Saturday, February 28, 2009

Thank Goodness, I Am Not Alone

As I sit here dealing with my own sore chest, it's nice to know that I am not alone in my breastfeeding challenges. I am referring to Jennifer F.'s #3 Quick Takes Friday post on her apprehension to begin nursing a new baby.

When I followed the link to her original breastfeeding post I was shocked to read all the testimonials about nursing challenges - and straight up pain. Until now, all I've been told is the rather aggravating mantra "breastfeeding shouldn't hurt."

Well, it does hurt. And I'm sick of feeling like something is wrong with me because I feel pain while nursing! I've found examples of other women suffering initial breastfeeding pain that only abates with time's passage. Maybe I'm not crazy or disfunctional for feeling pain!

It was also great to get more perspectives on breast yeast infections. I've already gone through one round of prescription meds to eradicate one such infection. But I think it might be back again. I was under the impression that my baby had to have very obvious thrush symptoms to qualify for a yeast infection. Not so, according to Breastfeeding Essentials. Apparently everything can look normal and still be infected.

I found suggestions for treatment options too. Not to mention a clearer understanding of the possible causes for a yeast infection. During Michael's first six weeks I was given at least 4 doses of antibiotics (GBS positive, c-section surgery, c-section post-op, c-section postpardum). Michael also had a dose or two during his NICU stage. Did I eat yogurt to help replenish the good bacteria? Nope - didn't have a clue it was helpful.

After seeing all the comments on Jennifer F.'s blog I see that breastfeeding challenges (and pain) are typical. It's really unfortunate that nursing can be so difficult. And yet, I find comfort in the realization I am not alone.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wordless (Ash) Wednesday

Blogging Birthday

I just realized - this blog is officially one year old! Check out my very first post from February 20, 2008. Wow. What a change my path has taken since that first post. God is good. All the time.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mardi Gras vs. Lenten Sacrifice

I am currently waffling between two possible Lenten sacrifices. They are both a huge distraction in my life, especially as I've been tied to my home taking care of a new baby.

#1 - SUGAR and all sugary products, including cookies, cakes, brownies, chocolates, ice cream, syrup, jam, donuts, hot chocolate, soda, and anything else yet unlisted.

#2 - online TV shows. Many hours have been wasted waiting for the show to queue and getting sucked in to just one more episode (it never really is just one).

As I've been reflecting on how best to sacrifice for the next 40 days (not including Sundays, of course) I keep getting a little nagging thought in the back of my mind. Maybe I should go big and forgo both options. Perhaps I could even use my undistracted free time in prayer or spiritual reading. Heck, I might even make these sacrifices a habit and continue through the Easter season - and beyond!

The fact is that I feel the glut of too much sugar & TV. I am ready for a change. I am yearning for a change. I seriously need a change. Lent sprung up on me this year, but it couldn't have come at a better time. I am so ready to purge myself of distraction, to feel the burn of exercising my willpower against vices (and on the treadmill too). I have great expectations for the next six weeks. And now that I've made my pledge a public affair, I can count on you to keep me accountable.

Here's to a wonderful and fruitful Lent 2009!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Fourth Time's a Charm

Today was one of those days. The kind where I realize that I have to reconstruct my old ways of thinking to include a baby. It's the little things - you know, like getting anywhere on time. Especially getting to Mass on time.

Ryan and I had big plans to make it to the 12:15pm Mass this afternoon. Then he was up until 3am on hall duty last night (for his residence life job), an hour later than anticipated. I need at least 2 hours to get up and out the door on time for mass with baby Michael. I woke up too late. We notice it's snowing like crazy. We decide to attend a later Mass.

So we plan on going to the 5:30pm instead. And then a friend who lives in NY wants to drop by because she is only in town until tomorrow evening. By the time we usher her out the door and dig out the car, it's 5:22pm and we're late. Plus Ryan has work to do and would prefer to go to the 8:00pm Mass here on campus.

I leave to attend a social event and plan to return to campus no later than 7:45pm. Of course, as I'm walking out the door of the event at 7:40pm Michael is beginning to fuss. And it's still snowing. By the time I nurse Michael, change his diaper, and gingerly navigate my way to the car to avoid a total wipeout, I'm late again.

Our fourth and final option is to attend a dorm Mass with my sister on the ND campus. It starts at 10:00pm. I can't believe I'm actually attending a Mass that barely meets the Sunday requirement. But this time I'm ready. We are out the door by 9:35pm and in the chapel before most of the students stumble through the door. I am finally at Mass early.

Then I proceed to spend the next hour jiggling and swaying and making faces at Michael. I may be there physically, but I'm having a real difficult time keeping myself there mentally.

It's just one of those days.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Awe & Amazement

There are times when I stare at the face of my child in awe & amazement. How in the world is there a little person, who is half of me, living & breathing in my arms?

Where did he come from? How did he get here? Why have I been blessed with this wonderful gift?

I don't think it will ever cease to marvel at the miracle that is Michael Ryan.

Ain't It Crazy?

Why am I awake at 12:49am?

No, it's not because the baby is awake and demanding a diaper change or nursing session.

No, it's not because I just returned home from a wonderful, romantic date with my husband (while my son was cared for by a loving Grandmother who rocked him into a blissful 6 hour sleep).

Why then?

Because my husband is awake. And I am a perpetual night owl. And he has another all-night project to work on, due tomorrow morning. And I'm too tired to get myself out of this chair, wash my face, and actually go to sleep in my own bed.

Because I am living the life of a pseudo graduate student.

Because my little man is asleep and if I try to remove him from his carseat he will awaken and demand to be nursed back to sleep. And the only time I get to type on my computer is when he sleeps.

So. Here I am. Type, type, typing away...