Got Milk? Thoughts On Breastfeeding.

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  • Breastfeeding is natural. It doesn’t mean it is easy for everyone.
  • It does get better. 
  • Get informed and surround yourself with knowledgeable people. It can make a whole difference.
  • It is OK not to get it right the first time. Baby and you will learn together.
  • Carpe diem. It is very hard to see the big picture when you are in pain or going through something difficult. Just try to make it through the day.  And reevaluate tomorrow.
  • It is not as bad as it looks to nurse during the night when you get the hang of it. Just keep doing what you were doing (sleeping) and baby will do the rest. Lying down position to nurse is my favorite!
  • After a good nursing session, that “I had too much of this turkey dinner but damn, that was good!” look is so precious!
  • It is both practical and not. No need to own, wash, store, prepare bottles. Milk is at the right temperature and it is perfectly adapted to your baby’s needs. But you are the only person that can feed him/her. Which is a beautiful thing but makes it difficult if your baby nurses often and you would like to go somewhere without him/her.
  • It gives you a sense of pride and empowerment. I can’t explain, it just does. It is also extremely relaxing.
  • Growth spurts are kill-joys. When you think you and baby have adjusted well…think again. We are going through the 6-week growth spurt and I am not surprised to hear half of the women who breastfeed stop right there. It is not easy. It is extremely exhausting (I will let you picture how wonderful I feel today being sick as a dog and juggling with a toddler who’s favorite word is “no”).  But I read somewhere it would get better so I am hanging in there (even though last night at about 1am I kinda wanted to cry. Oh, no wait! I did cry!)
  • Victoire and I are very fusional. She is happy to stay by herself for a few minutes after a good feeding but will most likely cry in someone else’s arm for over 5 to 10 minutes. I don’t think I like that.
  • She is growing very well. And I couldn’t be prouder!
  • I want to wear a badge saying: “Cracked nipples survivor”.
  • When your baby cries, people will automatically assume he/she is hungry. Even though he/she just ate. That is majorly annoying.
  • I don’t know if it has anything to do with breastfeeding but I lost all my baby weight. It doesn’t mean I am back to looking sexy but the weight is gone. It is a good start.
  • Breastfeeding Victoire helps me to be healthier.
  • It makes you thirsty. I have recently been dreaming of swimming in a sea of Peach Ice Tea or Orangina.
  • Finding ultra-absorbent nursing pads was life changing.
  • Had never heard of “forceful let-down” now I wish I didn’t know what it meant! To think I thought spraying my baby’s face with milk was funny at first…doesn’t make me laugh anymore.
  • Breastfeeding in public isn’t as well seen as bottle-feeding in public for some reason.
  • I think breastfeeding is going better this time because I was better informed and knew who to turn to if I had concerns or questions. But also because labor and delivery went extremely well. I didn’t feel as “broken” as I was postpartum with Sixtine.
  • It is an ongoing learning.
  • Breastfeeding more or less “successfully” Victoire has made up for the bad experience I had with her sister.
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Parenting Alone

When Sixtine was about 5 months we decided as a family that I and the baby would go to France for a few months so I could recharge my batteries and it was really needed. I did recharge them and felt better as soon as I landed but I missed my husband terribly after three months. He came for a two-week visit and wedid lots of sightseeing which was a lot of fun. He also had the opportunity to meet all my family, friends and see where I was from etc… I told him I never wanted to be apart again after being away for so long.

But again, Sixtine and I flew to France on the 27th of October and won’t be seeing him until the birth of the baby (unless he gets some time off for Christmas). Our future is pretty uncertain as he is starting a new job and doesn’t know what is in store for him yet.

I am exhausted ( I have said and written that a lot lately. Forgive me.) and raising Sissi by myself is pretty challenging. My husband is a very hands-on father, always willing to help. It feels like I have no break without him around. It is 24/7. I am definitely not your stay-at-home mother type of person and I am starting to wish I was going to work. I know it sounds horrible but I don’t think it is. I love my daughter to death. I just want to be my own person, not “just” a mum.

I miss him terribly and Skype hasn’t been doing a great job. It is always cutting up, and there is like a 8 hour time difference which means at midnight there it is 8 in the morning here.

To sum it up: Parenting alone su*ks! – especially when you have the most awesome husband in the world!

A Sweet Little Reminder Of Pregnancy

Pregnancy is not an illness. However, I see myself as “not feeling well”, or “sick” rather than pregnant. I have been suffering from bad morning sickness, reflux, exhaustion and sciatica. Because I have a high anterior placenta, I barely feel my baby girl move. Feeling the baby move was the most enjoyable part of pregnancy for me, I loved touching my belly, and interacting with Sixtine when she was still in the belly. This time around, I can feel the baby pretty much everyday but very very low, and the kicks are very light. I wish she could feel my touch and respond.

