the one about staring at the baby.

I’ve had quite a few tumultuous struggles this past week with Addie in school for seven hours a day.

For example:

Stare at the baby or scrub the toilets?

the snoozy baby diaries.

(Answer: Stare at the baby and then put the baby in a bouncy seat whilst toilet scrubbing.)

Stare at the baby or go to the grocery store?

the snoozy baby diaries.

(Answer: Stare at the baby while grocery shopping, leading to multiple run-ins with various store displays. *ehem*)

Stare at the baby or vacuum?

the snoozy baby diaries.

(Answer: Stare at the baby while wearing the baby and vacuum.)

Stare at the baby or get something done while the baby is napping?

the snoozy baby diaries.

(Answer: Stare at the baby until you fall asleep with the baby and wake up to the baby singing to you in her sweet baby voice.)

Stare at the baby or organize the junk mail counter of doom?

please. let's discuss this face shall we?

(Answer: Stare at the baby, period. That counter is ridiculous.)

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Infantino Comforting Play Collection. {review & giveaway}

Addie, Vivi and I spent the morning playing with some new toys courtesy of Infantino.

Infantino Comforting Play Collection

Addie’s favorite were the foot rattles.

Infantino Comforting Play Collection

Infantino Comforting Play Collection

Infantino Comforting Play Collection

Infantino Comforting Play Collection

Infantino Comforting Play Collection

[Read more...]

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the one about me not being able to breastfeed.

Invented in the mid-1800′s as a last-ditch option for orphans and underweight babies, packaged infant formula has since been perfected to be a complete and reliable source of stress and shame for mothers.” -Tina Fey, Bossypants

I do not produce breastmilk.

I figured I’d better come clean on this whole subject since some of you may see Vivi drinking formula out of bottles in a few days.

Ironically this is World Breastfeeding Week.

Chances are there are other women like me out there who see all of this PRO BREASTFEEDING! and GO TEAM MILK BOOBS! talk and feel a rock in their stomach like I do.

The assumption of a bottle feeding mother is hardly ever a good one. Generally the assumption that tops the list is that she gave up. Or that she’s selfish. Or lazy.

I can assure you that bottle feeding does not a lazy/selfish life enable. I have to be twice as prepared when I leave the house because I do not make milk on demand.

Did I give up? Sure, I guess you could call it that if you want to. But I gave up knowing that for eight weeks I did anything and EVERYTHING I could to promote milk production. Vivi had a latch and patience breastfeeding mothers dream of.

nursing with an SNS tube.

I wanted this to work so bad you guys.

I wanted to breastfeed Vivi exclusively just as badly as I wanted to be pregnant.

But my body…it didn’t oblige.

Many bodies out there don’t produce what comes naturally to so many others. Some bodies don’t produce enough tears, some bodies don’t produce enough insulin, some bodies don’t produce enough estrogen, some bodies don’t produce sweat, some bodies don’t produce sperm and some bodies don’t produce babies.

Just because someone has all the parts doesn’t mean they all work in harmony (or at all.)

But a body that doesn’t produce breastmilk is the only one that is judged both openly and silently on a fairly regular basis.

Can you imagine someone who suffers from dry eye syndrome being accosted for putting eye drops in their eyes? “Those have chemicals in them! THEY ARE UNNATURAL! What, are you so selfish that you can’t bother to cry your own tears? Your eyes are going to be damaged, don’t you care?

(I realize the ratio of people who think this way is 1:100, but that one. They are loud.)

I stuck with it. Eight weeks day and night. I did outrageous things for outrageous lengths of time at outrageous hours. People would say “I don’t know how you’re doing it.” I would respond “I can’t not, I’ll know when it’s time to be done and now isn’t the time.”

One morning I looked at a tiny baby Vivi and I said “Baby, I don’t make enough what you need. I’m sorry. I did my best.” She gave me a gummy little smile and I knew it would be okay.

That day I didn’t take fenugreek, domperidone, goat’s rue, More Milk Plus, drink my tea, wear an SNS or pump.

I never made another drop of milk.

There was no tapering. No drying up.

There was nothing. No evidence that I had ever even tried aside from the breastfeeding paraphernalia at the side of my bed.

I was never able to satiate her with breastmilk. Not even once. Not even after spending a week straight in bed doing nothing but everything I was supposed to be doing. I never leaked. I never let down. I never engorged. I never pumped more than an ounce. Combined. All day.

Those first eight weeks went so fast.

Every moment was spent trying to make more milk. Every time I nursed her I would think “This has to be it, this has to be the time I’m able to fill her up.

That time never came.

These last four weeks have been spent settling into our new routine and mourning the loss of breastfeeding.

Vivi is easily the most loved baby to ever exist. We crowd around her daily, fighting over who loves her more. She fits into our family so perfectly. Her little spirit is exactly what we never knew we were missing. Will I ever not feel a tinge of jealously when I see another mom breastfeeding? Maybe. Maybe not.

