adventures of a mom of two teens and a preschooler

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Banned from Facebook

Pin It Some of you may know that I am an Admin on a Facebook fan page called This Milk Matters: Lactation Support Group.  Our mission is to support, connect and encourage moms in their breastfeeding journeys.  One of the things we do is share breastfeeding pictures and sometimes pumping pictures.  A few days ago, at the request of a fan, I shared the following photo:

The fan had been blocked for 3 days and wanted/needed support from other moms. A few hours after it was  posted, it was obviously reported and I got a warning message from Facebook and the post was removed.
The next day, another admin posted a link to this blog post, calling Facebook for it's double standard and blatant discrimination of breastfeeding photos and mothers.  Late last night, I tried to check into Facebook from my phone and realized I had been logged out.  When I logged in again, I got this message:

I am blocked from posting content to my personal page or any page that I admin for 24 hours.  

A few weeks ago, this image popped up in my news feed.  I reported it immediately, but got a message from Facebook saying that it would not be removed because it did not violate any of Facebook's Community Standards.  Uh huh.

Facebook, shame on you.  Please share this post and tell Facebook that this is not OK!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Yes, another post about breastfeeding

Pin It I know, I know.  It seems to be all I post about lately, but this is important y'all.  It's important to me and it could help someone else who is struggling.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I weaned Daniel at 8 months.  I was going through a phase, which I now call my "touched out" phase.  I was so done with being touched.  I was angry, overwhelmed, resentful and just plain tired of constantly being needed, kneaded, bitten, having my hair pulled, my face pinched, you name it.  What I didn't know then that my feelings were valid and that most importantly, that they would pass and I would enjoy my nursling again.  I've seen this same thing over and over again from other moms who have chosen to wean their babies earlier than their goal or earlier than one year and I want to tell them -- no shout it out loud -- "stick with it"  "just give it a day or two more"  "it's a phase and it will pass". I want to tell them that I've been there and I then lived with the regret, remorse, shame and self-anger for having weaned before my son was ready, before even I was ready.  Let's talk about it.  Don't sit alone and think your only option is to wean.  It will pass.  It will get easier again and you will be thankful that you've persevered and so will your babe.

I've done some reading and it seems to me that this phase usually happens a few times, around 6-8 months (when some moms typically see the return of their normal cycle, and the 6 month growth spurt), and around 14-16 months.  We're at 18 months now with Keelan and I've had to kick my own butt twice now to keep on keeping on.  I don't tell you that to make myself out to be a hero or a martyr or anything like that.  I tell you because I want you to know that I know.  That I have been there and I'm here to support you.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Breastfeeding is not easier than formula feeding.

Pin It I hear it all the time.  One of the benefits of breastfeeding is that it's easier than formula.  Definitely some aspects of breastfeeding are easier, but as a whole, the process is not easier.  Sure you don't have to wash bottles, or cart around powder and water while you're out and about with your little one.  Sure, you just whip out a boob in the middle of the night as opposed to getting up to mix up or heat up a bottle.  Breast milk is always the right temp and readily available.  And certainly the benefits your child gets from breastfeeding are reward enough, but if one more person tells me how easy their breastfeeding journey was, I think I'm going to scream.

I've been a formula feeding mom.  Sarah and James both thrived on formula and though I do regret not having the knowledge that I do now, then, I don't kick myself over it.  I mean, come on.  It was 1988 and 1991.  There was no internet to get the support I now have.

My breastfeeding journey with Daniel and Keelan were anything but easy and problem free.  My first problems started minutes after Daniel was born and I didn't know how to get him latch.  Add to that that he was born on a Saturday and there was no lactation consultant on duty (staffed Monday to Friday) and by the time one finally visited my room on Monday shortly before I was being discharged, I had already caved and given him formula.  When my milk came in I did purchase a pump and he was bottled fed breast milk.  I kept offering him the breast and at 3 or 4 weeks I was finally able to get him to latch and we were able to ditch the formula.  However, when he was 8 months old I was going through a touched out phase.  I didn't know it was a phase at the time and that it would pass if I persevered, so I weaned him and he continued on formula till one.  Daniel has eczema and a peanut allergy and I have to wonder if I didn't contribute to that with the formula he consumed.  Again, although I regret my decision, I don't kick myself over it.  

