Sunday, December 27, 2015

Dear Bottle Feeding Momma,

I get you.
You are a great mom!

Now, if you’re on social media you may have noticed so many post about
Breast Is Best
Normalize Breast Feeding
Boob hats.
Breastfeeding  sit ins
How women who breastfeed are warriors
Women feeding their babies with blankets on their own head
How is natural and wonderful and amazing and such a bonding experience.

Not for all of us and quite frankly I am sick of seeing the posts about it.
Because it just exacerbates the mommy wars.
It makes us bottle feeding moms feel just like those breast feeding moms claim to feel.
As moms we put so much pressure on ourselves and we don’t need other moms shoving their breasts in our face.
We don’t.
We are all warriors.
Motherhood makes you a warrior.

Here is how breastfeeding worked out for me.
It was awful and heartbreaking and I hated every single minute of it.
So did my kids.

The Farm Manager cried so much.
Like 4 hours one night in the hospital.
He couldn’t latch on and if by some miracle he did latch on nothing came out.
Keep trying they said.
It’s so important for your baby they told me.
Here use this broken off syringe to attach to your nipple and suction it until it feels like it will rip your skin open both by jagged edges and by suction.
Then drops, but not enough to sustain him for any period of time
We went home.

I kept trying
He kept crying.

I pumped every two hours around the clock without fail.
I took brewers grain. 15 capsules a day.
More advice.
I would pump more.

It would go like this.
Set up pump, get cleaned catch bottles, connect tubes, turn on.
Rrrrr rrrrr rrrrr
The pump would hum
drip drip drip
For 30 minutes.
Less than an ounce.
My body wasn’t doing what came naturally.
I had no milk.
My baby was only weeks old and I already had failed him.

If I was a cow I would be sent to the feedlot.

2 hours later I would do it again.
Meanwhile, I would feed The Farm Manager what I pumped plus 3 oz of formula.
He was hungry ALL THE TIME.
He cried a lot.
I cried a lot.

When Jer would leave for work I would be pumping, when he came home for lunch, when he came home from work.
If he woke up in the middle of the night.
Each time I would pump less than an ounce.
One time I set the bottle of pumped milk with no lid on the counter while I got myself back together I turned
And knocked it right off the counter.
I cried.

Another time I called Jer at work bawling begging him to come home because I couldn’t feed my own baby.

I know I know,
“how could a women with such large breasts have no milk”
Because from the looks of me I could nurse a small country right?
Nope, I can’t.
I can’t even sustain one single baby.
Not for lack of trying.

After two weeks of this I gave up and switched to formula full time.
What a relief!
It changed everything.
My baby cried less once we figured out which formula worked best for him.
Costco brand soy formula.
That's right.
Generic formula!

We could leave the house!
No longer would the whir of the breast pump fill our house for hours a day.

Fast forward a few months.
I was at a candle party.
A room full of moms one of them nursing and my baby was hungry.
I went to feed him a bottle in the kitchen.
I was so ashamed.
How could I feed my baby a bottle in plain sight.
These moms would know I failed my child.

I didn’t fail him.
I didn’t
Jer and I made the decision that best suited OUR family.
A happy full tummied boy
Bottle or not
Things didn’t go much different with The Fancy Farm Girl either other than she knew how to latch on.
No milk though.
She got generic formula too.

Our kids are healthy and no more of a germ factory than any other kid.
They are bonded to me like rubber cement.
Sometimes I feel like they would climb back inside if I would let them!

I don’t think being bottle fed has wrecked them for life and in no way does it mean I failed as a mother.
Believe me when I say you will often feel like you’ve failed them for one reason or another, but bottle feeding doesn’t equal failure.
They may end up in therapy because of the things we make them do like stack wood, scoop poop, pay for their own things, don't let them have cell phones and occasionally hand washing a sink full of dishes, but not because their nourishment came through a rubber nipple.

