In April, I delivered my second son. He’s a beautiful baby boy and it was a terrific experience, other than the massive uncertainty and unknowns going into delivering during a pandemic-induced lockdown. 

My sister watched my older son while we went to the hospital. They had a great time together over those five days. I’m so lucky and blessed to have her close to us. 

Here we are some months later and our parents still haven’t been able to meet their newest grandchild. It upsets me a lot. There’s nothing I can do about it, so I compartmentalize, but it makes me very sad at times. It’s a weird thing to experience: it’s such a joyful time in our lives but so deeply heartbreaking. Though that said, I’m figuring out that it’s part of going through a global pandemic. Everyone talks about how 2020 is a dumpster fire, the worst year, “what else can happen?!?”, etc. But for us, it’s one of the best year of our lives, edged with grief and sadness. It’s an odd feeling…but one that’s familiar. G’s birth year was the same. It was one of the best years of our lives, but so hard and challenging as I fought hard against the darkness of depression and the allure of suicide. 

Just another affirmation that things can be hard and dark, but beautiful and wonderful too. 

Our little baby, or “Q” as G calls him, has been a bucket of sunshine. He’s a happy, content little baby who is eager to laugh. G was an easy bub as well, but a more serious little guy. It’s been interesting to see how quickly I’ve been able to spot differences in their little personalities and I can’t wait to see how it manifests itself when Q is older.

And obviously it’s incredible how much of a difference it is to have a baby when you’re not out of your mind with anxiety and depression. I really wasn’t sure what to expect. The fact that I had postpartum depression with my first gave me a really high likelihood of having postpartum depression again. Plus being in a global pandemic and under lockdown, hearing of the pain and civil unrest back in the States, dealing with other life challenges over here…it seemed like the ideal conditions for another round of postpartum depression. But it never happened. I’ve been able to enjoy my little baby and also enjoy my older baby while he was home from school during lockdown. 

The word that often runs through my mind as I soak in that soft fuzzy head, those chunky thighs and that infectious little baby laugh, is redemption. 

In religious terms, redemption is to be saved from sin or evil. In secular terms, it refers to clearing a debt or emerging in freedom. And it’s not far off from how I feel. The first time around, I was blanketed in heavy, crippling anxiety. I had no energy to do anything and was too scared to be alone with my own child. The scars and trauma from the anxiety and depression left me convinced that the baby stage was just too hard for me and I couldn’t do it. But after watching my older son move through 2, 3 and 4 and delighting in him, I knew that I wanted to experience those ages again and figured I could just “power through” the baby stage. I knew it would be too hard but then I would emerge with another beautiful little soul. So I planned to surround myself with help, had my therapist waiting in the wings and worked out plans with my husband.

All of these carefully laid plans blew out the window then when the world shuttered her doors in the wake of COVID-19. Everything turned out very differently then I anticipated. 

Imagine my surprise when I saw how lovely and amazing caring for babies can be, without the cloud of depression. We were seasoned parents, so we sailed through sleepless nights armed with tactics and man-to-man defense. Though colic never appeared, we were ready with tried and true strategies. Devoid of energy-sucking depression, I cruised through the days, teaching my older son how to add M&Ms and sing the alphabet, while cuddling a giggly baby. Without anxiety casting doubt on my ability to do ANYTHING, we packed up and drove through Belgium, Germany and Austria and hosted friends as confinement restrictions eased up. We did all of this with no help from my parents or in-laws (though my sister was fortunately able to step in). Though it pains me deeply to not have had our parents around for Q’s firsts, a silver lining to that anguish is that it has removed all doubt of my ability to mother. Though I hated not having the grandparents around, I have emerged free from the doubt and self-loathing left in the wake of postpartum depression and anxiety.

Though this is probably a bit derivative, this second experience was transformative…a rebirth of my motherhood. And I owe it all to my beautiful sons. Through it all, each taught me what I’m capable of and who I can be…and I’ve finally been made whole. 

Giving Birth During a Global Pandemic

Two posts ago, I was writing a piece on my hope and confidence on how my postpartum journey would go.

Then…a global pandemic happened.

Currently we’re on lockdown here in Belgium. This means that we can go out but only if we’re with family or one other person, 1,5 meters away. Only one person can go to the grocery store and I’ve seen some odd stories about single mothers being turned away from grocery stores because they have their child or children with them. Every day it seems, the Belgian government issues new restrictions because we aren’t respecting them. That said, the streets are empty, though you can still hear the laughter of children on the street as each family goes for their daily walk or bicycle ride.