Worried about the baby’s health in the first stage of pregnancy and  being so busy with Sixtine -a very energetic toddler-  it hasn’t really sunk in. Yet I am 22 weeks +1 pregnant, and I don’t really take the time to think about this baby-to-be. I haven’t bought one single item for her yet (not that it is wrong but I would like to), no nesting, nothing. I am more wondering about how I will cope with two than how exciting it is going to be to meet her. But it will come in time, no doubt about it.

My cousin came over this weekend and we had a really good time. She didn’t come empty-handed and had the most adorable things for us (including Sixtine’s belated birthday gift).

I was very intrigued to see what was in the little box saying “something is hiding in there” in a nice little bag. It said Pamela Loops on it. Pamela who? Well, Pamela Loops. (You can check her Etsy shop here. Facebook page there)

credit: Pamela Loops

And when I opened it, I found two little people wearing swim suits (the same as this one minus the extra boy) under a big announcement banner saying: “congratulations to you both!”.

credit: Pamela Loops

I don’t know if whether it was the cuteness of the pastel colors, or the surprise in a box effect but I felt very emotional. I thought: “Yes, we are expecting a child! It is great news and something to be celebrated!” It really warmed my heart so thank you Melanie for this thoughtful gift and reminding me that I was pregnant and it was a beautiful thing.

Letter To Baby #2

I am sorry.

I am sorry that I don’t play music for you as much as I would like. And I am sorry if sometimes I feel sad and cry. You are our second baby girl and we love you just as much as the first one. It is just different. Your big sister takes a lot of my time and energy and Daddy went away to work. I promise to be the loving mother that you deserve when you come to this world. I want you to know that I love you so much. I just can’t be there for you all the time and talk to you, feel you, and interact with you as I did for your big sister. It breaks my heart little sister.

Random Short Story: The Other Day I cried.

The other day I cried. I cried in the morning, and I cried a little more. I cried at lunch time, and I cried in the afternoon. They were cries of worry. I cried again later that day. I cried because I felt relieved, and I felt happy. I haven’t had any morning sickness (as in I haven’t gotten sick) since last Sunday. I started saying: “Baby, I didn’t get sick today.” After a couple days, I started counting. Every night, I’d tell my husband: “Guess how many days?” with a big grin on my face. And then I started wondering: “How is that even possible?”, “How can I be pregnant and not sick?” (I suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum/severe morning sickness during my first pregnancy). I wanted to think that it was OK to feel OK but couldn’t shake those “what ifs” out of my head.

And then, I started cramping. I have been pretty crampy during this whole pregnancy (which wasn’t the case with Sixtine until much later) so I thought I should take it easy and it would just go away. But the cramps didn’t ease up…and I started to wonder: “What if something is wrong with the baby?”. The last time I had painful cramps like these, I ended up bleeding. I decided to call the nurse, answered a few questions and decided to go to the ER for peace of mind. We prepared for the worst and held our breath until the Doctor started performing the ultrasound. I didn’t even want to look at the screen. But there it was, she said: “Look, the baby’s heart is beating well, there is good fetal movement. Isn’t that amazing?”. And I started crying. She said: “Why are you crying?”. My husband replied: “Relief.”

What a feeling. An amazing feeling. Now, they didn’t find anything (blood work, urine) that would have cause those cramps and just said that I should take it easy and it was probably early Braxton-Hicks. I left with a huge feeling of relief but I will feel even better on the 26th when we get our formal ultrasound. Starting off the pregnancy thinking I was miscarrying tends to make me worry about everything. But I would like to start planning, nesting, and dreaming about this little baby and stop worrying about every little thing. I want to let myself think that it is going to be all right and that I can let myself start loving this little one fully.

This Time Around


This time around, I will take things as they come. I won’t read all the books, and the blogs, and the forums, and I won’t put too much pressure on myself, wanting to be perfect. This time around, I will ask for help earlier if I have troubles breastfeeding but I will also let it go without regret if it doesn’t work out. I won’t think of myself as a bad mother. This time around, I will love you, and give you my all, and that will be enough.

Why Is It So Hard To Name Your Baby

I mean, seriously. It was fairly quick and easy the first time around. We agreed on a name very early on the pregnancy and were happy with it. Now, I don’t know if it is because we have had some scares at the beginning of the pregnancy, or if it is because I have a strong feeling it is a boy and never really prepared for it, but we can’t agree on a name.

I know, it is still early. I am 15 weeks+ and we won’t find out the gender of our baby until the 26th but still, I am really surprised about the fact that we haven’t set our hearts on a name yet. I have three girls names in mind and my husband likes two of them. But as far as the boy department is concerned, we are so not agreeing. I don’t know what it is.

