Bittersweet changes

by Kim on February 26, 2013

The nest has been not-so-healthy for the past few days. I feel like I’m coming out from under a rock and into the sunshine another dreary winter day. (<—Cheery huh?)

Remember how I was so proud of myself for taking Mason to the gym daycare center last week? Yeah, well, what I didn’t know then was that he’d brought a little souvenir home with him.

The stomach flu.

He was the first to get it…let’s just say that Saturday was a messy day.

IMG_2786 This was after two outfits had bitten the dust and I’d given up on clothes.

Luckily, he was in pretty good spirits, and didn’t seem to be too uncomfortable.

But then, on Sunday, it was my turn—and that thing took me down hard. I was literally unable to get out of bed all day, except to drag myself to the bathroom. At one point I actually had to call Brent (who was in the living room) on his phone to see if he’d bring me some water (which I didn’t keep down).

Finally, late Sunday, Brent was hit too. There were a couple horrible hours of overlap, when neither of us was fit to parent—I was lying near-death on the couch, Brent near-death on the floor, Mason playing contentedly nearby. The worst was the feeling of dread that came over us when we realized that someone was eventually going to have to get up and put him to bed.

But we survived! Two days ago, I couldn’t have fathomed it, but we’re now on the other side, and everyone’s almost healthy again.

We even managed a trip to the park yesterday:

Park

So, how eager do you think I am to get Mason to the gym again?? Ha!

In other news…I officially stopped breastfeeding.

I actually started writing about it last week, during the actual transition, but the whole experience was so emotionally charged that I realized I needed to take some time to process it first.

First of all, it wasn’t really my decision. I’m not sure it would have been any easier if it had been (in fact, in some ways, it might have been harder), but for the first time in a long time, I was really disappointed in my body.

Without going into detail, my body essentially decided, completely on its own terms, that it was done. My supply just kept dwindling and dwindling until there was practically nothing left. I tried and tried and TRIED to keep it going, but all that extra effort was just converting into stress, which wasn’t helping my supply situation OR my happiness levels.

And so, I let go.

BabyMase

There were some tears, and I even broke down and tried pumping again once, kind of desperately. But in the end, eventually, I made my peace. We made it almost a year—which is great, I know. I’d just always thought that I would be the one to decide when we’d stop.

Like so many things in parenting, this experience has been humbling. When I was pregnant, I was paranoid about breastfeeding because I’d been inundated with so many horror stories about it, but I was also determined to prove them wrong by making it work. And I did. I was able to overcome all of the initial pitfalls I was always worried about—bad latch, poor suck, engorgement, infection, etc. I even had a problem with oversupply in the beginning. I never would have dreamed that low supply would be the thing that ultimately took me out.

What this means…

Obviously, the biggie for me: my dietary restrictions have been officially lifted! I can now freely consume dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, and peas.

MAN, I missed peas!!! (Just kidding…)

I actually have mixed feeling about this. Eliminating these foods has forced me to really clean up my diet and learn how to cook and eat in a much healthier way. I’ve lost weight and I’ve been feeling better than ever. And, yeah, it was nice to have that motivation coming from somewhere outside of myself.

I’m like an addict coming out of rehab. Part of me is scared to have the “power” of an unlimited diet back. I plan to hang onto some of the dietary changes I’ve made, at least when we’re home, but I know it won’t be as easy without that outside motivator. (More on this later…)

On the bright side, here’s a little list of some other perks that come along with not breastfeeding:

–I can now have that extra cup of coffee or glass of wine if I want it. (!)

–I no longer have to seek out secluded places to pump when we’re traveling.

–I can be away from Mason for an extended period of time without worrying about his milk supply running out.

–For the first time in 20 months, my body is 100% my own.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa @ Lisa the Vegetarian February 27, 2013 at 7:23 am

I hope everyone in the house is feeling better! It sounds like quite a tough week, but you seem to be handling it well. Hang in there!
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Cassie February 26, 2013 at 8:15 pm

I can totally relate to your feelings about breastfeeding. When I went back to work after Owen was born, my supply decreased as well, despite regular pumping. I gave up around 6 months when the milk I was bringing home wasn’t even enough for one feeding. I’m worried the same thing will happen with Max because I’ve already had to supplement with formula even though I’ve been home with him all day, but I guess we will see. Try to give yourself a break and be proud of everything you have done, not what you can no longer do. Congrats on making it as long as you did!

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Kim February 26, 2013 at 8:20 pm

Thanks, Cassie. :) That makes me feel a lot better. Best of luck to you with round 2! I guess, in the end, it doesn’t matter all that much as long as they’re healthy…

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Jessica February 26, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Weaning certainly is a bittersweet moment. It gets easier with time and in a few months, the breastfeeding days will seem like they took place ages ago. Congrats on your breastfeeding experience and welcome back to normal bras!

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Kim February 26, 2013 at 8:21 pm

I’m sure you’re right! Thanks Jessica!

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Amy @ Writing While Running February 26, 2013 at 11:21 am

Yikes! What a week. Hope you are all 100% healthy now and you can go out and enjoy all the coffee and wine you can handle! Glad you are taking it in stride. I have friends that couldn’t breast feed past a month or 2 and they were devastated :(
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Kim February 26, 2013 at 8:22 pm

It seems like it’s always a little emotional, no matter when or how it happens. I will be enjoying that wine and coffee though!

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