But why worry about the police state outside when we’ve got the police state in our house in the form of a four year old? My son graciously informs my husband and I whenever we break any of the school rules or the family rules. Generally we can tell which ones are the school rules based on the smattering of French involved.

No coudes (elbows) on the table! No phones at the dinner table! Mommy, Daddy hasn’t made his bed yet! Daddy – you’re not done cleaning up – get back to work! That’s not MY job, Mommy!

The weather has been beautiful here, just simply breathtaking. Cool, sunny with not a cloud in the sky. For Brussels, it’s an unusually beautiful Spring, I hear. While some are sad and disappointed that it’s sunny and we can’t go out much, I’m truly thankful that the rays of sunshine fill our apartment and we can open our windows to let the cool springtime breeze in. Had this occurred in January or February, I think my spirit might have been broken.

A lot of people have been asking how I’m doing. My answer is usually, generally OK, though there are some days with low morale. When I was talking to my mom, I observed that the last 30 days were kind of like buying a house. You know, about 30 days of:

waiting – frenetic activity – waiting – getting news that might kill the entire deal – waiting -everything’s fine – frenetic activity – waiting – BOOM! You’re a house owner!

My last monthly prenatal appointment was 9 March. Everything seemed OK, we scheduled the c-section, lined up all my final appointments and my pre-operative appointments and kicked off the insurance paperwork to ensure that I would have adequate coverage.

Then the lockdowns started.

I started teleworking on 10 March due to the trajectory of the coronavirus cases. G’s school closed starting the following Monday. Our babysitter came on Monday, and then the stricter lockdown started Tuesday. So I went down to half-time at work to care for G. Later that week, my doctor’s appointments started getting cancelled.

While this was happening, borders started closing. My husband was supposed to pick up our car in Germany, but public transportation was starting to become less reliable and I was concerned about exposure on public transportation. Our car became an unknown.

My pre-operative appointment seemed to still be on, so I made arrangements to get a ride. When I emerged from my appointment, I was faced with getting in a taxi or the metro. It was a beautiful day and I was just uncomfortable with risking the exposure. So, I walked a hour and a half to get home. Since no one is allowed to stop and sit on the benches, I just kept moving my large, pregnant body. At the end of the walk, my back was shot. We rented a car the next day for two weeks to cover the rest of the appointments and hospitalization. The morning we picked up the rental car, I found out that our new car would be arriving via private transport about an hour away from us. I found out we needed an attestation from my work to travel around Belgium to pick up the car, and I now needed an insurance policy for the car.

In three hours of frenzied activity, I got our documents to travel around Belgium and locked in an insurance policy.

At my pre-operative appointment, I found out that my husband could attend the birth and stay during recovery, but if he left at any moment, he would not be allowed back in the hospital. I had lost my babysitter to the lockdown and my husband had been planning on being home for my son during the days. I quickly made arrangements for my sister to watch my son for 5 days (which is not small feat for anyone who hangs out with four year olds).

I went to my last prenatal appointment, then promptly went to the Boulangerie (bakery), kept my 1,5 meter distance, bought a cherry pie and a chocolate muffin and ate the muffin and half of the pie. It was emotional eating at its’ finest, and I regret nothing.

After that last appointment, I got all the paperwork signed to submit to insurance for them to preauthorize payment to the hospital. If I failed to get a Payment Guarantee from my health insurance, then I would have to pay upfront once I arrived at the hospital which would have run me about 8,000 euros. Fortunately the insurance company turned my paperwork super fast and sent me the Payment Guarantee the following business day.

Everything settled and so we waited.

Then on Sunday, a simple sore throat happened.

My husband woke up, feeling pretty good, but had a mild sore throat.

Tense, we watched and waited to see if it got worse. We quarantined from each other – my son and husband in the guest bedroom wing, myself in our bedroom. I lysoled everything he touched, I touched…every time we chased each other between different rooms.

Monday he woke up…and the sore throat was still there. Now really sure what to do, I emailed my doctor. She told me to report on his temperature and mine on Tuesday morning.

Tuesday, he woke up…and the sore throat was still there. My doctor called and asked about any other symptoms. Thankfully there were none. My doctor said great, he can come but can’t be in the OR. Which frankly is probably a relief for my husband, given that he nearly passed out during G’s birth. But he could stay with me and the new baby. The only thing my doctor said was that we needed to find masks, buy them and bring them.

Right. I’ll just run to the pharmacy and grab some masks.

