Black Breastfeeding Week 2018

It’s black breastfeeding week, y’all!

And while it’s evident that I’m not actually breastfeeding at this moment pictured, I do every day because I believe it’s important for the growth and development of my baby and for our bonding. I prefer to give her what my body naturally creates for her. As I said before, there are endless benefits: baby-tailored nutrients, endless free food supply, bottle-free feeding, easy access for feeding on-the-go, mother-baby bonding, natural postpartum weight loss, just to name a few!

And no, this is not a shot at those who choose formula over breastmilk/breastfeeding. Do you, boo boos! Not everyone can lactate. And some moms that can just choose not to for various reasons. They are doing what they feel is best for them/their baby and that is fine, too.

This is just to encourage those melanated mommas who do choose to breastfeed their little ones.

This week is for us!

Somedays it’s easy. Somedays it’s hard. Somedays you just don’t want to. Somedays you never want the moment to end. It’s all a part of this beautiful rollercoaster that is motherhood. And it’s always worth it. So keep going for as long as you and your baby/toddler want to!

The World Health Organization and UNICEF encourage breastfeeding combined with solid foods until your little one is 2 or 3

“Breastmilk is an important source of energy and protein, and helps to protect against disease during the child’s second year of life.”

So don’t let anyone make you feel bad for doing so if you so choose!

It may seem weird to many, but it’s time to normalize breastfeeding for as long as Mom and baby/child feel necessary.

If we can so easily normalize humans drinking cow’s milk, then we should certainly be able to normalize humans drinking human milk.

ITS WHAT ITS FOR!!!!

Love,

Meg

Weight, what?

Motherhood brings out this whole new side of a woman.

Start with pregnancy…

It’s this (typically) 9 month-long journey filled with many ups and downs.

I’ll be real, my experience was not how I always imagined it to be.

Some women have flawless pregnancies and just love every moment of it. (Ladies, tell me your secrets!)

TV portrays pregnancy to be this wonderful, magical experience once the morning sickness phase is over.

That may very well be the case for some women.

For me? Not so much.

I was extremely nauseous for the first 4 months of my pregnancy with Lena.
I only actually vomited a handful of times, but I was nauseous A LOT. Trust me, being perpetually nauseous is worse than the act of vomiting itself.

Because of said nausea, pretty much all I could stomach during that time was toast/bagels/any type of bread I could get my hands on, dry cereal, pizza, applesauce… annnnd I think that’s about it.

I started to worry a bit after my first trimester ended because I had lost 3lbs instead of gaining any weight. My OB said this was normal, so I didn’t panic.
I did think it was strange though. I’d been carb-loading like I was training for a triathlon, yet I lost weight?

Somewhere around week 20-ish I steadily started gaining weight; about a pound a week.

Cool.

But then it rapidly increased…

After pound 25, I wanted to put myself on a diet.
I was only at about week 26, and I knew I had a ways to go before little miss Lena left my body to join this world. If I kept gaining weight at this rate, I’d be as big as a house by the end!
But, I knew that my baby needed nutrients and that this was all a part of pregnancy.
Again, my OB told me that everything was fine, to keep doing what I was doing and she would worry about the weight if it got out of hand.
She told me she had gained 58lbs during her first pregnancy and ended up weighing as much as her husband in the end, and she was still perfectly healthy.

That made me feel a bit better.

Around week 34, I had gained almost 10 lbs of fluid that week alone from being overworked!
I’m a nurse, so my job requires a lot of standing and constant movement. I had worked 4 out of 5 twelve hour nightshifts in a row, and it proved to be too much for my body to handle. I felt mostly fine, just a little short of breath here and there, which was expected at that point of pregnancy.
However, during my OB visit that week, my blood pressure was high and I had significant swelling in my face, hands, legs, and feet.

Needless to say, my OB was now worried.
Like, high-key red alert worried.
She wrote me off of work for a week until she re-evaluated me.

Many people would panic at this point.

