Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Awesomeness and Christmas Stress

When you're a child, a teenager, and even in your 20s, I think it is hard to understand why Christmas is ever considered stressful for anyone. Christmas is wonderful! Later you realize, it is because people make it wonderful for you. It doesn't happen magically (unless you're a kid reading this, then I am just joking, lots of magic is involved).

Decorating, present-buying, tip-planning, holiday luncheons at work, holiday meals at home, festivities in general. It is the most wonderful, busy, exhausting, exciting time of the year. My brain almost can't handle it. Following in my family's procrastinating footsteps, I get about 50% of things done in the final week before Christmas. I *wish* I could be one of those people who starts buying things in July and is done by Thanksgiving. Those smart people probably look at people like me and just think "hey, just do things sooner." Story of my life!

My finish-things-in-the-homestretch method is complicated this year by a nasty cold. I was just so tired, that I was getting even less accomplished than normal. I did go to the doctor yesterday and got a Z-pack. I know that you anti-antibiotic people are probably rolling your eyes, but I got fight this thing on all cylinders people! I got no time for this! On top of all of everything else is the physical uncomfortableness and emotional sensitivity I feel from ending breastfeeding. Which is a nice way to say, I am acting like a crazy person.

While I have Christmas stress on one hand, I have Christmas awesomeness on the other. My sister and nephews are coming here for Christmas, and I could not be more excited. I haven't been able to spend Christmas with my parents, sister, and nephews since 2010. Also, IT'S BEN'S FIRST CHRISTMAS! Not that he will know really what is going on, but it is still super exciting. And will probably lead to many a photo op.

At the end of the day, for me, Christmas is about being with family, generosity, and celebrating the birth of Christ. I am not super religious, but is hard to get around that last point. Experiencing my first Christmas season as a mother so far, I have realized that there are two main goals that I have for the Christmases future: (1) Making it magical and exciting for Ben and (2) giving back (i.e. making an example for Ben of giving to others less fortunate). I haven't focused so much on number one yet, since he is so young. And honestly, I have been so overwhelmed, that I haven't focused on number 2 either. But next year, my friends.

After venting about the stress part to the blogosphere (thanks for listening!), I find myself being able to focus more on the awesomeness part. Yay! I think all adults feel a lot of pressure to have everything be perfect, but when it all boils down to it, everyone will just be happy to be together. Cheesy, but true.

Merry Christmas to All!

p.s. If you are looking out for my Christmas cards, you will mostly likely be receiving them after Christmas (but before New Years! Small victories!)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

She Stopped Breastfeeding Him Today....

Mama, what is with the pink bib? It makes me look too girly.
Oh well, I will just get it as dirty as possible and then poop on everything.
Actually, I stopped breastfeeding him yesterday, but that sounds less like a sad country song. It has happened. I pulled the trigger. It's all over.

I *may* be a bit melodramatic about this.

As I have talked about before, my supply was way low the past couple of months. Lately, I was lucky to get one ounce for each pumping at work. I had noticed that Ben was not breastfeeding much at all during the day on the weekends, and I wondered if that was because he wasn't getting much. He would still drink most of his bottles at daycare. Last week, I decided to stop pumping at work. It was just to the point where I was hardly producing anything, so it really wasn't worth it. I thought that I would try to still breastfeed the morning and evenings, but I knew in the back of my head that this was probably the end. I just had this feeling he wasn't getting much from me in the morning and evenings either. I could just tell. So this week, I started to try to give him bottles. Monday morning, he didn't take the bottle, but he did breastfeed. Monday night, I don't think I even tried the bottle. Tuesday morning, he wouldn't take the bottle or really breastfeed at all. But last night, he took the entire bottle. This morning, he took 3 oz. from the bottle.

So, I haven't breastfed since Tuesday morning. I knew on Monday that it would probably be the last times, so I tried to savor it (instead of checking my cell phone like normal). It's really weird. I was really looking forward to having my body back completely. I was definitely looking forward to not pumping anymore. The thing is, the sadness of it has hit me before I have been able to really appreciate the freedom of it. I think anytime a chapter closes, it is bittersweet. You look at things through fuzzy, emotional goggles. You forget about the painful, frustrating parts and just remember the warm, cuddly parts. Remember when I was complaining about plugged ducts? Oh, those were the days! (I will Remember You by Sarah McLachlan is playing in my head). I am really thankful that I was able to breastfeed him this long. I was secretly hoping for 12 months, but I will take 9.

On a side note, the other nail in the coffin for breastfeeding was that I developed a nasty cold over the last few days, and I wanted to heavily medicate myself. I really think that one of the things that hurt my supply was when I was sick back in September and took a few decongestants. But who knows. Anyways, it has been nice being able to take medication the past couple of days without worrying abut its effects on Ben. I obviously caught the cold from Ben, who had two bad ear infections. It's been a fun couple of weeks! Ben seems to be doing much better though (knock on wood), and he has a check up on Friday. My voice still sounds like Kathleen Turner, but I am hopeful that I will turn a corner in the next day or two. I really want to be well by Christmas!

I also want to start posting more again! There is so much going on with Ben these days! He is crawling like a maniac, eating everything in sight, and just generally being a fun little baby boy. I am also due for a schedule update...