(I’m sure, since this is a global pandemic, everyone realizes how realistic that request is…)

After crowdsourcing some masks, I arranged for my coworkers to bring us two masks for the hospital, the night before.

My husband and sister picked up the new car the afternoon before delivery. On the way home, my husband informed me that the German temporary plates were too big, so they were setting off the crash sensor on the car. They quickly pulled them off and stuck them on the dash. Hopefully I can get special narrow plates to sort out the crash sensor – but who knows at this point? I have 22 days to get the car registered by a company that is closed, but possibly working online. Else…I don’t know. I don’t know what I do with the car or what happens.

If my husband gets a fever or any other symptoms (runny nose, muscle aches, dry cough) on 1 April, he won’t be allowed to go to the hospital at all. So, I quickly arranged for my sister to go with me for the stay in the event that my husband gets sicker.

All of this…to finally have us arrive at the hospital for our baby during a global pandemic in a foreign country where we don’t speak the language.

So that, my friends, is what runs through my mind when people ask me: so how are you doing with all of this?

Postpartum World_ICON_4C_Yellow Rattle

But Why Risk it?

Probably one of the things that I struggle with the most is dealing with all of the pregnancy rules…and there’s a lot.

No alcohol. Only 200mg of caffeine. No ibuprofen. No high mercury fish. No deli meat. No raw sushi. No cooked sushi – because it could have been prepared where raw sushi was made. No hibiscus. No runny eggs. No hollandaise. No salad bars. No benzoyl peroxide.

If you look at each of those items and really study the data behind it, most of it is probably low risk in moderation, or there’s some type of workaround. Example: you can microwave your deli meat and it’s fine…runny eggs are probably OK as long as they’ve been pasteurized…the list goes on and on.

And then there is the stuff you simply can’t account for. You don’t eat any deli meat because of listeria. But the latest outbreaks of listeria have occurred in melons, ice cream, mushrooms, hard boiled eggs,etc. So you see, the risk really follows you everywhere.

I’ve struck a good balance with what I eat and drink during pregnancy and I’m generally good with my own rules because I believe they’re well-researched and the risk is nearly imperceptible. I also recommend the book Expecting Better by Emily Oster to discuss the data behind those choices. But despite all of this research, one of the most common things I’ve heard from other pregnant women who make different choices than I do is: why take the risk?

It’s the most common phrase I hear when it comes to the pregnancy rules. I hear people use it for everything: working out, drinking coffee, having a glass of beer while you’re breastfeeding, etc.

My thoughts on this expression is that there are so many rules and so many non-rules that could be bad. You can’t really live in that type of fear, perpetually. You generally find things that you’re OK with and things that you aren’t and you go with what’s comfortable and doesn’t stress you out. And then you just don’t worry about it.

But I’ve been thinking a lot about that phrase ‘why take the risk‘ lately. Mostly because of how much of the world has shut down because of coronavirus.

I’m supposed to give birth soon. I’m technically immuno-compromised. That could mean I’m more vulnerable. But maybe not – some very small data sets suggest not. It could mean my baby is more vulnerable, it could not. Newborns are typically very vulnerable, but this virus is different. So really this is all a wild card for us.

The ACOG recently recommended that if mothers test positive to the coronavirus, their newborns should be separated from them for two weeks. Might not seem like much to some, but to me that idea is terrifying. As anyone who read any of my blog knows, during my postpartum depression, I suffered severe detachment in the first 18 months of my son’s life. So as my recovery plan for Baby No. 2, I had planned to do skin-on-skin, exclusive breastfeeding, spend a week bonding with the baby while my husband takes care of our other son and then only baby wear. This stuff is a important for me so that I can be proactive about doing the best I can to avoid detachment. I know that the detachment goes away with proper treatment and as my baby ages. But I also want to do anything that I can to avoid it.

So that is why the phrase ‘why take the risk‘ has come to the forefront of my mind. I don’t want to take the risk of exposing myself to coronavirus. I’m sure I’ll be fine and I’m confident my baby will be fine, based on what I’ve read thus far. But I don’t want to take the risk of another bout of detachment. Because detachment for me is equal to postpartum depression. When there is no bond with a baby, it certainly makes it hard to get out of bed and take care of that baby, every day. And as I’ve said before – not everyone survives postpartum depression.

So you see, the stakes are actually a bit higher for me. Likely for reasons that you might be thinking are overblown or overly cautious. But these are the things that I’m thinking about.

