2.12.2016

5 Things that Make Me Uncomfortable



“What things make you uncomfortable?” I posed this question on the TLO Facebook page and got some funny responses. Here are a few that came to mind for me, although I’m certain there are more. Leave a comment below with some of yours!


1. Hugs


Look. I know this will probably make me sound like a scrooge with a Grinch heart, but here’s the thing: why do we feel the need to hug everyone all the time? I just saw you yesterday! I will see you tomorrow! 


Hugs. Why.


I make exceptions for family, of course. And best friends or friends you haven’t seen in a while. Your mom, of course. And for events where a hug is appropriate such as a wedding or funeral. But on a regular day-to-day basis, I would much rather prefer that we both keep our hands and arms inside the ride at all times.


Picture this scenario: A group of friends are hanging out (probably for girls’ night because let’s be honest: this hugging thing is mostly a girl problem), and then it’s time for one person to leave. Instead of grabbing her purse and saying goodbye and leaving, that person starts walking around the room handing out individual hugs like they’re dying or shipping off to Australia or something. This kind of situation is the thing of my nightmares, and I have been known to follow said hugger around the room for the sole purpose of avoiding the hug. Because if you’re behind them at the end, they get confused and think we’ve already hugged it out. I know because I have done this many times.


In a perfect world we would all stand around nodding and grinning at each other like idiots. No fist bumps. No high fives. No hugs. Just lots of nodding.


2. People kissing on TV


Specifically, people on reality TV kissing. More specifically, kissing while in a hot tub. (Because they always end up in a hot tub! Why? Hot tubs are hot by definition, and then you’re getting up right against someone and pressing your faces together. It’s a wonder more people don’t pass out in these types of situations.)


Also more specifically, people kissing on reality TV in a hot tub using tongue.*


Ain’t nobody wanna see that.


*This pretty much rules out The Bachelor for me completely. It’s just too much uncomfortableness.


3. Wearing leggings as pants with a short shirt


I will admit that I’m totally on board with leggings as pants. So comfy! So stretchy! So like sweatpants but not! However, I’ve never seen anyone ever who looked good wearing leggings as pants and a short shirt. Look in the mirror and just say no. Please wear a shirt that’s long enough to cover your butt! I beg of you.


4. Making a joke that fails


It won’t shock you to know that I think I’m pretty funny. I know that’s not being modest or humble, but whatever. I have my dad’s quick wit and I love being sarcastic, and I am pretty good at getting some laughs. 


HOWEVER, is there anything more uncomfortable than trying to make a joke and it failing completely? I think not. I shudder just thinking about it.


Awkward silence and… then I found ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Because that’s how much I would pay to go back in time and not make that comment. Yes, it’s that uncomfortable.


5. Passing a stranger on the sidewalk


I don’t think I need to explain this one. You’re walking. She’s walking. You look at your feet and spend way too much energy trying to decide the precise moment when you should glance up. It needs to be just in time to give them a friendly and hopefully non-stalkerish head nod but not too early that you end up making awkward eye contact as you walk toward each other. 


On the bright side, at least there’s no chance of a hug.


Bonus: 

#6: Butt cracks.


I really think that’s all I need to say about that. This whole problem would be solved with longer shirts. See also: #3

(6a: Typing "butt crack" into the online dictionary so you can see whether or not it's one or two words. It didn't show up as one, so I'm going with two, in case you're wondering.)



What things make you uncomfortable?



2.09.2016

On Breastfeeding

I wanted to share some thoughts with you about how nursing has gone/been going for me, but please understand that these are my personal opinions about my own journey and are in no way intended to reflect or represent anyone else’s breastfeeding experience.
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I always intended to breastfeed R if possible. I know that there are a lot of moms who want to nurse but can’t for various reasons: not enough milk, schedule difficulties, baby won’t latch, and a host of other unforeseen problems. I realize that I have done absolutely nothing to make it possible for me to nurse R for almost six months, and I don’t take that for granted. 

I hadn’t read much, but I had read enough and heard enough stories from friends to expect a lot of pain in the beginning. As it turns out, I swung way too far to the negative side of things (as I tend to do) and expected nursing to be much worse than it actually was. Like, I was expecting the absolute worst and ended up being pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t the horror I was dreading. The one thing I heard over and over was that if you can make it until six weeks, something snaps into place and it all becomes better. I would say for me it took about a month for me to feel like I wasn’t a giant ball of stress about the whole thing.

The First Few Weeks

One thing I didn’t know was that breastfeeding helps your uterus return to a normal size in the first few days after giving birth. I was initially surprised (in a bad way because ouch) to feel a cramping sensation (like a period) during every feed for the first few days, which I was told was my uterus contracting. Even if you are not planning to breastfeed your baby, you might consider nursing at least in these very early days to assist in this process.

The first few weeks of nursing were very stressful for me, and there were many tears of pain, confusion, and frustration. First of all, it is very painful for obvious reasons, but it does (or should) get better over time. After about a month it completely stopped hurting at all, but in the beginning I just had to suck it up. For me, it wasn’t completely unbearable pain like it can be for some people, and there are creams you can buy to help. I used Lanolin, which was great. But overall, my boobs just hurt a lot, and there's not too much you can do about that.

