The dreaded...


So, until pretty much this week, I've been breastfeeding exclusively. In case you don't know, there's this pressure to put a lot of pride into your ability to breastfeed. It's kinda like before you have the baby, there's pressure to take pride in your ability to handle pain (or your psycho-ness) and have the baby "naturally" or with no meds. And while that's great for some people, a good friend reminded me right before I had Jack that having a baby naturally means you push him out! Not that you do it with no help from that adorable epidural needle. Anyhow, you can guess that I did not take pride in my ability to handle pain, and wanted to hug the epidural man with all might...but I was in the middle of a terrible contraction and couldn't! So I was in the "stab me in the back" group.

Breastfeeding is the same thing. There are entire organizations devoted to making you feel bad if you don't breastfeed your child until they can tell you they're hungry. Now, before you say anything, I know. I know breast milk is best, nothing can replace it, all the antibodies, etc. I know. And Jack's been doing great breastfeeding. In the beginning, we had a little trouble with latching on, so I've been using a nipple shield (it's like this nipple protector thing) which also helped with the excruciating pain that resulted in scabbing and made me cry when he would try to feed! But with the shield in place, he's been a champ.

One of my breasts is a much better milker than the other, which might be TMI...if so, quit reading now! In fact, if you look at me, I'm totally lopsided. Don't look at me. I called the lactation consultant (yes, they have those) and she said that's fine, no big deal.

Two weeks ago, we introduced Jack to a bottle so that we could have family babysit and go more than a 1.5 hour radius from the house. Well, he fell in love. With none other than the plastic bottle that gives that milk so much easier than mom's bossom. The night after the first bottle was terrible, resulting in a lot of crying, from both Jack and me...and probably Jeff, he just hides it well. Jack didn't want to work so hard to get his meals, and was screaming at the top of his lungs to let us know it! Now, Jack is not a crier. He cries when something's wrong, and even then, it takes him quite a while to get into a full fledged screaming cry! Something was definitely wrong...he wanted the bottle over his mamma! Oh my aching heart.

Now, I'm not in love with breastfeeding. I'm just not. It's great, I get to cuddle with the little guy, hold him close, and thinking that I am producing exactly what he needs is pretty great. But I am surely not a mom who will nurse until he's old enough to walk. It's the pressure of the pride that makes me want to do it! And that's a little shameful.

Anyways, this week, after Jack gets what mamma's made, he's screaming and wailing like he hasn't been fed in days. In fact, usually, before he even is off the boob, he's squirming around and grunting like he's trying to get water from a rock.

Enter formula. My doctor told me from my first visit, when Jack was 2 days old, don't feel bad about giving him a bottle. He said sometimes mamma needs a break! So from that perspective, I'm proud that I've waited this long. From the breast feeding camp, I can't believe he's only 5.5 weeks old and I'm giving him formula. But you know what, if it fills his little tummy and makes him happy, pride be gone! I'm giving that precious thing formula.

Last night he got 2 ounces of formula after his last day time feeding. Oh my goodness... you should have heard those grunts and toots that formula virgin tummy produced!!!!!!! All night long.
Just look at how precious he is! Imagine that sweet face screaming at you, right after you've fed him all you've got...and tell me you wouldn't resort to the bottle!!!

Our First Picnic

The weather is amazing right now. Warm enough during the day for jeans or shorts and a t-shirt, but a sweatshirt is a must once the sun goes down. The sun is shining, there's a cool of the few days in Texas that actually feels like fall!!!

Yesterday evening was our first church picnic, and Jack's first picnic! I think he had fun, although the playground slide and jungle gym were a little over his head. I made homemade potato soup and beer bread, and sat with wonderful friends and had a great time! Jack was sporting his adorable outfit that Leah gave him. Everyone loved it! Just in case you can't tell, it says "I'm beary scary" on it! Eek! He's so cute!

He did sleep in his carseat for a while, but woke up once it was dinner time. I feel like 90% of the pictures we have of Jack are when he's sleeping...I promise he's awake sometimes!

