Saturday, December 10, 2011

Finding The Good

(A photo of my cute bunny, just because.)

Today has been one of those days when it's more challenging to find the good. After dealing with my infection, I had to take two different antibiotics, one of which gave me a horrible reaction and now I have a gross rash covering my face and neck. The irony of the whole thing is that I had a home birth free of drugs and intervention. P hasn't been vaccinated. I don't even take pain killers for a head ache. And for the past few weeks I've been popping pain meds, rubbing on steroid creams, and downing antibiotics (all monitored by my midwife, of course). I told my midwife about how upset I was over the whole thing and she just smiled and told me that was how the universe worked. She said that since I had such an easy pregnancy and amazing recovery after birth, I owed it to the universe somehow. Go figure.

In any case, I've been sitting around feeling sorry for myself all morning. We have plans with some dear friends this evening and I was crying to S about wanted to cancel because I felt so self conscious about this stupid rash. Lately, I've been feeling sorry for myself a lot. Annoyed that I still have a few pounds left to lose and no time to exercise. Worried that our living situation is so in flux right now. Unhappy that my roots are grown out and my toenail polish is still the same one that I had when P was born (seriously). Grouchy when I sit around in sweats all day.

The truth is I just have to get out of this funk. And so I'm holding myself accountable by posting this on my blog. I have NO reason to be throwing myself a pity party. I have an amazing healthy baby boy who lights up every time I sing silly made up songs to him. My wonderful husband lets me whine to him about my grown out roots and toenail polish and still tells my how pretty I look every day. In my sweats. And with a rash on my face. And so what that I still have a few pounds to lose. I'll lose them! I have a strong amazing body that created, birthed, and is nourishing a little person. I have to give myself a break. And the living situation? Well, we're figuring that out too.

I have to remind myself that everything is taken care of. This is all a part of my journey at the moment. The pain, the suffering, the sacrifice, and the lessons it is bringing.

I think that as women and moms, we tend to want to do it all and do it without messing our hair up or showing any weakness. My postpartum experience has been different than I imagined it would be. Even with my hesitations about breast feeding and the good fortune of having an easy recovery, I didn't  anticipate all these other challenges. It's tough. But I'm going to get through it.

For now, I have to find the good in this situation. I'm sharing my story. In a small way, I'm suffering. But life is pretty good right now. We are in a good place. And getting better every day.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Let's Talk About Boobs

Picasso Maternite, 1963

Since Baby P has come into the world I have had my breasts out far more and with many more people than I ever cared to share them with. I mean, a lot.
Firstly because breast feeding is so time consuming in the beginning. Baby P and I did not have a solid introduction unfortunately. He had trouble latching on, amongst other things. Those first couple of weeks were filled with him crying because he was hungry followed by me crying because it hurt so bad. It felt like razor blades stabbing my breasts. Uggghh. I shudder just remembering it. Every time he nursed, it took a long time so needless to say, those boobs were out!
Even though our nursing sessions are going much smoother now there is such a learning curve with the whole thing. Now, while I was pregnant I read every book under the sun, like a good first time mommy. I read blogs, forums, and talked to other moms. I was pumped and prepared for my birth. However, I was terrified of breast feeding. In retrospect, I wonder if my hesitation is what brought on this myriad of problems. But I digress.
The worst part was not the pain or insecurity. Oh no, that passed. It's the mastitis and abscess that developed in the past seven weeks. Yeah, that's the WORST part.
It began as a plugged duct and continued to morph into an infection until it basically looked like my breast was about to explode. Ew. I won't be posting any photos of THAT.
At seven weeks I had to get the abscess drained which was super painful and pretty gross. My midwife suggested we do some "self healing" as we called it. My other option was going to a breast surgeon or the ER and risk getting sliced open. No thanks.
In any case, all is getting better now as I am on my second round of antibiotics, healing and hopefully all this is behind us.
The challenge of breast feeding is not something most women talk about and I wish more would. Maybe new moms wouldn't be so discouraged if they knew, in the first place, how to prepare for this new experience.
Just know, if you can push past the first few painful weeks, it's a bond like no other. It's an amazing feeling knowing you can nourish your child. But just like many things in parenthood, it's a sacrifice, body and heart.