Wednesday, March 21, 2012

sometimes the waters are roaring.

sometimes the waters are roaring, foaming, but we are deaf to them - distracted by the beauty of the beach, the sand covering our babies, the sun warming us to our bones.  life is good, we are happy and it's all being kept together, isn't everyone?

then it hits, the wave, it nails us while our backs are to the ocean, exposed and so vulnerable, though we didn't realize it yet.  now we know our fragility and we will never be the same.

the seas roar and foam, the leviathan lives there, lurking; tragedy and sickness and accidents leave none of us unaffected, we all hold hands while the water rises quickly around us. 

chaos.  it's no respecter of anything, doesn't even matter if you just got your act together, doesn't even matter if you are still searching for wreckage from the last flash flood.  it's the reason why a lot of terrible things happen, and it's no reason at all.  it's the best reason to say the F word, if you're crying or praying.  Have you been there in it's aftermath?

maybe it's the earth shuddering from all the pain we cause her and each other, trying to shake us off.  maybe it's gravity just doing her thing and small decisions we make sometimes go unseen and sometimes won't ever be forgotten.  sometimes there's just not even any explanation that we could utter and any attempt to make sense of it is simply us trying to survive, but it doesn't help.  sometimes we blame God with spiritual language, but what we really mean is, 'i care about you.  i am so sorry.  and i don't understand.'
  

Sunday, March 18, 2012

how we made it work

I'm not very good at "informational" blog posts, but thought I'd give it a half-hearted shot.  I stumbled upon a couple of photos from the last weeks of pregnancy and thought I'd write a bit about it.  I'm still breastfeeding my son (19 months) alongside my daughter (10 weeks today!) which means I somehow managed to nurse him through my pregnancy.  There were moments that I didn't think I would make it, for sure.  Here's us making it work with little Jubilee snug inside, oblivious of the best friend/brother she would soon be sharing her mama with.

Saf loves 'gymnurstics' anyway, so he really didn't mind.  Although now he insists on always being held like a baby when nursing on his own.



Nursing through pregnancy was challenging, but now that we are over two months on the other side, I'm really glad that we did it.

Things that were hard:
- discomfort/pain/"pleasegetoffofme"feelings
- very low milk supply between 18 and 25 weeks
- "pleasegetoffofme"feelings....normal hormonal changes that made nursing extremely irritating at certain times (this was the hardest part for us)

What made it worth it:
- look at me sitting on the couch with my toddler!  especially in the last month of pregnancy I really needed this. 
- reconnecting during hard days
- we became pregnant when Saf was only 8 months old so it seemed too young for us to begin weaning. 
- the moment when Saf met his sister a few hours after her birth and they stared at each other while sharing milk.  He really loves her, and I think still having that connection to me really helps him.  

How we made it work:
-I pumped daily for a few weeks in my first trimester to have a small stock of milk to give Safran if I lost my supply
-creative nursing positions (like above), making sure we are both comfortable ... enough.
-night-weaning (mostly) - nursing at night was very aggravating so my husband really stepped in and started to care for Saf in the night.
-Boundaries:  In order to keep nursing I realized I needed to set some limits on when and how long.  When my supply started to decline I would offer Saf a snack or drink of water sometimes when he asked to nurse, knowing that's probably what he actually needed.  I would also limit the length of the session - when I was finished I would say, 'Nai Nai all done in ten seconds' and then I would count to ten.  He would usually smile and pop off around 6 or 7.  Now that I'm nursing Jubilee as well I try not to say 'no' to Saf if I'm nursing her and will usually let him join, but he usually won't stay too long as it's not as comfortable as having the seat to himself.

milk for two.


A very helpful book for me was "Adventures in Tandem Nursing" by Hilary Flower.  Lots of helpful information as well as anecdotes from hundreds of mams who have nursed two (or three!) at a time.

And here's some great information about why you should consider nursing your toddler to two years (or longer).

Safran can now very often be found nursing his doll, Sinclair.  Sometimes he likes privacy while doing so. ;)



  


Sunday, March 11, 2012

up.

 One of my son's first words was 'up'.  And he really meant it.  Like this:  up. up. up. up. Up. Up. UP!  UP!  UPEEEEE!  UPEEEEE!!!!!

He's one of those kids.  Relentless.  I LOVE that about him.  And it makes me crazzzy sometimes.

Wearing him has really helped us to meet his needs for close and touch and time (and up).  As a newborn I really enjoyed the Moby Wrap and a Ring Sling that was passed down from a friend.  Safran always slept best when worn and his crying was usually calmed within a few strides.

We also love our Ergobaby carrier and as soon as he had good head control Saf spent much of the day on my back - walks in the neighborhood, chores around the house - it's so wonderful to have my hands free and my baby happy.  I still wear Safran often on my back when cooking and cleaning.  He's 30 pounds now and it's still feels good most of the time.

I did have trouble using the Ergo into my third trimester of Jubilee's pregnancy, so I purchased a ring sling from Sakura Bloom and used it with Saf on my hip nearly every day through the rest of my pregnancy.  Love it.  As soon as Jubilee was born I began using it with her,  so nice and snug, her head to my heart.

Even getting my children to our car, down a steep flight of stairs and across an alley to a parking lot requires Safran to be on my back in the Ergo and Jubilee either in my arms or a sling.  It's how we do it these days, part of the routine, rarely disputed by my spirited toddler.  He's even known to wear his baby, Sinclair, occasionally as well.   

Enjoy the pictures!

in the Moby, a few days old.
6 months, over 100 degree heat, still wanting to be up in the Nojo Baby Sling

helping mama cook (a couple of weeks ago)


adventures with auntie lizzie and the Ergo

love the Sakura Bloom linen sling.  love the beach.

sometimes i do this. 

sakura bloom sling with my wee girl inside.


Saf and Sinclair, the next generation of babywearing