Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pumping

The one thing I don't really enjoy about breastfeeding is pumping. It's just tedious, time consuming, and blah. But a necessity-especially as a working mom. So you gotta do what you gotta do.

This morning since Emma slept through the night (YEAH!!!) I was up at 5:30am, nursed, settled her down and pumped. Since Phillip was up getting ready for work we were in the kitchen chatting.

As the pumped hummed in the background he made sounds like the electric beats at a dance club. ksssk ksssk ksssk ksssk-that's what he hears in the motor of the pump.

Sometimes I hear wacko, wacko, wacko, wacko, over and over and over again.

What does your pump say to you?

And since I was up early and pumping he came to my rescue as my coffee got cold on the counter.

It may not be the most fun thing in the world but I guess it could be worse without a sense of humor.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Birth

You would think that 10 weeks after giving birth to Emma I would be over it. On to other things like her cute giggles, smiles, interactions between her and her big sister. But I'm not. I think about her birth nearly everyday. The contractions, the one fleeting moment of doubt, the warmth of the water in the birth pool, feeling her crown and the "ring of fire" and then her alive, alert, tiny body on my chest. I don't just think about her birth, I fantasize about it.

I fantasize about my next birth. My next pregnancy. The next time I will be able to feel that deeply intimate connection between me and my baby when they pass into this outer world.

When I had Sophia I remember saying and thinking the rest of our kids would be adopted because I wasn't going through that again-and I didn't really have that difficult labor and delivery. But now to know what a truly powerful birth can be like is a complete mind shift. I feel more empowered as a mother, a woman, a bearer of children than I ever could have thought possible.

But before you think I've really lost my marbles I can assure you we won't be trying to get pregnant for a few more years. We are enjoying being parents of a toddler and a squishy and adorable infant. For a few more years I will live vicariously through many friends that currently expecting. But I do want to share this poem to all mothers-regardless if they are newly pregnant, on the verge of welcoming their little one, or are done having babies. The message is unmistakable.

I found this on the Empowering Birth Blog.

Invitation to Birthing From Within Mothers

With thanks to Oriah Mountain Dreamer for inspiration


It doesn't interest me how many prenatal books you've read,

I want to know if you hear your child whisper to you

when you lie awake at night.


It doesn't interest me who you are

or where you came from,

I want to know if your authentic mother warrior will awaken

when you birth your baby with all that you have.


It doesn't interest me if you have a birth plan

or where you plan to give birth.

I want to know that you will meet your birth

with an open mind and open heart.

I want to know if you can fully embrace the path

you must journey

to birth yourself as a mother.


It doesn’t interest me if you birth in silence

or as a lioness roars.

I want to know if you are willing to do

whatever it takes to birth your baby,

regardless of how you look,

how you sound,

or what others may think.

I want to know if you are willing to journey

to your depths and through the unknown.


It doesn't interest me how many stitches you get,

I want to know how you are moving in your body.

I want to know if you can take each movement

of your achy dripping body

and know that it has done a marvelous, miraculous thing.


It doesn't matter to me how you feed your baby.

I want to know if you are willing

to nurture your baby

from the depths of your soul and with

unconditional love.


I want to know if in the dark of night,

you can raise your tired bones and weary spirit

and do what needs to be done to care for your children


I want to know if you are willing to give up

your judges and ideals of a perfect parent

and surrender to your heart

and belly

to love your baby until you ache.


This work was compiled and edited by Juji Woodring with contributions from Alejandrina in AZ, Lia from South Africa, Alisa from Texas, Charlene, and Tamara D.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Not Baby Related: Books

My husband, a VERY well read man, always gets on my case for a)the dribble I read and b) not having read "the classics." He gripes that I must not have received with a good education in Ohio's public schools-I beg to differ-we just read different books than they did in North Carolina.

I have read some- Johnny Tremain, To Kill a Mocking Bird, The Crucible, The Great Gatsby, Red Badge of Courage, 1984, Fahrenheit 451, etc. But there are many pages I have left unturned - Huck Finn, Lolita, Lord of the Flies, Brave New World, The Grapes of Wrath, etc.

Every summer when I happen into Barnes and Noble and see their "Summer Reading" tables filled with classics I vow that I'm going to start reading what I apparently should have read about 15 years ago. And I never open a single cover.

So where do I begin? If you were my high school English teacher what would you have on my summer reading list? What contemporary books need to be added to the list?

This summer I'm going to finally do my summer reading. And conveniently, because my husband LOVES books I know we have many of these classics sitting on the many bookshelves in our home.

Can't wait to read your recommendations.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Updates

No thought provoking post today just general updates on the kiddos!

