Monthly Archives: November 2013

All About Boob: Part 2

I’ve been thinking about this post for a while, mostly because after this article┬ácame out, I realized that I am extended breastfeeding. It sort of snuck up on me. The one year mark has passed, and we are still going strong on the boob. When I was pregnant with twins, and when they were newborn, the message I got was loud and clear: It is very very difficult to breastfeed two babies exclusively or for a long period of time. I didn’t set out to prove it wrong. In fact, my breastfeeding success is mostly due to the fact that I am lazy. In the beginning, the thought of preparing formula, or pumping seemed like so much work, that I just decided to go for it. It definitely wasn’t easy, and now that Thea’s teeth have come in, it’s pretty obvious that she has an undiagnosed upper lip tie, which probably led to a lot of the problems I had. I was sore for months. MONTHS. Couldn’t stand under the shower, sore. Couldn’t lie on my stomach to sleep, sore. Took a lot of Tylenol sore. But slowly, we all figured it out, and now that we have it down, I don’t want to give it up!

I never imagined I would be nursing toddlers, but here we are. I’m slated to head back to work in February, so I’m hoping by then we’re down to only nursing before bed, but that seems unlikely given my little girl booby-monster.

Booby Monster

Booby Monster

 

Jude feeds less, really just before nap and bed…and 2 or 3 times during the night.

As a believer in Attachment Parenting, I’m trying to find the balance right now – basically of how to un-attach myself a bit. Extended breastfeeding definitely makes that more difficult. I can’t leave Dad in charge of bedtime or nap time, because they need boob to go down. And with two, I’m still really feeding every 3 or 4 hours. So that’s not a lot of alone time. But all that said, here’s my list of why extended breastfeeding rocks:

1. Instant soother – bumps, scrapes, fingers caught in doors, teething, colds, you name it, booby fixes it!

2. Cuddle time – Jude is just too busy for much cuddling, but when it’s booby time, he nuzzles in and I get my cuddle fix from him.

3. Nutrition – They pretty much eat everything now, but sometimes I worry that I’m getting all their nutrition in. At least I know they are still getting breast milk, so I don’t stress too much…yet!

4. Weight loss – I know, it’s pretty vain, but I’m burning 1000 calories a day breastfeeding these two! So I can enjoy guilt-free Starbucks lattes! (Mmm…peppermint mocha…)

5. Breastfeeding Embassador – I had NO idea how to breastfeed. I hadn’t really seen anyone else doing it. Now that it’s so easy and natural, I like showing other new moms how great it is, especially mom’s of multiples, since as I said, we aren’t given much hope that it will go well.

I know that not everyone can breastfeed, and that formula or pumping or a combination is a great option for some. Breastfeeding has been such an unexpected part of my parenting experience. I hadn’t really given it much thought, other than knowing that I wanted to try it. Looking ahead, I’m not sure how long we’ll go. I would love it if they self-weaned when they were ready, but I know that they need to be able to go all day without me when I’m back at work, so my goal right now is to make it to 18 months. And maybe I’ll be able to fit back into my old bras one day!

My toddlers

My toddlers


Life is Messy

I realize I do not write here often anymore, but that’s okay. This is for me now, and if someone else reads it, then that is okay too.

The house is a mess. I have two toddlers, and I was not very good at keeping it clean to begin with.

My relationship is a mess. Two babies will do that, although I do not blame them. Babies come into the world and they create parents, and those parents have babies inside of them, who maybe were not held enough, who maybe watched their parents struggle, who maybe still want to be held and loved. These new parents look in the mirror everyday and worry, that they are making mistakes, that they will stumble and fall just like their toddlers. These new parents do not remember what their relationship used to be like, do not remember when times were easy and they could fall into each other at the end of the day. New parents can forget how to lean on each other or how to dream about the future, when the everyday is a sea of stress and details.

My career is a mess. I have not worked in almost two years. My French is leaving me, my drive is dwindling, I am forgetting the government-speak that I used to relish throwing around.

My body is a mess. It folds where it used to stretch, it hangs where it used to perch. It tires easily and feels sore most days.

My eating is a mess. I feed my babies, breast milk and organic vegetables and whole grains, and when it comes time to feeding myself, I am exhausted and boring. I am eating Halloween candy and take-out sushi and yoghurt by the tub-full.

But – Life is messy. This is life, truly dirty, messy life. It is full of tears and snot and poop and sleep, or the lack of sleep. It is hurt, and anger and it is laughter and joy. My babies are growing. A year ago I was swimming in the new-born phase, and now we have wrapped this new reality of walking/talking/climbing around us and it is equally scary and awe-inspiring.

For all the mess, it is so raw, so real. It is creation, it is art. It is beautiful.

I know someone who had a baby yesterday, and there are a few more on their way in the coming months. I am not nostalgic for those early days, but I would like to offer a bit of advice: Let it be messy. It will take awhile for order to return, and when it does, let it be new and different. Let everything fall into chaos, and know that something new is coming out of it. A family; whole and perfect in it’s insanity. Be okay with the mess, the mistakes, the past and the future. Just let it go and trust that life will continue whether the dishes are done, whether your husband hugs you before he leaves in the morning, or whether you give your son Advil for the 20th day in a row to combat molars. Hug your babies, be kind to yourself, feel every minute that passes. And breath, breath, breath.

Love and kindness,

Sarah

Climbing into toddlerhood, here we go!

Climbing into toddlerhood, here we go!