I had heard some pretty bad stories about lactation consultants (being mean or rude, etc.), but thankfully the one who came to my room in the hospital was amazing. (Are you seeing a pattern with me hearing horrible stories and things not being as bad as I thought? You think I would learn not to freak out so much.) She was helpful those first few days, and I made an appointment to come back in a week to visit the LC. This was a game changer for me. I would highly recommend you visit an LC at your hospital during the first few weeks. I wasn’t even experiencing huge issues, but it was so nice to sit in a quiet room with an expert and have her watch me nurse R and show me different holds and what to be looking for in her positioning to help her latch better. And if it sounds awkward to have a stranger's face literally inches from your boob, I assure you that labor takes all that right out of you and you don't care two cents about it. I've flashed so many people in the last six months. It's whatever at this point.

While I was at the LC she also weighed R before and after a feeding to see exactly (by the gram) how much she was getting from me, which let me know that she was definitely getting enough milk and made me feel so much better. R didn't gain any weight during her first week half home from the hospital, and I was a wreak about it, so it was nice to know that she was getting enough milk.

I originally almost cancelled my appointment because I felt dumb for going, but it seriously was one of the best things I did in that first week. My opinion, of course.

Supply

I have a pretty good supply of milk. Until about a month ago I pumped sometimes not out of need for milk to store but because my boobs are aching from being so full. It was mostly just in the morning once R was consistently sleeping through the night, but it happened very often throughout the day in the beginning months until my body regulated my flow a little better. This was annoying because I had to carefully plan my day or else they would get too full and be uncomfortable.

Pumping

I was really overwhelmed by the idea of pumping. I think just because of all the parts and keeping things sanitized and storing the milk properly. It is a lot, but it’s very simple once you get the hang of it, which really doesn’t (or didn’t for me) take long at all. Now that I'm back at work, I have noticed that I don’t pump quite enough as R needs to fill her bottles, which is super frustrating, and to be honest the last few weeks have been pretty terrible as far as pumping goes. 

She takes 5-oz bottles, and I have been pumping around 3 ounces each time. I used to pump 4-5 ounces, but lately it's been around 3. Babies are much more efficient at getting milk than the pump is, and when I'm nursing her I don't have issues with milk, but I don't think my body is taking to pumping multiple times a day very well. I have been needing to add in an additional pumping session so we have enough to fill her bottles for daycare. I do have milk that I’ve pumped and froze, but I’d like to not have to start going through that just yet.

Pumping to build up a stash is one thing, but knowing exactly how much you need to pump in each session to fill your baby's bottle is very stressful and I kind of hate it a lot. It's on the list of Reasons I Wish I Didn't Have to Work. I could go on, but I'll leave it at that.

Breastfeeding is Hard

Even though I realize that I have done nothing to “deserve” to have had the ability to breastfeed R, I have a hard time not being proud of myself for making it this long. Because you guys, the honest truth is that even with pumping aside, breastfeeding itself is hard. I expected it to be painful, yes, but I didn’t expect for it to be this hard on a daily basis. Not hard in that it’s an effort to physically breastfeed, but I mean it’s hard because it’s a constant juggling act with my schedule, and it’s exhausting.

every. single. day. for almost six months I am silently doing reverse math in the back of my mind.

R ate at xx time, so she will need to eat again at xx time.

I need to run to the store, but R will be wanting to eat in ten minutes, and it will take this long and so I need to be back by xx.

See what I mean? Every day.

Not that I’m not happy to do it, because hello I’m not going to deny my baby food (free food at that), but I didn’t realize how tiring it would be to do this much scheduling. Although I will say that at six months, it is so much better because she's on a more regular schedule finally.

I personally believe that breast milk is the best option for the baby if you can do it, but just in terms of scheduling and the time commitment, I can see why many women choose not to nurse. Sometimes I think that it would be much easier to be able to hand a bottle to someone else so they could feed R, especially in those early weeks when all I wanted to do was sleep but instead I was up every two hours nursing, and it’s not like Jordan could do it.

That said, I absolutely love that my body is producing food for my baby and she is healthy and growing. 

It really is such an amazing thing and so worth it to me at the end of the day. I do feel like I’ve developed a bond with R through feeding, and I love feeling her little body curled into mine. I love that I can tell when she’s full or when she wants to switch sides. I love the face she makes when she’s just finished nursing and how rosy her cheeks get because they’ve been pressed up against my arm. I love the way she grabs my shirt with her tiny fingers. I love that when Jordan walks in the room and says something to me, she pulls off and smiles at him. (Although I don’t love when she pulls away and a mouthful of milk runs into my bra and down my stomach.)

I honestly don’t really get all the controversy that surrounds breastfeeding. Women need to choose what the best option is for their family, and if that involves breastfeeding, awesome! Let’s support nursing moms and recognize the hard work that it is to feed a child. And if you choose to formula feed for whatever reason, let’s support each other in that too. Perhaps most of us can agree that breast milk is the best option, but please, let’s not act like formula is a death sentence. It’s hard not to hear so much negativity surrounding formula and feel the weight of, but what if I can’t nurse and have to resort to formula??? This kind of pressure adds unhelpful and unnecessary stress to a new mom who is just trying to do the best she can for her baby. (<<-- Totally preaching to the choir right now aka ME with all of this work pumping struggle.) 

Over the past six months, I’ve been blessed that my baby gets full and is happy breastfeeding and feel so grateful that it's worked out for me to nurse. It is such a wonderful thing that I can supply her food, and even though in many ways it’s much harder than I thought it would be, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I hope to be able to continue to breastfeed R until she is one year old. However, we will see how pumping goes at work and reevaluate if needed. I'll keep you posted!

Okay! I think that's all I have to say about nursing for the time being. I hope this post was interesting to you! Leave any questions in the comments or feel free to email me if you have thoughts/questions, etc.

p.s. You might like these related posts:
Claire's series of posts about wanting to breastfeed but it ultimately not working out and how she came to terms with that.

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