We mothers can be on the same team!
We can be supportive and realize there is more than one right way to do things
and we can come to a truce! 
I wont shove my kids bottle in your face
 and you wont
shove your breast in mine.

Breast might be best for some and bottles for others, but  think we can all agree that fed babies are best.

Blessed Is Me..

Monday, December 14, 2015

It's My Highlight Reel

I love meme's.
Seriously, whoever invented those is a genius.
So hilarious 
Except one.
There is one I loathe.
It pops up in my news feed sometimes and I hate it everytime.

Wait. What?
Pretend or just share the highlights?

I just share-or overshare- the highlights of my life.

Do people really want to know the real life?
Like the dirt.
Like the hard heavy stuff.

This is what I think some of those posts would read like. 
Some of these are even what my actual real life moments have been in the last two years. 
I'll let you decide which ones are mine and which ones are made up.

Facebook "What's on your mind?"
"I'm worried that there is more month at the end of my money and I'm not sure I will make it to pay day"

Facebook "What's on your mind?"
"My marriage is on the brink of destruction"

Facebook "What's on your mind?"
"I've been sitting here staring at this bottle of pills and things would be so much easier if I just swallowed all of them. Maybe I'll try again tomorrow"

Facebook "What's on your mind?"
"I'm gay and my parents will disown me if I tell them"

Facebook "What's on your mind?"
"I wonder where my husband is. Is he dead in a ditch?"

Facebook "What's on your mind?"
"I laid on my bathroom floor last night drenched in sweat with a dry mouth heart pounding gripped with anxiety. I felt out of control and today I'm exhausted, but my kids need me to care for them."

Facebook "What's on your mind?"
"As the hot water pounded against my skin and my tears wash down the drain I wonder if she thinks about me as much as I think about her."

Facebook "What's on your mind?"
"I drank my way through a 5th of whiskey every day this week because life is too hard to deal with. I don't want to, but I've become an addict."

I mean is this really what people want to read? 
Do they want to see the pictures of what this looks like or do they just want to enjoy the highlights?
Do people care that this is real life enough to reach out to love someone?

Oh and if this is really what people shared then there would be the meme about 
where your dirty laundry goes.
You know. 
Not on Facebook.

Can we all just agree that Facebook, Instagram and wherever else we share the parts of our lives
are the highlights.
The best parts.
The good stuff and just
enjoy it.

Blessed Is Me...

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Oh Christmas Tree

I used to be the person that had a perfect Christmas tree
with matching ornaments that were perfectly spaced lights that covered each branch never missing one.
It was delightfully beautiful.
Then we had kids.

Now, I have a tree with no lights at the top, burlap ribbon that's bunched and twisted some closely spaced and some widely spaced.
I have store bought ornaments with our kids names scrolled on the bottom and I have paper puppy ornaments cut from paper and colored as precise as a 4 year old can.
I have wooden ornaments scribbled with marker and gorgeous glass balls with just the right amount of glitter.
I have clusters of three ornaments per branch so heavy they drip to the floor.
I never move a thing.

It was decorated with love by our ever growing kids who just wont slow down.

When decorating day came, the day before Thanksgiving, I came in from work and
 The Fancy Farm Girl couldn't wait to show me
"momma do you love it?"
 I do, I really love it.
It's perfect..

I love how the soft glow fills the quiet of our living room when everyone is still snug in their piles of blankets.
I love looking at the ornaments the kids made and remembering their tiny chubby hands and rubber band arms.
I love how much they love it.

I don't love that these are fleeting moments that will soon be no longer.
I know that the days are coming when I will just have one of my children doing the decorating because they other will be too old and too cool
for silly decorating or ornament making.
He will probably do some of it just because he knows I will want him to.
Soon after that I will be handed back the task of decorating the tree
without the kids.
Then I will have my tree with perfectly spaced ornaments with loads of lights even at the top, but it'll never be like it was when tiny hands filled with love placed decorations in just the right spot.
Those littlest Linders are what make it perfect.

Blessed Is Me...