So, last night, Jeff and I left the little one (for the first time) and headed out to a nice dinner. It was wonderful to just be together, not wondering when he's about to wake up, worrying that he's too hot or was just nice! My mom was with Jack and I think she enjoyed it, and we did, too. I missed him, but honestly, sometimes it's just nice to get away! And last night was nice because I wasn't just leaving him with Jeff to run to Target!

We came home, chatted with mom a bit, and got everyone ready for bed. Jack ate at about 8:15 and probably went down at about 9. He's been nursing every 4 hours, so Jeff and I headed to bed around 10 to try to get in a little sleep before feeding #1 of the night.

Around 3am, I woke up. Not to grunting or screaming that I interpret to mean "FEED ME!!"...I just woke up. First thought he alive? Scary! I jumped out of bed and peeked in his bed...looks like he's sleeping...put my hand on his little chest to make sure he's, he is. He's just SLEEPING! That means he's been sleeping since 9pm...6 hours! What? I crept back into bed, hoping not to wake the little one, knowing that he'd let me know if he's hungry...if I get to sleep fast, maybe I could get in a few more minutes before he wakes up!

I roll over at 5am and hear a little grunting. #1, he's still alive, #2...I've been sleeping for 7 hours! Count them, 7 hours! Not 7 hours spanned between the hours of 8pm and 8am, 7 hours in the last 7 hours! A-maz-ing.

I almost didn't know what to do! The last time I slept more than 3 hours at a time was, oh, 5 weeks ago! It was wonderful.

And so I send this note out to Jack:

Dear Jack,

You did such a great job sleeping last night! Did you see how much more patient and happy mommy was today after getting a reasonable amount of sleep? I know you can do just as well tonight...and tomorrow night, and the next night, and the next night... Just so you know, you're such a good boy, even if (when) you wake me up tonight every 4 hours and make my 7 hour night seem like a dream, I will feed you, whisper things about sleeping for a few extra hours in your ear, and nicely put you back to sleep.

Love and hugs,


First Trip to Palestine

We packed up the car this past weekend to make the treck to the motherland...our first long car trip! Jack's been a pretty good car rider, especially since we introduced the pacifier (whoever invented those things deserves a Nobel Peace Prize) so we weren't too worried about him...

The trip is about 2.5 hours (half of the time it took me to pack our house for the trip) and for the first hour and a half, he was great! That last hour wasn't too pleasant...he was just ready to be out. Understandable, but not peaceful!

The weekend was great, had some good time with family, good time with friends, and Jack was an absolute angel! He slept through all the parts I'd prayed he'd sleep through, and was awake and not too fussy when he should have been.

I was really excited for Jack to meet my grandpa.

My friends from high school and their moms threw me a "Sip and See" party so all of the ladies in town could stop by and meet Jack. It was wonderful and so nice to see everyone!

Things Motherhood has Done to Me

I forget to eat. This has NEVER been a problem for me before...and I mean never. I can't think of one time in my life before this when lunch time has slipped by me.

I wear foundation. I've never worn foundation! How else can one cover up these bags under ones sleep deprived eyes?

It's made me a really good napper. Before this, I wasn't one for a maybe once a year, I'd nap. Now a nap is a necessity!

Even when I'm standing without Jack, I'm constantly swaying!

I now completely understand why moms do all the things I said I'd never do as a mother. And I will never again, even in the slightest way, judge another mom for doing pretty much anything they said not to do in those pre-birth classes. Being a mom to a newborn is hard! You'd be crazy to not at least entertain the thought of giving a pacifier before they say it's ok to or thinking bottle feeding sure would be easier than breast. It takes a lot of patience to be a mom to Jack. A lot! I can even see how moms do the crazy extreme things they do...sometimes in the middle of the night when the sweet thing won't stop crying and I've tried everything in my bag of tricks for hours on end and nothing's working, I can understand how moms end up doing the crazy things they do! Don't worry, I'm not about to jump off the ledge, I'm just saying...I can understand.

Hate to end on a negative look how cute he is!

Oh, and it's also made me have long fingernails...only because if I can't do something with one hand, chances are it doesn't get done very often. And filing is one of those things!