Coronavirus has already impacted us deeply. Out of love for our parents, we’ve asked them NOT to come to help with the newborn. We understand that they, like me, are more vulnerable to the virus and we don’t want to risk their health. Why take the risk? It breaks all of our hearts that we will have to wait weeks or months for them to meet their new grandchild. We bought a car too, but it’s sitting in Germany and we’re not sure if we’ll be able to get it or not on Friday with all the border closures. The car was to help us with the hospital and doctor appointments. As I type this, I’m trying to figure out what the risk profile is to send my husband on a train to Germany for the car if the borders don’t close. I am wondering if our hospital will be overrun in the next two weeks, as was the case in Italy and China. I really don’t know.

Of course, with all of this, I give thanks daily for the the wonderful things in our life. My boss offering to drive us to the hospital, our friends for offering to stay overnight with G since his grandparents no longer can, our babysitter for helping us out while the schools are closed and for when we go to the hospital, my work’s generous maternity and sick leave policy that gives me flexibility to manage my health and deal with G being out of school for 5 weeks, and lastly having things like WhatsApp and Google Hangouts so that we can stay in touch with our parents while we work through all of this.

We have many things to be thankful for. But we are also deeply affected by this virus. For us, the hype is real. For us, it’s not just the flu. For us, the mortality rate among older people has impacted our family’s ability to joyously congregate around a new birth. We’re not out there hoarding toilet paper or freaking out. I’m sure we’ll all probably be fine and none of these concerns will materialize but…

why take the risk?

Postpartum World_ICON_4C_Green Rattle

Onward and Upward

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged. I hope that my blog provided something useful to anyone going through postpartum depression. There’s no real reason to resurrect this blog.

But, recently I got pregnant.

I wasn’t really planning on doing any type of announcement. I didn’t do it with my first and I don’t really feel the need to do it. I figure everyone else just kind of hears about it and then it’s done (Mom’s got a great network).

But, I also felt that there were some things to explain. And maybe some hope to provide.

For the first two years of my son’s life, I couldn’t fathom the idea of having another child. My husband and my DC best friend are onlies, and they loved their childhood so I didn’t really feel the pressure that some feel to give my son a sibling.

But then things got cool. Like, really cool.

My son’s personality started to emerge. I started to really see the neat little person that he is. He started talking and having opinions and doing silly little things. It got awesome. There was part of me that thought – oh man, I’ve GOT to do this again because it will be so amazing to meet another amazing little person.

And…part of me realizes that I’m doing this to reclaim that baby period.

You see, postpartum depression robbed me. It took my ability to enjoy my little baby.

I want to experience the instant love that mothers describe. I want to enjoy the scent of a new baby. I want to enjoy baby giggles. I get that the baby stage might not be my favorite stage. But I want to be present for it in a way that I just couldn’t when I was hurtling toward the darkness. I want to have my baby and know that even though it’s hard, it’s going to get better.

People often ask me if I had another kid, am I worried about postpartum depression. The answer is simple: not really. Don’t mistake my cavalier words. I am still aware of how postpartum depression can sneak up on you and trick your brain into believing every lie – even the one that there’s no point in living any more. That no one will miss you and your baby doesn’t need a mother like you.

But I am so much more in tune with my body. I understand exactly what drives my moods and my hormones. I can articulate where and when pregnancy hormones are sneaking into my brain and altering my normal thoughts. I can fight against those now, all by myself, no medication needed. But I also know exactly the line when medication will be required, if it is.

I feel empowered.

And what’s even cooler than that, is that I am absolutely overjoyed about this little baby. I can’t wait to meet this little guy or gal and experience the baby stage because I’m stronger, more capable and no longer afraid.

Toddlers on Vacay

Recently my husband, in-laws, son and I went on a two week European vacation. Folks have asked me how the trip went…especially after I mentioned that my 22 month old went with us. The trip was amazing, awful, wonderful and horrific all in one. It made me question whether or not we should take my son on a trip like that in the near future again. But in sitting down with a friend in Oslo, Norway, he pointed out that isn’t that description really any trip that you take?

I thought about his words, especially after he told me the harrowing 36 hour journey that he had endured to get to Europe, fraught with delays, refueling, missed planes and so forth.

The truth is, he’s right. Traveling with our toddler was certainly cringe worthy at times, but overall the trip was worth it, amazing and we got through it. It’s an experience that I would definitely do over again. Particularly armed with grandparents.

So how’d we do it?

Recommendation number one: Travel with your parents or in-laws (or both)!