When you know better, you do better.  I knew better with Keelan and I was determined to breastfeed him.  While I was pregnant I read everything I could about breastfeeding.  I reached out to support groups, lactation consultants and friends who had successfully breast fed.  I wouldn't sign up for free samples of formula and wouldn't let my OB office staff give me freebies either.  I didn't want formula in the house.  At all.  Keelan too had some difficult latching, but this time I knew what to do.  Feeding him in those early days was difficult.  Getting him latched sometimes took five to ten minutes.  We trudged along, though and eventually things got easier.  We had a rhythm and a routine.  Then I developed mastitis.  Twice.  We resolved that by doing lots of nursing (and Keelan was all too happy to comply), lots of warm baths together, nursing in the tub, pumping and hand expressing.  Again we had some time where things went along smoothly with both of us enjoying our nursing time.

In March when Keelan was about 8 months old and had two top teeth and two bottom teeth, I developed two small cuts or cracks or sores on both of my nipples.  His little teeth would settle into the cracks while he nursed and the pain was excruciating.  I was able to change his latch initially and could nurse without pain, but the sores took till August to heal completely.  Nursing was not enjoyable.  Thoughts of weaning were ever present, but again we persevered.  It wasn't easy or fun and I think I cried through more than half of our feedings.  I ended up on antibiotics at one point because one of the sores got infected.  And of course, the course of antibiotics led to thrush for both of us.  Again, I had daily battles with myself over weaning and when I reached out for support I was faced with people saying to "just give up" because I had done enough and "he would be fine" and sometimes "you have to do what's best for you".  What was best for me was what was best for my son and that wasn't giving in or giving up.

Finally the sores healed and breastfeeding was enjoyable for both of us again.  It was August and Keelan was 13 months old and I had made it to my minimum goal.  I had always said I would nurse him till he weaned, but in my head I was thinking I would just be happy to get him to a year old and take formula out of the equation.  In November I noticed some pain in one breast when Keelan latched and I examined my nipples to find to my dismay more sores.  I cried.  I cried from the pain, from the injustice of it all.  I asked "why me?" and contemplated weaning yet again.  I managed to get one nipple healed right away and we spent a lot of time nursing on that side to give the other side a chance to heal.  I adjusted his latch over and over and I cried.  Over and over.

But here we are in February and Keelan is nearly 19 months old and we're still going strong.  My nipples are healed, though they have scars.  He loves his "bwee bwees" so much and barring something catastrophic  we'll keep trudging along.  It isn't always easy, it isn't always fun, or convenient or socially acceptable but it is what's best for him and that makes it what's best for me.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Asiago & cheddar mac and cheese

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1.5 lbs of elbow macaroni (or any pasta of your choosing)
1 cup of asiago cheese, shredded
1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons of cream cheese
½ stick of butter
3 tablespoons of flour
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
Salt & pepper to taste
3 cups of milk

Prepare pasta as directed (reserve some pasta water in case you need to thin your cheese sauce).  In a sauce pan melt butter over medium-high heat and whisk in flour to make a roux.  Let it simmer for about 1-2 minutes but be sure that you don’t burn it.  Add garlic and salt & pepper.  Slowly add milk being sure to stir constantly to keep it smooth.  Once milk is up to temperature, gradually add in cheeses, stirring till cheese is melted.  Add a little pasta water if sauce is too thick.   Add to cooked noodles and mix well.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

I was thinking

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I know. Scary thought, right?

Seriously though. I was thinking about my morning with Clayton. It sort of went like this:

Me: Y'all need to figure out who's cup got left on the table that the cat knocked over and clean up the water on the floor.

*ten minutes later*

Me: Seriously, guys. This needs to be cleaned up.

Clayton: Well I never get big red cups of water. Plus, I remember putting mine in the sink last night.

Me: Clayton, you either never had a red cup or put yours in the sink.  Actually, I don't care. Clean it up, please because I remember seeing Will put his in the sink last night.

Clayton: Wait, but ...

Me: Please just clean it up. I don't wasn't to argue about it.

Clayton: You have to listen to me...

Me: No. I really don't want to hear it. Not another word.

Clayton: But Rachel...

Me: No.

Clayton: argh!

Then Clayton proceeds to crumble up the bagel he was eating. All.over.the.floor.

I have to say, had this happened with either Sarah or James, I would have totally lost my shit at this point. But since I'm desperately trying to be a better mom to Will and Clayton (and Daniel and Keelan), I tried to remain calm and just work through this. I might or might not have counted to 10. Ten times.

Me: Once you clean up the water, please get the broom and clean up the bagel. Oh, and you're grounded.

But back to what I was thinking about. The next time I find a mess in the morning, I'm just gonna clean that shit up myself and avoid the drama. I know it won't really teach the kids about personal responsibility, but honestly I don't even care at this point.