My Breastfeeding Conundrum

Scrolling through social media I am guaranteed to see a precious picture of a mother breastfeeding her baby with the inevitable hashtag #normalizebreastfeeding. Breastfeeding is a beautiful gift mothers are able to give to their children and should be absolutely celebrated as an accomplishment. This is what we are made to do. Before formula if a woman couldn’t breastfeed her child he or she would perish unless a wet nurse or other nursing mother would step in to help. Breastfeeding is as old as we are.

I always have another thought however when I see these social media posts. I feel a pang of sorrow sprinkled with resentment towards this mother who is sharing this picture without thought of how it makes those who couldn’t breastfeed feel.

My Story

My view wasn’t of a sweet babe at my breast but of a pump attached to me every two hours. My twins were born very early and never gained the skill to suckle. We had to keep them on slow bottle nipples for a long time because too much too fast would cause them to vomit and  also make it difficult for them to breathe.

Breast or formula? Both are best.

I did the best I could to keep up supply but when you’re only pumping, and need to provide for two, it’s hard to keep up the supply. I was about five months in when I started having bad bleeding and swelling.  I would sit there are cry as I pumped and watch the milk turn red. My husband begged me to stop, asking why I was torturing myself. Formula was just as good he told me. We were using it anyway to supplement.

But it wasn’t good enough for me. It was good enough to all the other moms which is why we are pressured to breastfeed amid the many other options that are out there. Yet my husband was right, I couldn’t do it any longer and formula was perfectly acceptable. I was exhausted and 1 1/2 hour feeding sessions (pumping followed by feeding two babies) with an 1 1/2 break before starting it all over again was too much. I’d be going back to work soon too.

Why We Should Think Twice

So many women can not breastfeed for a multitude of reasons. Preemies, babies with health issues, food intolerances too vast to dissect, cancer, other health ailments, or the simple choice not to. Instead of normalizing breastfeeding we need to normalize feeding our babies. While I know much of it is to do with people getting uncomfortable seeing a woman breastfeeding her child in public many of the posts I see do not embrace this.

Let’s celebrate feeding our babies! Don’t make formula feeding so taboo that a mother using formula feels like she needs to be the one hiding in the restroom. Embrace the differences in each of us as mothers and as parents doing the best we can in the best way we know how.

Bringing in 2016

I am often indifferent to the New Year, or at least do not give it much thought since I have never been big on resolutions.  Aside from a few years ago when I resolved to wash the makeup off my face every single night no self made promises have actually stuck.  But, I always resolve to be a better me and this year is no different.

As I sit with my Chianti in front of the fire, my twin boys all snuggled in bed, I am more emotional than usual and looking forward to this coming year with an excitement I’ve not had in the past.

2015 was a year of self-discovery and changes for me; primarily centered around providing the best life possible for myself and my family.  I don’t mean this in a monetary way, but in a wholesome way.  Clean eating, natural rememdies, organic living, the works.  I learned so much and look forward to continuting my education and sharing my knowledge with the World.

I have not focused on myself much in 3 years, not since the New Years Eve leading into 2013 when I came home leaving my boys in the NICU.  It has been about them, not that this will change, but I need to make the time to care for myself to be a better mom to them.  I am going to work on balancing my hormones, managing my PCOS and Endometriosis that have been rearing their ugly heads in such an uncivilived manner as of late, and make it a point to get to the gym more than once a week.  I am going to continue to clean out this house that is so full of unnecessary clutter and unused things.  Less has quickly been becoming more in my world.

December is a hectic month in our house, as it is in many.  But on top of the usual holiday craziness my husband litterally doesn’t have a day off from Thanksgiving until right before Christmas.  Tis the life of a chef!  We always fall off our meal planning and I never ever make it to the gym so I am looking forward to embracing both of those in a regular fasion once again. (I will most likely be hitting up the gym tomorrow morning because I am just craving it!)  If you have not tried weekly meal planning yet, I highly recomend it.  Maybe make it one of your resolutions because it is not only good for you, it’s good for your pocket book too.  I will do a few blogs giving tips and suggestions in the coming weeks!

Of course I will be delving further into my passion of organic and nontoxic living and sharing information with all of you.  GMO’s, food dyes, chemicals, and all things related have no business in our food, personal care, or home care products and I look forward to continuing the fight against them and teaching others to live a healthful, organic lifestyle.

I’m looking foward to more work with the Feed the Need committee and giving back and helping others, because there’s nothing like it.

And of course, READING!  I can never get enough of it!

I look forward to sharing 2016 with you.  Sharing knowledge, laughter,  conversation and love.  I wish you the best in the coming year and hope you will also strive to give this coming year the best you possible!

P.S.  Looks like 2016 will also bring about some potty training for a set of twins, things are likely to be interesting!

Why do we hide?

Okay World, I am back.  For real this time.  I loved blogging when I was going through my infertility journey and while I am still passionate about telling the World about my struggles in an effort to help others there are many others things I am passionate about as well.  Hence this new blog.  I want something that I speak about everything and anything that I am feeling and following.  I hope you enjoy going through this journey with me, here we go!

Something I have been thinking about a lot is why do people hide?  Why do people suffer things in silence?  I’m vocal.  I’m vocal about everything in my life.  Why?  Because I want to HELP others who may be going through similar things in their lives, I want to be a support system, and source of information.  I feel I have to much to share and have experienced so much, how can I keep it all in?

I have PCOS and this year was also diagnosed with Endometriosis.  I suffered through infertility treatments.  I was blessed enough to have IVF treatments which resulted in a twin pregnancy.  My sweet boys we born at 31 weeks and had to spend 5 weeks in the NICU.  Michael had a PDA which required two heart surgeries to have to closed which also resulted in a tear in his heart that is now a constant source of concern.  Patrick had Torticollis, and a wedged L2 vertebrae.  This past January he was also dianogsosed with Sensory Processing Disorder with Autistic Tendencies.  This is just a small snapshot.  I am also passionate about child nutrition & hunger, real food, natural living, I’m also a book nerd, history geek, and so so much more.

Do I share these things for pity or sympathy?  Absolutely not.  I suppose some may think so.  I share these things so others know they are not alone.  To inspire others to share their struggles, their triumphs, their lives.  We live in an amazing age in which we are connected to the WORLD through social media and the internet.  We have at our disposal a wealth of knowledge.  An infinite support system.

Why would we not let people know they are not alone?  Why do we allow ourselves to suffer and struggle in silence?  Have we created such a stigma in our society that we feel the need to create a persona of perfection and not let others know that our child has a learning disability?  That we can not get pregnant?  That we struggle with weight loss because of a disease called PCOS?  Why!?!?  I want to shout it from the rooftops that you are not alone!  I am here!  We all are here!  I don’t judge.  Do you?  Perhaps this is why people are so afraid to share their hurts, their struggles.  But why are we so afraid of being judged?  I have always lived by the policy (since I was very very young) that I do not care what others things of me.  I am living my life for me, not anyone else.  I so wish that we lived in a World that promoted this.  I do think we are moving that way.  I can easily see my children’s generation being very accepting and understanding of all differences and opinions.  Or perhaps this is just my hope.

All I know is I will continue to share.  I will continue to fight.  Even for those who suffer in silence.  But I know that people are watching and listening.  I absolutely love that I often get a message out of the blue from someone regarding one of the many things I talk about, whether it’s infertility, Autisim, PCOS, you name it.  And if I can be there to listen, to champion, to help, to care, then my heart is happy.  I love nothing more than helping people and striving to make a difference, if just a sliver, in this oh-so-crazy World.