I was concerned about my health, sure.
However, I was more concerned that she might keep me out of work until my delivery date, because that would only give me about a month at home with my newborn before having to return to work.
How could I have a newborn, learn how to breastfeed, go through the rollercoaster of postpartum emotions, deal with sleep deprivation, and return to work only a few short weeks later?
That would be devastating!

Luckily, at the next visit I had lost 7lbs of fluid and looked much better, so my OB was okay with me returning to work.
YAY!

I ended up stopping work 2 weeks later because my blood pressure increased again.
I was also feeling more short of breath, and the swelling had returned.

Bright side: at least I went back to work for 2 more weeks instead of staying home wasting my leave time.

By the end of my pregnancy with Lena, I had gained a whopping 54 pounds!

So yeah, that was not my favorite part of pregnancy.

I am now a little over 3 months postpartum and I have lost 36 of those extra 54 pounds. I’m feeling more and more like myself every week. I’m learning to be patient with my body and to appreciate the journey that it’s going through.

I realize that I went through a tremendous physical change; and while some women snap back within a few short weeks of delivering their babies, it takes other women a little longer, and that’s okay.

Ladies, my tip to you: ignore the pressure of society to need to immediately “snap back” into your pre-pregnancy body (or better).
Sure, you can strive to be back to your old self, but shouldn’t be the highest priority on your list (unless your career requires you to look a certain way).
You have a new life to take care of, while simultaneously continuing to do the hundreds of other daily activities that you do.
It’s okay to take it slow.
It’s okay to rest.
It’s okay to be exactly how you are.
No matter what state your postpartum body is in, it is perfectly imperfect, because you’re human.
Love yourself. Love your journey. And most importantly, love that/those little baby/babies that you have just recently given birth to.

Love,
Meg

Intro to Motherhood

The first month of motherhood taught me:

•Patience

-with my body: the first two weeks I was still very sore, tired (wait, that hasn’t changed), and my body was slowly recovering…losing excess fluid, organs shifting back into place, etc.
I was happy to have my body back to myself, but I had to learn to take things slowly since it was nowhere near back to pre-pregnancy status.
-with my baby: she’s new here this time. She’s learning me, and I’m learning her. Figuring out what she needs with each different cry is a constant guessing game, but I’m getting better at it.
-with my emotions: because the rollercoaster starts when I least expect it. Postpartum hormones are strong and unpredictable. I cried on the way home from the hospital because Lena was crying in the car seat and I couldn’t take her out to console her. That’s so unlike me. I’m a NICU nurse, I’m used to babies crying. In fact, truthfully I’m kinda numb to it…but something about hearing your own baby cry breaks your heart (especially 2 days postpartum). So I lost it for a minute…or 10, but laughed about it later that day. I still have my moments when I cry with her because she’s screaming from gas pains.
Then there’s the emotional cry “OMG I just love her so much!”
On the other hand, there’s the laugh attacks; sometimes at random things, but most of the time, at her. She makes the most entertaining faces I’ve ever seen, and I lose it lol.
She’s been giggling in her sleep since day 3, and it warms my heart every time. She’s extremely smiley, too. She lives up to her middle name meaning “Happy One”
•Love

– for my daughter: obviously, but such an understatement. The amount of love I feel for Lena is unmatched. She is perfect to me. She’s the cutest, sweetest little person I have ever encountered.
-for my husband: watching him take care of her, play with her, and love her, makes me love him even more.
-for my mother: because motherhood, although abundantly beautiful, is the toughest hood there is; and I finally have a glimpse of how much she loves me, how much energy this takes, and how much she cares to do it all so selflessly. She’s been extremely helpful and is always there for us.
-for my father: I admire his love for his granddaughter and how hyper excited he is that she’s here.
-for my sister: her love for her niece was immediate and so full.
She helps me out and deals with my sometimes bossy requests, without saying a word-and I know she often wants to; ditto my husband.
•Gratitude

– that I was able to carry her for 39weeks

-that she is 100% healthy

-that I am 100% healthy and able to care for her

-that I am able to provide breastmilk for her
-for all the family and friends who love her already
I’m overall grateful for my life, and the people in it!

 

 

(written 3/11/18)