Wednesday, April 30, 2008

That's All Folks...

Monday night was my last time nursing Kendall. I am beyond sad, but I know it was for the best.

After writing this post, we had one of our worst nights ever. So I decided to pump and try just formula to see what would happen. I wanted to know if it was me or the formula giving her trouble. Apparently, it was me because she instantly took a turn for the better. Three -- count them -- ONE.TWO.THREE long naps during the day and only one night waking to feed. She was/is a different baby.

For a few days, I tried nursing her first thing in the morning for "bonding," but she wasn't all that interested anymore. So I tried to nurse during her night feeding, assuming she would be all sleepy and cuddly. Not so much. She was clearly done with me.

That may sound harsh, but that's how it feels. It hurts. But as Mama C-ta so beautifully wrote here, sometimes being a mom is about letting go. About doing what is best, even when it breaks your heart. After all, I truly only wanted Kendall to be comfortable, and that is what happened. So now I step back... even with the painful knowledge that this may be the last child I ever nurse.

None of it makes sense to me. My breast milk should be the easiest thing for her to digest, the gentlest on her tummy. It is supposed to be the healthiest option. Yet, for some reason, it isn't in our case. Honestly, that makes me mad.

But even more so, it makes me sad. The sad that hits you in the gut and makes you want to bury your head in your hands and sob. So that's what I did on Monday. I cried. Hard.

I cried for the 11 long days in the hospital when nursing was the only thing that kept me sane. When I missed Emma so very much. When I was scared that things just kept going wrong. When I was frustrated that they weren't letting me leave. When I was wincing in agonizing pain. In the midst of it all, I had the honor of feeding my newborn daughter. I could look down and watch her peacefully eat without a care in the world. She needed me and loved me, and that gave me a reason to be happy. It gave me strength.

I cried for all that I will miss. I will miss watching her come up from a feeding, arching her back with little fists clenched in a big stretch. I will miss the naps on my shoulder that we often took together. I will miss the late-night feedings when it was just the two of us laying side by side. And I will miss the sacrifices that I made so that she knew how very much I wanted to help her.

I cried because it isn't fair. I tried so hard to make this work, but in the end, it wasn't enough. Between the shots I'd have to take because of my pulmonary embolism and the possibility of gestational diabetes again, Kendall may very well be my last child. That is enough to tear any mom's heart out.

So I am sad, but you know what, that's okay:
"Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart." Ecclesiastes 7:3

God lead me to this passage on Monday during my devotional time. You know what the name of my devotion was? "Celebrating Sadness." I know, He is too good.

The devotion reminded me that God created every emotion we feel. And that sadness can be good. It makes us reflect. It makes us feel. Look at how many wonderful works of art were produced out of sadness. Sometimes it feels good to be sad, to cry. God will meet us wherever we are.

My heart is sad, yes. But it is full of God, and it is full of hope. After all, He is healing my baby's stomach.

He has answered my prayer.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

'Bean there...

So we are officially going through the "stick things up your nose" stage. Yesterday it was a black bean; today it was a pea. And she gets them stuck up there good.

Needless to say, I am trying to strategically plan tomorrow's meals...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Fashion Friday: Blue is the new yellow


This color blue just makes me happy. Maybe because it shows off my girls' eyes, or maybe it's because it reminds me of the clear blue skies we've been seeing lately. Not sure. All I know is that this color combined my babies' smiles are giving me much joy today!




Monday, April 21, 2008

Mommyland update

So it's been a while since I've written a Mommyland entry, but with good reason. It hasn't been fun. In fact, you can always tell if I've had a bad week by the lack of posts or if they seem a little forced.

I've never wanted to make this blog about me and my feelings. I'm not comfortable working out my "issues" online. But you know what, I really need to vent.

