10 things no one tells you about breastfeeding

1. It’s hard – anyone that says differently is a liar, a man, or both. Those first few weeks are like putting the ultimate 3D jigsaw puzzle together.

2. It’s painful – even if your baby doesn’t squeeze your nipples and somehow latches on perfectly, they will still crack, bleed and peel – the first week. But you know what fixes that?

3. Breast milk will heal cracked nipples – I did everything until a nurse said ‘just express a little milk and rub it on them’. They were better the next day!

3. Your nipples go numb – which is awesome, because then you can start to truly enjoy breastfeeding and focus on making baby comfortable. And you, which is important if you are going to stick it out for the long haul.

4. THEN it gets easy – it’s like a right of passage; if you can stick it out those first few weeks, it eventually gets easier and pain-free. That’s good, because then…..

5. You will worry about making enough milk, always – those first few weeks and months you make a ton of it (freeze it! You will need it!) but then your amazing body will regulate and make exactly what baby needs. Which will freak you out. Don’t worry. If your pediatrician says baby is a healthy weight, you are doing just fine. Put down all those herbs and just stick with water and a healthy diet.

6. You may gain weight – seriously. Nursing burns 200-300 calories, sometimes more, but you will also be starving! And if you are like me and slow to heel, your body will hold on to all that fat regardless of how many calories you cut. Panda is 5 months and the scale is just now moving.

7. Get the good pump – you will use it, a lot. It will help with milk production the first few weeks and allow you to untether from baby occasionally in later months. Get the hands free bra and the double pump, and you can get the job done in under 10 minutes while sending emails/pinning to Pinterest. Call your insurance carrier and they will hook you up with a free pump. Mine was $300 retail. How much did I pay? $0. Thanks ACA.

8. It can get messy – my baby gets too much in her mouth and dribbles it out of the side of her mouth onto by bra, shirt, and everything. I have found that putting the burping cloth under her in the crevice between the two of us helps.

9. Pumping at work is super hard, but doable – I had to pump in the bathroom with no sink or outlet the first few months back. It was miserable, but I kept telling myself it would get better, and it did. I got a battery pack and washed all the parts in the community kitchen. I got into a groove with my nursing schedule and it just became part of my day.

10. Baby will love it, and you will too BUT it really is ok if you don’t – if you can make it work and push through the hard stuff, it’s a wonderful bonding experience for you and baby on top of all the health benefits. But it’s also not the end of the world if you can’t. Baby will get plenty of nutrition from formula and you will still bond. I’m breastfeeding Panda, but couldn’t with Squishy Bug. Squishy Bug and I are just as close, though.

It’s not really about the breast milk or organic baby food or baby wearing, it’s about nurturing. So Relax Mamma Bear, and just love your baby. The rest will work itself out.

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Making The Decision to Quit

Panda will be 5 months next week and I have almost accomplished my goal of finding part time employment that can be performed at home.

Finding real remote work, part time or full, is extremely difficult. First you have to sift through scams, and then when you find something legitimate you have to compete with every job applicant in the world.

Really.

Because remote work can be done from anywhere. So that means everyone on our planet is applying to that job.

But through a little networking and a stroke of good luck, I have secured two part time gigs that will cover half the salary I need to cover my part of our household expenses.

Now the tricky part – quitting my day job.

But the really tricky part is not quitting, but convincing my boss to let me reduce my hours to contract hours AND work from home – which no one has ever done.

I have threatened my husband multiple times about doing this. It’s my way of working up the courage to walk into my boss’s office and ask for what I want.

See, I wasn’t really raised to ask for what you want. That’s not what Southern Girls do.

We simper and smile and occasionally ‘suggest’.

Then a big strong man with a gun and lots of money comes along to save the day. Easy as apple pie.

But that’s not really my thing, the simpering and passive aggressive behavior, so I have to slap some water on my face and get in there.

But it’s scary, and I don’t want to.

Because it’s not just about personal rejection. It’s about not being able to accept it.

Oh, I’ve learned to deal with rejection and I can take constructive criticism like a champ, but this whole thing isn’t about me; it’s about Squishy Bug and Panda. So my boss has to say yes.

I don’t really know how it’s going to go, but I am going to have to make a move very soon, because my other small jobs are going to require more of me. I’m sort of doing it all right now, but that won’t be sustainable for very long.

I guess I am going to have to march in there with my chin up and a smile on my face and just be honest.

And tactical.

Because whether I like it or not, the world only sees value in you for what you can produce.

So I am going to have to prove my worth and offer added value to the proposition of working contract instead of salary.

We will see how it goes.

 

I’m Sorry Blog

Neglect thy name is Mommyverse. I have really let the grass grow over here for the past two weeks. And I am going to have to let it grow a little longer until Monday. In short this week has been mountains of work, parents and babies, finger tumors and blood work. I’ll elaborate later. Thanks for checking in, though. Happy 4th everybody!