My sister (who met us in Berlin) correctly observed that five adults to one toddler seemed like the appropriate ratio for vacation. It was super helpful having my in-laws with us. First of all, we love traveling together, but second of all it was extra hands and extra baggage. They brought a bag full of tricks and toys for my son. On the plane, in the hotels, on the trains, on the boats, it was two extra sets of hands. We basically played “pass the baby” the entire trip. It helped everyone keep their sanity. Particularly on an overnight transatlantic plane ride where one certain toddler opted out of sleeping.

Recommendation number two: Be Flexible

My husband and I put a lot of thought on whether to carseat or not on the plane. I wasn’t sure if we needed to bring the carseat in general. In retrospect, I would have opted out of it, I think. Since our son is under two, he’s allowed to sit in the lap of an adult for takeoff and landing. The carseat worked for the first two hours of the plane, but after that…it didn’t. We brought our Graco 3 in 1 nautilus because we had purchased a ticket for our son. We didn’t have to buy a seat for him since he’s still under two, but we thought having the extra seat would be good given that he’s bigger and wants to be everywhere and into everything.

G didn’t want to be in the seat after that. So it was effectively taking up space. For the landing, on international flights it’s a required law that they be seated with these extra infant belts. The belts loop through the adult belt and then you snap the belt around their waist. G hated them and screamed bloody murder when they touched his torso. We took two tactics to get over this aversion: we showed him the belt, played with it, had him snap and unsnap it. Then we worked on getting it around him while he was distracted by trucks or airplanes or television.

For getting around Europe, you don’t necessarily need to bring the carseat but it helped us at times. Not all, of course, but many taxi drivers have child seats and boosters. G hated them. He was perfectly comfortable in his own seat in a taxi, but was unused to the other carseats.

So naturally it is a tradeoff between how much screaming you want to deal with and how much you want to carry around a carseat. We have a nifty backpack case for our carseat which gets the job done. It’s bulky, uncomfortable and heavy though so there were a couple of times where instead of walking to the hotel from the train station, we sent my husband, the carseat and bags ahead in a taxi.

In summary, if your child is a little more flexible with carseats and seat belts, I’d recommend not bringing the carseat. But, if they’re not exactly a paragon of resiliency, then it might be worth it to lug the carseat around.

Extra pro tip: if you do travel with the carseat on the plane…reserve the baby’s seat behind someone in your travel party because the carseat closes the distance between kicking baby feet and the seat in front.

Recommendation number three: When saving for your trip, pad your budget with extra cash for travel change options

Turns out that G does not do well on bus rides. After sitting through a one hour bus ride from Gudvangen to Voss in Norway and listening to him scream and cry inconsolably because he had to ride in the Norwegian mandated baby bus seat, we had to make some changes to our travel plans the next day. We were scheduled to take a five hour bus ride from Bergen to Stavanger. Instead, we looked into renting a car which was too expensive but then found cheap flights that we could take that day. It cost us an extra 200 dollars, but it was money well spent because the bus ride would have been too much for the little guy.

Recommendation number four: Have options

As part of phasing out G’s pacifier use, we only allow him his pacifier for naps and bedtime. It’s actually pretty effective; he’s starting to understand the concept. But for our trip, I loaded up my backpack with seventy-five pacifiers and G had one pretty much nonstop for the entire two week trip. We were the ones who threw off his routine, so we opted to give him something that helps soothe him to get him through that.

While we did stop and do naps in the hotels on many occasions, some days, G ended up napping in his Ergo while we were on the go. Some days that worked and some days it didn’t. One day we had evening plans with G, but it was clear that he wasn’t going to make it through dinner, so we put him down early and my in-laws and husband had dinner in the hotel room.

Don’t forget to have park backup plans. On a couple of days, we just went to the gardens or playgrounds and spent the afternoon running around. When we opted to buy that plane ticket from Bergen? Well we had a couple extra hours, so we went to the top of the inclined plane in Bergen and hung out at an awesome playground for two hours while G ran around with a bunch of other kids. In Berlin, instead of going to a museum, we hung out in the grassy parks in Tiergarten.

Recommendation number five: talk to people

On our plane ride out, we had these guys yelling at us in Dutch because the little guy was screaming and kicking the seat, despite all of our efforts to hold his feet. There wasn’t much that we could say to them to explain that we were doing our best. But everyone else that we talked to on the planes was super understanding. I let these two bros traveling from Brussels to the US know that G tended to scream on the takeoff. They were totally cool and completely understood. I apologized when G threw his pacifier at a young Norwegian businessman but the businessman stopped me and said, “Look, it’s fine. He’s a kid. He doesn’t know any better.”