My boobs don’t work. But my heart does.

And it belongs to this little girl and her big sister. (And the guy who helped me make them for a few glorious seconds.)

four feet.

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live and diastasis.

So I have a tear down the middle of my stomach.

Technical name?

Diastasis Recti.

What does it look like?

The one on the left.

image copyright 2010 Julie Tupler, RN

Does it hurt?

Yes. Quite badly at times.

Can you feel your guts through it?

Yep, and it’s just as gross as it sounds.

Can you fix it?

Sure! But I’m learning it’s a whole hell of a lot of work to do just that.

It involves a splint. A tight splint that I have to wear day and night for at least six weeks. A tight splint that I have to wear day and night for at least six weeks in super hot and sweaty Indiana weather.

What does the splint look like?

*deep breath*

Well, before I show you what I look like with the splint on I should show you what it looks like with it off.

Wait wait wait! First, let me show you what I looked like 9 hours before I gave birth. (Perspective. It helps.)

9 hours before she came out.

Okay.

9 weeks postpartum (with a giant diastasis, remember? Good.)

11 weeks postpartum diastasis.

and while we’re at it…from the front.

9 weeks postpartum diastasis.

and now with the splint…

diastasis splint.

diastasis splint.

Yeah. That’s a lot to hold in huh?

So. There you go.

That’s what I’m dealing with over here.

It kind of sucks.

But look what I got out of it!!

my ladies.

Two of ‘em! BONUS!

Now move along and have comfort in the fact that not all of us are in bikinis eight weeks postpartum.

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time flies when you’re babbling about your baby all the time.

Things I babbled on these past two weeks…

When should babies learn to fall asleep on their own? (If you said straight out of the womb you would be correct yet oh. so. wrong.)

Songs that will forever remind me of my babies.

Vivi and her embarrassing sweat issues.

The time I didn’t agree with her doctor.

Feeding babies at the pool? OKAY! Making babies in the pool? NOT OKAY.

The war on cradle crap.

And finally…the cutest burp cloths you ever did see.

(And really finally? THE CHEEKS. More nommy than marshmallows.)

oh hello cutest baby ever.

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then and now. here and there.

Something has happened that I didn’t see coming.

And yet it makes perfect sense.

I’ve said before that I have a hard time looking at photos of myself from dark periods of my life.

Turns out I have a hard time looking at clothes from dark periods of my life as well.

Specifically, in this case, baby clothes.

tulip

I am coming to realize just how bad my postpartum depression was with Addie. I don’t remember truly enjoying a single moment of her babyhood until she hit about 7 months.

I kept telling myself that the reason I didn’t like putting Addie’s old clothes on Vivi was because they were the wrong season (Addie being a December baby and Vivi being a May baby, not to mention they both have very different spirits about them.)

But as I went through Vivi’s drawers today I picked up a onesie that I distinctly remember Addie wearing. And I distinctly remember feeling very, very absent when she wore it.

I held it in my hands.

It was just a shirt.

I looked back to Vivi’s drawer and saw other clothes that belonged to Addie during those first seven months. They brought back a feeling I can only describe as a very heavy rock on my heart. I took out the outfits that belonged to Addie and rearranged the drawer so only Vivi’s clothes were showing.

I felt better.

When Addie’s clothes were gone the drawer became the me I am now. New. Recovered. Restored.

Being somewhat sure that I was only imagining things I went into the closet where some little dresses hang that Addie never actually wore. They stayed on their hangers until she was too big for them and they were packed away in hopes that another little girl would someday occupy them.

They didn’t give me the same feelings as the clothes she did wear.

And towards the back of the closet hang Addie’s bigger clothes…9 months on.

They do not stir up the same emotions from me as the tiny clothes do.

I am experiencing a lot of what I believe would be considered guilt over Addie’s babyhood. She was well cared for and very well loved. I have evidence that this was so, I just don’t remember being the one doing it.

I never want her to think I loved her any less than her sister. Because I don’t, the feelings involved are just so very different and working through them has been confusing at times.

Addie is my heart.

Addie.

Vivi is my soul.

miss vivi. 8 weeks.

And I could never live without either.

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blessed.

Cody blessed Vivi in the living room of the home where he grew up.

She wore tiny gold ballet slippers, a handmade flower, a tiny crystal bracelet and a dress crocheted by a grandmother in Arizona.

Blessed

Blessed

Blessed

Blessed

Blessed.

It was all perfection.

She is perfection.

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gratuitous baby babble.

There is only one beautiful baby in the world, and every mother has it.” -Chinese Proverb

6 weeks6 weeksextreme baby close up

There are lots of beautiful babies in the world, but mine is totally the nummiest.”

-moosh in indy proverb

And with that I have officially become one of those people who is completely obsessed with their baby, which is really good news because as of July 1st I will be writing about life with that little chubby face up there every day on Babble’s Baby’s First Year blog. (!!!)

Happy weekend!

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