these days.  And we might not talk on the phone – who has time for that now that W is starting to crawl?  Frankly, we might only know each other through Facebook – but I think that counts these days, right? Despite all that, we might as well be life-long friends.  Because the bond forged through a shared experience so traumatic and funny and gross and awesomely beautiful makes us part of the oldest club around.  Motherhood.

So…

To the woman who gave birth to me and who still drives an hour a day, every day, to spend time with us.  To the women who walked through every inch of Babies ‘R Us with me and told me what I really neededwho hand-delivered homemade dinners for three weeks after W was born…who have heard every minute detail of my birth story and seen my boobs more than they can count…who laugh with me when I get pooped on and still sit next to me at lunch…who fiercely defend my right to parent in a way that’s best for me even if it’s different from theirs…who offer kind words of support…who acknowledge when things are plain old shitty…who have taught me about compassion, humor and acceptance…who just listen.  To the women who just are: thank you.

Knowing they’ve you’ve got my back – that you’re standing alongside me as we face the challenges that come with each and every next step – that’s enough to remind me of the strength, beauty and sheer awesomeness I posses as a mother.  You remind me I’m doing a good job at this whole “life-sustaining” business.  And while you’re here, let me take the opportunity to tell you that YOU’RE doing a great job, too.  

Gratefully yours,

momME

image from http://legendofanomad.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/gratitude.png

Chew on that, mom

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Lots of things are complicated when it comes to a new baby, but I didn’t think feeding W was one of them.  Until, like most things lately, I did a little research.

When the topic of starting solid food came up I didn’t think twice – we would spoon feed W yummy purees.  Being on the healthy side, I’d actually MAKE the purees here at home.  Take that, store-bought-purees, I thought.  I’m going to feed my baby the best.

Sigh.  Yet again, my new-mom-naivete slapped me in face. There is new research.  There are new schools of thought.  More decisions.  More explaining those decisions.  And that’s when I learned about BLW (another annoying mommy-blog-o-nym short for baby lead weaning…or baby lead solids).

The concept makes sense, I’ll admit that.  Baby learns to eat just like we eat.  Give them normal food in a sort of soft stage and let them feed themselves.  It puts the wheel (or the carrot stick) right in baby’s hand.  They decide if they’re hungry.  They decide if they’re not.  Research shows that babies who eat in this way are less picky because they’re introduced to more foods and textures.  Research shows that babies who eat this way have less allergies because they’re introduced to more foods.  Research shows that babies who eat this way choke less because they learn how much they can or can’t put in their mouths…and they actually learn to chew before they learn to swallow (with purees, they learn to swallow first…so when they begin to need to chew they’re tempted to swallow first).

Choking.  That’s where I’m stuck, folks.  I can NOT get passed the fact that gagging is a normal part of this learning phase with BLW!  I have an active imagination as it is.  I go into worst-case-scenario-mode in a matter of seconds.  To make things worse, this isn’t something totally imagined (like when I’m driving over a bridge and I start to think how I’d get W and the dog out of a sinking car if the bridge collapsed…).  This is actually happening, and the line between gagging (there is noise associated with this) and choking (silent) is so very fine.  I.Can’t.Deal.

Bottom line, I have to wait for the hubby to get home because I can’t do the BLW by myself.  If anything ever went wrong I couldn’t live with myself.  As I’m typing this, I’m thinking, Wow, this sounds so serious…like you’re talking about letting your kid play with knives while you’re home alone.  Nope, just talking about eating some avocado.

When did eating go from my FAVORITE pastime to something that now scares the living daylights out of me?  Where’s the fun in that?  I certainly don’t want my anxiety to scare W into thinking that eating is scary.

We’re going to keep trying.  Little by little.  Wedge of food after wedge of food.  Some nights I might have to call it quits after a serious gag/choke.  Some nights I might survive a few.  But, if it means he’s less likely to choke when he’s older…I guess I’ll *try* to stick with it.

Updates to follow.

Anxiously yours,

MomMe

Breastfeeding in Public – yay or nay?

breastfeeding

I whipped them out in front of the Apple store.  Yup.  That’s right.  I bared my breasts in the middle of the mall.  And I liked it.  And so did the elderly woman sitting next to me.  She actually applauded me.

This was the second time I’d whipped them out in public and BIP’d (insert obnoxious use of mommy blog-o-nym…means breastfeeding in public).  My little love bug got hungry while we were at Whole Foods having a delicious lunch with some visiting friends and my husband.  But does BIP really count at Whole Foods?  I’m not sure it does.  Just like it doesn’t really count when I’m at my mommy group or my breastfeeding group.  Granted, I was in the MOST high traffic area – the tables at the end of the check-out line, closest to the exit, where EVERYONE leaving the store had to walk by.  But, I just think the clientel at Whole Foods is far more accepting of things like breastfeeding – I mean, they’re spending about five times more for everything just to make sure it’s organic!  What is more organic than breastfeeding?  So, anyways, that experience definitely gave me the gusto to whip them out at the Mall…

I share this, though, not to recount my weekend activities.  But, I’ve come to find out that breastfeeding in public is a really controversial topic.  Before having a child I would have never thought twice about this!  Being the feminist I am, I’m really fascinated (ok, pissed off) with people’s thoughts as to why women should cover up or go home to breastfeed their babies.  But let’s be honest, I’m really just hell-bent on doing it to prove that I can.  Yup.  If you tell me I shouldn’t do something just because I’m a woman, I’m going to make darn sure I do it just to show you I can.  But really, folks, weren’t you hanging off your mother’s boob at some point, too?  A little hypocritical, no?  I mean, a kid’s gotta eat when a kid’s gotta eat.