Sixtine may sound like a number but at least, it is easily pronounced by both French and English-speaking people. We love our daughter’s name so much that we are finding it hard to top it. Unique and classic French boy names aren’t as pretty. Being a bi-cultural couple doesn’t help too much either as we have to make sure it works for both of our worlds!

Naming a baby should be a fun, exciting process in my opinion. Right now, it sounds more like: “How about XX?”…”Ermm…nah. But what about XX?” “Seriously?”. Anyway, you get the picture!

I guess it will get easier once we find out if we are expecting a girl or a boy. Let’s hope for a girl so that we don’t end up naming our child “no-name’.

Yes, We Are Expecting Again

…just for clarification. I posted a somewhat subtle picture a few weeks ago but I received an email from a friend asking if I was actually pregnant so I thought I would clarify the situation for everyone. I am currently 14 weeks+ pregnant and I am due in March.

Now, as I type, I am recovering from a fever and I have what I think is the flu so excuse me in advance if I sound harsh but I guess being up all week with a sick baby (she is perfectly fine now – I am not) and trying to survive the everyday life I have been very sensitive too many things, in particular, the questions and comments some people have been making since the announcement of my pregnancy.

  1. I know – when Sixtine was born (even during pregnancy) I said I would never be pregnant again and I only wanted one child. For whatever reasons, people seem to think it is appropriate to bring it up again. How about Congratulations, how are you feeling? instead of I thought you only wanted one! Oddly, these comments only come from one side of the Atlantic.
  2. Back-to-back pregnancies. I was pregnant not too long ago and my baby is only 11 months. We found out we were pregnant when she was 9 months old. I feel that naturally, my already stretched belly picked up where we left off pretty quickly. I posted a picture of my cute belly and received a lot of: OMG You are so big or comments along those lines. How nice!  In my defense, I would like to say that I haven’t gained a pound yet.
  3. I guess I didn’t need bullet points. I only had two main things to complain about.

I would also like to tell everyone that my house is a mess. And I have zero energy to do anything about it. It is really bad – but at the end of the day, I think if my baby is happy, entertained, fed, clean and rested, I have done an all right job.

Souvenir From Paris

 

Why I Wanted Our Baby To Be A Girl

I have recently come to the conclusion that wanting a baby girl because they are quiet, calm and sweet wasn’t very accurate. It appears that, as she develops her own personality, my daughter is a real active, fearless girl and I am starting to think…Will she want to go to ballerina classes? Those were my plans for her! She doesn’t take her fearlessness after me as I have always been considered as a “delicate flower”, a very girlie girl. My husband must be over-the-moon excited as he gets 2 for the price of one! “She may enjoy playing hockey”, he even said. Uh, no. Dance, and er..art, and if you really insist maybe figure skating.

Obviously, I love my daughter the way she is and won’t force her to do anything but I am hoping that we will get to share some things together. I am so happy that she is a smart, happy, social, full of life, and risk-taker type of person! I mean I wouldn’t dive off a bed like she does. I know she is only little and she will sure grow and change but she is starting to show us who she is and I love it!

When I first became pregnant, my only wish was to have a healthy pregnancy, delivery and baby. And then, as the pregnancy evolved I started to wish (more or less secretly) that we were expecting a girl. My dad kept saying “It’s a boy, it has to be boy. Nature will make things right…”. He meant balance things up a little bit as he is the father of four girls! And I felt it was a girl but waited until the day it was confirmed: “You are expecting a girl”! It was such a beautiful day.

We were ecstatic and then, after a bit, I felt a little sad for the baby boy we also envisioned and dreamed of…I think we won’t make the same mistake again (talking about two distinct babies – a boy and a girl) and will just talk about “baby” until we find out what baby is as it was really sad to think about that boy we already loved yet didn’t exist in real life.

Some of you may have requested to know the gender of their baby, some others may have waited for it to be a surprise…I was one of those mamas counting down the days to gender revelation day. You should have seen my face! I guess we all have our reasons for wanting a specific gender, or not wanting to know. I was glad we got to know as it helped prepared myself mentally…I think it would have taken me a few weeks to get over the fact that we weren’t having a girl. Don’t take me wrong though. Children are blessings and I would love a baby boy just as I love my baby girl, but some of us can’t help but wish for one or the other. I think I always felt like I would be a mama’s girl. Growing up in a family of 6 including 5 ladies, I never really had close friends that were boys, and I always wanted to have a daughter.

Now, if we were to have another baby some day, I know my husband would love to have a boy and I have to say that I would love to have a baby sister for my daughter but would be just as happy to have a boy, now that the girl box has been ticked!

I would love to hear your thoughts on baby gender! Did you find out the sex of your baby during your pregnancy or did you want the surprise? Why?