As long as you make an effort and you chat with folks, the majority of folks on travel venues understand that babies are babies. For those other people who don’t get it…well you’ll never see them again.

For that Dutch couple that was yelling at us? I don’t speak Dutch, so I had no idea what they were saying. I’d say that worked out well for everyone!

Postpartum World_ICON_4C_Yellow Rattle

Do you Call it Postpartum?

I am absolutely 100% at fault for doing this.

I call my perinatal depression, ‘postpartum’ or ‘postpartum depression’ all the time. I mean, look at the title of my blog. It’s Postpartum World. That was intentional – as it’s describing my journey in the postpartum period of motherhood and I wanted to write about all things motherhood since my motherhood felt so singular and isolated. However, I’m starting to catch myself more and use terms like perinatal mood disorder, perinatal depression, prenatal depression and so forth.

Continue reading “Do you Call it Postpartum?”

5 Reasons why I LOVED my C-section

When people ask me about having my son, my story always seems to invoke sentiments of pity when I talk about having my c-section. It’s kind of funny to me, because before I gave birth (and yes, having a c-section is ‘giving birth’), I really didn’t care how it happened. My objective from the start was (a la Mad Max): “two will enter, three will leave”. However that was going to happen was pretty much fine for me. I’d also heard horror stories from my friends from their births – and it really didn’t seem to matter if they had a natural, vaginal or c-section birth. Frankly I had no expectations.

But let’s give c-sections a fair shake here. There’s actually loads of reasons why they’re a great option if that’s the route you end up on. I kind of loved mine.

Continue reading “5 Reasons why I LOVED my C-section”

“Weight – you gained HOW much?”

Some of you know that I gained about more than 70 pounds after I got pregnant, mostly due to my prenatal depression. I had spent some time losing weight in 2011, 2012 and 2013. I was at my high school weight in March of 2013. It was hard work, but I did it.

Oh hello, high school weight!

145. It felt great to be there.

My weight slowly climbed upward as I was less rigorous about my diet. I got injured and had to take some time off from running, which didn’t help. Running was a great stress reliever for me – something I really enjoyed…and it helped keep off the pounds when I would go out with friends or share a bottle of wine with neighbors. In 2014 I started training for the Marine Corps Marathon and gained about 10 or 15 pounds as I was eating everything in sight.

So when we discovered that I was pregnant, I was already about 15 pounds heavier than I wanted to be. As morning sickness (or really, all afternoon and evening sickness) set in, I lost a bit. I did OK for the first couple of months. But prenatal depression killed my energy. At the time I thought it was just pregnancy, but it progressed into the second and then third trimester. Not only that, I was eating my feelings. Some people fail to eat when they are depressed…but I eat. Even with my shrinking stomach, I ate pastas, muffins, “second breakfasts”, cakes and anything carb related. For those who know me – it was strange behavior. I can’t stand pastas and rarely eat carbs outside of chocolate cake (which I also don’t eat that frequently).

Continue reading ““Weight – you gained HOW much?””

More than Just a Breast

Guest post by Lisa D’archangelo

It’s safe to say that most of my expectations of having a baby were blown out of the water by actual reality. I mean… millions of people have babies every day; how hard could it be… right?

Expectation: Hey, I’ve never been off of work for an entire 3 months – I’m going to get SO much done on maternity leave!  

Reality: OMG I haven’t showered in 2 days, I can’t remember the last time I ate, and I’d choose sleep over either of those things.

I also envisioned a beautiful, bonding breastfeeding experience with my baby, which would enhance our relationship. I expected to nurse my baby for at least a year. I mean… millions of women breastfeed every day; how hard could it be… right?

What I couldn’t have predicted was the massive amount of time and logistics involved in breastfeeding; especially after going back to work full time. 

Continue reading “More than Just a Breast”

Quitting’s Hard

Change is hard. It’s also true that the only thing that’s constant, is change.

We deal with change in our lives all the time. But it seems that little presents as much change as having a child. In your normal life, you go through a series of changes. Sometimes they’re sudden, but many times they happen slowly, over time. You have time to work up to that change. Graduating college, for example, is a change 22 years in the making. All of your choices lead up to it. You know it’s coming, for years.

With children, the changes happen rapid fire.

Continue reading “Quitting’s Hard”