Let me just put it out there: Kendall's stomach sucks. It has caused more worrying than I ever had with Emma. At first, I wasn't as worried simply because I had been through this with Emma, and she was more than fine 2.5 years later. Miss Emma has more than thrived and sleeps awesome now, so I kept telling myself, "This too shall pass."

But the process has been long. I have been on a very strict nursing diet for 6 long months now, with little to no success. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, effects Miss Kendall's stomach. To the point that for much of her life, I've been afraid to eat. I seriously say a little prayer for her protection every time I put a morsel in my mouth. Not a fun way to live.

We've tried Holistic remedies, with no success. And now we're trying hypoallergenic formula, with little success. I tried so hard to fight the formula thing, but I am shrinking again and well, my sanity is just about gone. I want to do what's best for Kendall, but I don't know if I can feel completely responsible for her digestive system anymore. I wish I could say, "To hell with it," and eat normal again AND nurse her, but I don't know how to do it. I don't know how NOT to blame myself when she has a bad night or day.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm totally aware that a lot of this is about my control issues. I have MORE than thought all of this through, and I realize that this diet makes me feel like I am doing everything I can to help Kendall, even if it is not helping. Once again, I am trying to fix, trying to control, trying to make things "the way they should be." So I don't want pity here.

And as much as I want to nurse Kendall, I also think that pride is getting in the way of me making the right decision. My pride that always sets "goals' and works hard to achieve them. I WILL nurse my second child for a year. That was my goal. But am I doing that at the expense of my child? I really don't know anymore.

I have honestly agonized over the decision of whether or not to continue nursing or to move on to formula. She doesn't sleep either way. Her reflux bothers her no matter what, and she has crazy gas. Sometimes she just wiggles in discomfort, other nights she cries out in pain as her stomach spasms under my arm. And some nights she moans herself to sleep.

She doesn't poop for days. Although since we've been supplementing, that has changed. A good thing? Not sure. It's pretty mucousy, but then again, it always has been. She's never had blood in her stool, like Emma did, but I've also completely avoided milk from the beginning.

So what is my point? I have no clue. I just know that I want my baby to have a good night. I want something to help her. And man, I want to eat.

Granted, a lot more could be wrong. My baby is thriving. She is absolutely adorable. She is a happy, happy baby, and giggles at the drop of a hat. She melts my heart with one look.

So I guess I ask for prayer as I (we) continue to decide what is best for our child. And as solids start becoming a part of the picture, my fears only intensify.

It shouldn't be this hard or dramatic, I know, but when you are trying to do the best for your child, you can never second guess enough. I know I have driven my family and Jeff crazy with this, which is why I am writing now. I am hoping that this might help me get it all out. Help me move on. Help stop the hamster wheel spinning in my head.

So there it is. I could write more, but I'm tired of thinking about it all. Let's just hope tonight is a good night.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Fashion Friday: Capris... finally!

Let's just hope this weather is here to stay!


Monday, April 14, 2008

Let's Talk About It: Staying Humble

We are having a typical, face-to-face potty conversation, when Emma stops and points to my mouth.

E: Mommy, your tooth.

M: Yes, those are my teeth.

E: But your tooth, Mommy.

M: Yes, honey that is my tooth. What about it?

E: It's, it's tipping over.

[long pause]

M: No, honey. It's just crooked. Thanks for noticing.

E: Your welcome, Mommy.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Fashion Friday: Sweet as a Rose

She seriously melts my heart with that sweet smile.
Hat and onsie courtesy of Grammie!



Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Let's Talk About It: Encouragement

Emma and I are paging through the new Little Einsteins coloring book Grandma & Grandpa gave her for Easter, and we come to a page that asks you to draw in creatures of the sea. Emma suggests I draw some fish and starfish. Of course, I draw away.

Then she says: "Mommy, draw Ariel."

I respond: "A mermaid? Oh no, Emma. I don't think Mommy can draw a mermaid."

E: "Yes, you can, Mommy. You can do it. You're a great Mommy!"

How could I say no to that?