It’s not my problem that you can’t walk by and realize there’s nothing more natural than a baby breastfeeding…that breasts aren’t a sexual organ…that there’s nothing unsanitary about FEEDING my child at the mall (umm, there’s a whole food court full of kids eating – do you walk by and give them the evil eye?).  It’s not my problem that you’ve been programmed to think of women, and women’s breasts, in a hyper-sexualized way.  Or maybe it is my problem.  Maybe that’s why I’m determined to BIP.  So that we can begin to normalize breastfeeding.  I mean, if I didn’t BIP, I’d be at home ALL day – that’s how much my little milk-monster eats!

But before I start sounding all self-righteous, I’ll be honest – I’VE been socialized to feel uncomfortable with breastfeeding…and as much as, ideologically, I believe in our right to BIP, it’s been a bit nerve-wracking and it probably will be for a while.  But that doesn’t mean that I won’t do it…I’m determined to BIP whenever my little love bug wants to eat!

So, what do you mamas think?  Bare it anywhere or barely acceptable?

Yours truly,

MomME

Image from http://www.raisingthefawn.com

Top 10 mommy “blog-o-nyms”…and how to decode them!

Who knew I would have needed a third degree just to decipher the acronyms that pepper the world of mommy blogs? I wasn’t prepared for this…a trend I’m starting to notice…

I’m no stranger to acronyms. I can pick them up and throw them down with the best of them. I mean, I’m on maternity leave from one of the top non-profits in the country where we practically speak in acronyms. When people join staff we give them a million-pager as part of their on-boarding process. But, where was that one-pager for new moms? Where was the chapter in “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” that told me I’d first need to master a new language before I could extract any shred of information from any one of the thousands of blogs? I’m your typical Type-A, over-achiever and I HATE feeling out of the loop – especially when it’s something I could have prepared for. I mean, if I’d known about these crazy acronyms, I might have made some flash cards. I probably would have color coded them. I definitely would have quizzed myself in the weeks leading up to my due date. Yeah, that’s just the kind of student I am. And yeah, there are that many acronyms that this kind of measure would have been an appropriate action step.

So, ladies, let me share a few of my favorite mommy blog-o-nyms so that YOU don’t have to experience the same outsider-ness that I did when I turned to the web to answer some of my most burning, post-baby questions. Selfishly, too, I’ll probably be obnoxious and use some of these in my future posts and that would be unfair to not provide you the code beforehand! Be sure to read these, and more at the link below, before venturing into the world of mommy blogs:

1. LO = little one
2. DH/DF/DP = dear husband, dear fiance, dear partner
3. BIP/NIP = breast feeding/nursing in public
4. EBF = exclusively breast feeding
5. FF = formula feeding
6. FTM = first time mom
7. SAHM = stay at home mom
8. WOH = work out of home
9. BM = breast milk (but be CAREFUL!! can also mean bowel movement…)
10. EBM = expressed breast milk

Yours truly,
MomME

You can find even more here: http://www.babycenter.com/community-help-abbreviations

Babies don’t care…

image

Do you ever wish your life were more like a fairy tale?  Well mine is.

I don’t say that to sound coy or pretentious.  I say that in full recognition of the fact that I live an incredibly privileged life full of all the material and immaterial things anyone could ever ask for.  My husband and I are high-school sweet-hearts who re-kindled our love after having gone our separate ways in college.  We’ve been dating on and off now for over 14 years and when he proposed in November of 2009 I eagerly said yes.  We were married in January of 2012 on a cold, sunny winter day after a fresh-fallen snow.  Two years and a few weeks after we said “I do”, we welcomed our little bundle of joy into this world.  (It was a far less tranquil arrival than that description alludes to, but I’ll save that for another post…)

But, let’s be honest, babies don’t care about your fairy tale life.  He doesn’t care if you’re wearing your favorite pair of designer jeans or the latest trendy blouse – he’s still going to poop that seedy, breast-milk, pea soup-like poop all over it.  He doesn’t care that your hair look hideous if you don’t shampoo it at LEAST every other day – he’s still going to fuss at the exact moment you’d planned on taking a shower.

But that’s just it – babies don’t care about all the things you once would have worried about.  He doesn’t care if you’re wearing designer jeans and he doesn’t care how greasy your hair is (or even if you have the WORST morning breath in the world when you wake him up with a smothering kiss on his pouty lips).  To him, you’re the sun and the moon.  You represent all that he needs and wants.  You fill his most primal needs.  You are the boob (and wow, did THEY get huge!) that feeds him and the heart beat that lulls him to sleep.

My hope is to to capture all of the messy, stressful, hilarious, joyous and hair-pulling moments that can only happen to a first-time mom in Maine.  And as I write this, my little milk-monster just woke up screeching for the boob!  Alas, duty calls.

Yours truly,

MomME