Sophia is 99.5% potty trained! Break out the champagne! She has only had accidents 2 of the past 25 days and one of those was because she was having too much fun playing! She has been wearing undies to bed and has woken up dry 11 out of 12 days since we transitioned out of the pull ups! She has also been successful in pooping on the potty and has been more regular too! So weird that my measure as a successful mom is my daughter's bathroom habits!

Sharing a room with Emma continues to go well. I put Emma down shortly after Sophia went to bed on Sunday night. Sophia wanted to look at her balloon but was less than happy when after looking at it I told her she couldn't keep it in her bed because it wasn't safe. A fit ensued. Emma slept right through Sophie's crying and screaming. Amazing.

Emma is two months today! We don't have our 2 month appointment until later this month so I'll have to update on her growth then. She took her first 'real' nap yesterday! She slept for 2 hours and 20 minutes in her crib. It was great.

We are headed to Ohio soon for my dad's retirement party. I'm looking forward to all of my siblings and extended family meeting Emma. Being so spread out across the country it makes me sad that they usually don't get to meet the wee ones until they are not so wee anymore so this is great timing and it will be fun to be among family for the second time in six months!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Mother's Day

I'm still not used to this holiday. This will be my third "Mother's Day" and I don't know what to feel. Isn't everyday Mother's Day? We tend to our children. Give them our love and affection-hope they reciprocate it!

Mother's Day to me is not a holiday in May but the day my children were born. The most selfless act of love was enduring the pains of labor and feeling them descend from the womb through my body and into the world. The joy and excitement and love that makes your heart grow three sizes-that is the ultimate Mother's Day for me.

I feel blessed to have been able to share this intimate experience with my Mom twice now. She was by my side when Sophia was born. Rubbing my back, putting cool compresses on my forehead, wasn't offended when I told her to stop touching me when I was in the final stage of labor, and although she swore she was going to stay "north" during the birth she was their encouraging me and cheering me on during the hour and a half of pushing-just like she was their on the sidelines of a soccer game telling me to run!

And again just two months ago Mom was in my bedroom fearlessly watching me give birth to our second daughter in a pool of water. Something she was skeptical about but knew it was what I wanted and is now a "convert."

These moments are what make me feel like a mother. And these are the moments I choose to reflect upon today. Not chocolate or shiny things or the desire to be left alone but the moment I became a mother and my mother became a grandmother yet again. Perpetuating what motherhood is all about. And one day I hope I can share the experience of becoming a mother with my girls when they are ready to have children of their own.

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Sisters, Sisters....

"There were never more devoted sisters..."

Eight weeks into their sibling-hood and they still like each other! Well Emma doesn't really have a choice right now but Sophia does!

I was really expecting some "Mama put her back!" or "Can't she go away now?" But Sophia has really been nothing but enamored with Emma since she arrived. She just LOVES Emma. She is quick to get a pacifier or oversee a diaper change. She has frequently let Emma 'borrow' her green blanket and Smokey Bear. And she loving test drives all of the soft, squishy stuffed animals Emma has received as gifts to make sure they are worthy of her little sister's love.

The other thing Sophia is sharing with her little sister? Her bedroom.

I finally started putting Emma to bed in her crib about two weeks ago. This has gone better than expected but started out rough. The first night I put her in her crib I had the monitor on and couldn't sleep worth a darn. I couldn't decipher Sophia's noises from Emma's noises. I slept with my head in a precarious angle to keep an ear toward the monitor. I think Emma slept for about three hours before I retrieved her for nursing. I think she could have slept longer but because I couldn't sleep I mistook her grunts and moans as a feeding cue. The next night was better but I still prematurely got her from bed. I carried her into our room to nurse but upon laying her down in the bed she slept for three more hours!

Sophia doesn't really seemed to be bothered by Emma's cries or little grunts when sleeping. When I go in the room at night to get Emma sometimes Sophia will sit up in bed and look at us but then goes right back to sleep. Other times she continues to sleep right through. I was worried that she would wake up each time and want to join us in bed. Luckily for all of us, this is not the case.

The other thing that has amazed me about these two small creatures sharing a room and space in general is their absolute oblivion to one another. They both seem to tune out each other's cries, tantrums, fits, etc. It's like the other doesn't exist. They just go about their business without a care in the world. Sophia often is right in Emma's face when she is crying and only tries to console her little sister "It's okay Emma, it's okay." And then she'll try to soothe her with a pacifier! Emma apparently completely blocks out Sophia's tantrums as if she can hear nothing.

"We think and we act as one
Those who've seen us
Know that not a thing could come between us"