Every breastfeeding journey is different just like every mother’s relationship with her baby is different and we all face different struggles. Like many new moms I have had my share of challenges with breastfeeding and in the spirit of World Breastfeeding Week I wanted to share my story. My struggles were mostly due to a combination of overactive let down and delayed let down reflex – a pretty rare combo from what I discovered in my research. This is how I figured it out and what I did to turn our breastfeeding relationship around and nurse my daughter for the first year of her life. There are links to a ton of resources as well.
One of the things I like doing as a mom is making up songs. Luckily for me, even though I have no musical talent, my kids love to listen to me sing. Making up songs and rhymes is fun and puts a funny and entertaining spin on every day parenting tasks. I usually just sing new words for existing songs to describe what’s going on at that moment. It can be as simple as “dinner time, dinner time, dinner all the way” to the tune of Jingle Bells. Often Lulu asks me to “sing it again!” and I can’t because I forget the words as soon as I’ve sung them. Over the years there have been a few gems that have stuck and today I’m going to share them with you.
About six months postpartum I started becoming very short tempered. Call it postpartum depression or postpartum rage. There were days when I woke up just annoyed. At everything. There were days when every little thing made me angry. Things that are usually a mild annoyance became enraging. Sometimes I could tell I’m overreacting as it is happening. Almost like an out of body experience where I saw myself yelling and freaking out, somewhere I thought “why are you getting so mad? This isn’t a big deal” and yet I was still yelling, I couldn’t seem to stop being angry. I didn’t think I had PPD, I didn’t have the “normal” symptoms of not being able to stop crying or feeling unhappy or depressed all the time. I just had this rage seething just below the surface ready to explode at any provocation.
For a city that boasts being very kid friendly I didn’t see many kids around the downtown area (this is based on my googling “what to do in Seattle with kids” and seeing results about how great Seattle is for kids. In hindsight I guess it was a bit of a self-fulfilling prophesy. What city wouldn’t tell parents looking for suggestions that they are kid friendly). Of course there were kids in the areas that were meant for children, like the parks, and a few kid specific destinations. But just walking though the city I saw very few parents with kids. I barely saw any families in the couple of grocery stores near where we stayed and the baby sections were pathetic and practically non-existent (I needed the baby section because I made the mistake of only bringing two pacifiers with me, naively thinking “there’s nothing that I can’t buy there if I need it”. Well I lost one of them the very first day and I couldn’t find another one in any of the stores around Seattle Center). The pet sections on the other hand were gigantic and I did see at least 3 dogs in strollers.
It’s 2:30pm. I’m lying on a hotel bed in my jeans with my eyes closed while 4 little legs and 4 little arms are climbing all over me. I hear laughter and loud squeals. Every so often it’s hard to tell if the sounds are those of happiness or distress so I half open one eye to make sure everyone is still alive. I see them smiling and I smile back. My kids take this gesture to mean I want to play and double down on the climbing and jabbing me while I try to get some rest.
To my first baby: Happy 4th Birthday to my wonderful, spirited, artistic, clever, beautiful, kind, funny and witty troublemaker. I am so lucky to be your mom and I am grateful every day to have you as my child. I know that you will grow into a wonderful person and I am thrilled to see you becoming that person right before my eyes. I never realized how much I could love someone until I had you. I wish you health and happiness till 120!