A bit of background:
So I have rheumatoid arthritis. Mostly it's manageable, but for the past few weeks it's been pretty out of control. As in, some days I can't walk or pick up New Baby. It's been very frustrating, as I am someone who likes to be self sufficient, and as my husband travels a lot and my family is a 4 hour plane flight away. Most of the drugs for rheumatoid arthritis are not compatible with breastfeeding. So, as I saw it, I had a few choices.
1. Take an ineffective drug and be unable to care for my kids.
2. Shop around for a doctor who would prescribe me the drugs I needed while breastfeeding (La Leche League claims that if you look hard enough you can find a doctor who will let you try meds while nursing).
3. Quit nursing and take the medicine I need to be able to care for my kids.
I went with #3. I know breastfeeding is best, but I think New Baby would be best served if I could pick her up and play with her. Also, she's almost 6 months old, so she's had at least some breastmilk (hopefully enough to keep her ear infection free!).
I've got a lot of mixed feelings on stopping. I was pretty sad to stop for awhile. I actually enjoyed nursing this time around and was proud of how well I was doing. I was especially sad to learn I had 2 days to stop and begin taking medicine. On the other hand, honestly, it was a little freeing to feel like I could drink as much caffeine as I wanted, go braless again, and not worry about flashing strangers when New Baby pulled her nursing cover off.
Today is day one of no nursing. Honestly I mostly just feel pain. My boobs hurt so, so much. I am rocking the supertight sports bra, taking cold showers, and trying my best to not think about nursing. I look like Dolly Parton (actual photo of me shown above) but am realizing that soon my boobs will return to their almost-A cup, non-nursing size. And as it turns out? I haven't had much caffeine for over a year, and having 2 huge cups of coffee this morning was a bad choice.
Here's to sports bras (raises coffee mug).
I was watching The Today Show the other day and a panel of women were discussing the results of their poll of moms. Moms were asked to reveal their deepest secrets. An article about the complete results can be found here, but here are a few highlights.
1. Nearly 1 in 5 moms admitted to drugging their kids for special occasions such as long trips, 1 in 12 admitted to doing it just to get peace and quiet.
2. 1/2 have knowingly sent a sick kid to school/daycare
3.85% use their kids to get out of social obligations
4. 44% would rather be 15 lbs thinner than add 15 points to their kids' IQ scores.
5. Over half would rather have a good nights' sleep than mind-blowing sex.
Soooo, here's my thoughts on these points.
1. OK, I have strongly considered using the old Benadryl on a long plane flight. I'm sure my fellow passengers would have thanked me if I did. The only thing that stopped me is I just know my kid would be the one who had the opposite reaction and was just like Ricky Bobby's kid in Talladega Nights-"Chip, I'm all jacked up on Mountain Dew!"
2. I KNEW IT! And I bet the other half are bringing their kids to the Chick Fil A playplace.
3. I am all about using my kids to get out of social obligations. In fact, that's probably 10% of the reason I decided to have kids. Captain Destructo was about a week old when we figured out that she was the perfect excuse to get out of doing things we didn't want to do. Old, out of touch friend getting married 1 hour away? Sorry, the baby doesn't like car trips. Boring work party? Sorry, can't find a sitter. Awesome.
4. I'm Queen of Body Image Issues, but I'm pretty sure I'd rather my kids be 15 IQ points smarter. But my answer probably depends on what time of the month it is.
5. I think my mom reads this blog so I can't elaborate too much on my thoughts on #5. But let's just say I haven't slept in a long, long time. Long time.
The main point of the article is that moms are more stressed than ever and resorting to desperate measures. Motherhood can be completely overwhelming. My secret? I've been taking New Baby to the gym during her naptime so I can get some "me time", even though I know it ruins her morning nap. Also, I moved Captain Destructo's afternoon nap up an hour so I can watch Grey's Anatomy (it comes on at 1 on Lifetime! Score!)
If there's one thing that all moms can relate too, it's feeling dissatisfied with their bodies. There's nothing like looking into the mirror for the first time after giving birth and realizing that you still pretty much look pregnant, except with added scarring (but, in my case, awesome boobs...until I stop nursing and they deflate). I've been pretty upfront about my struggles with body image and eating disorders, so I tend to pay attention to news items about such things. I was shocked to hear about a new disorder called mommyrexia. If you've never heard of it, basically it's a trend inspired by the ridiculously thin pregnant celebrities to stay thin during pregnancy and then lose the baby weight immediately after. Honestly, I've got mixed feelings on this one. I feel like in my two pregnancies I reached both extremes. With Captain Destructo, I felt like I could finally not be on a diet after being one on for most of my adult life. So I definitely didn't diet. In fact, I ate an astronomical amount of food, and after she was born, had about 30 pounds hanging around. With New Baby, I had just lost the baby weight and was feeling good about myself when I got pregnant, so I really didn't want to go through all that again. I didn't diet per se, but I did count my calories and exercised. This time I was left with 15 pounds to lose (sidenote? There are 5 hanging around my midsection that refuse to budge. Hope they're not permanent residents.) One on hand, I think exercise in pregnancy is a good thing. I personally wouldn't run (I tried and immediately started contracting) or do any heavy lifting, but I took spin classes and I know that made people uncomfortable. I got many, many comments while heavily pregnant and at the gym, including the infamous "if you do jumping jacks your baby will fall out." On the other hand, God made our bodies to gain weight during pregnancy and yeah, you might not ever get that body back. Over exercising and dieting during pregnancy is putting your baby at risk, and you as a mom have to decide what's more important: your sweet baby or your sweet booty? Putting pressure on yourself to lose the weight immediately after can harm your weak body which has already been through so much. Additionally, you're worried about so many other things (like nursing and getting the baby to stay asleep for more than 30 seconds) that one more bit of pressure can out you over the edge. This is something that I struggle with a lot. Motherhood involves a lot of dying to self-letting your desires fall to the back burner, and looks are a part of that. Do you think being a mom means giving up on having a great body?